Sex Scandals and Politics: Why They Should be Taken Seriously

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The late night television writers and performers love political sex scandals, and they should.  It’s easy to make fun of these degenerates who wish to represent voters in their states or the nation.  However, in the long run, they are not funny.  Sex scandals committed by politicians, or political candidates, should be taken seriously.

We live in a country where women are ostracized and demeaned for being human.  Anti-abortion laws are merely an attempt to create a puritanical society for women only.

Political figures are revered by their supporters, and what their personal actions may entail means little to their constituents.  What this inaction by the public displays is a hypocrisy which is uniquely American.

Politicians espouse a devotion to family values when they are campaigning.  These men have slogans developed for them such as ‘family first,’ or ‘family is the foundation for a strong America.’  But they are words and only words.

President William Jefferson Clinton was an effective president.  He was not a great president, and he very possibly should not have finished his second term.  He signed NAFTA, which sent many of our country’s best jobs to other countries.  He signed a bill revoking part of Glass-Steagall which eventually caused the crash of the housing market and the destabilization of the banking industry.  And he had sex in the oval office, and lied to congress and the American people about it.

Unfortunately, those who sought to have him impeached were led by an equally immoral man, the Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.  Gingrich began an affair while his wife was dying, and flaunted it without remorse.  He had the gall to declare his candidacy for the presidency in 2012.  He never stood a chance.

John Edwards could have become the vice-President of the United States.  He lied to his wife and the country about an affair and a ‘love child.’  His wife, who supported him without reservation, died of cancer.

Mark Sanford of South Carolina was the governor of his state until 2011.  He was forced to resign.  He told his state and his wife that he was taking a vacation to hike the Appalachian Trail.  What he was actually doing was spending state money to stay with his mistress in Argentina.

Amazingly, the voters of South Carolina elected him to the House of Representatives in a special election in 2013.

Elliott Spitzer spent tens of thousands of dollars on a prostitute.  The Governor of New York State was forced to resign facing impeachment for his association with a $1,000 an hour ‘call girl’ in 2008.  By 2013, he and his wife were reported to be ‘living apart.’  He is now running for Comptroller for the State of New York.

Anthony David Weiner is a former member of the House of Representatives of New York.  In 2011 he was forced to resign because he had been ‘sexting’ pictures of himself to multiple women.  Initially he denied the allegations.  He later admitted his actions.  His wife stood by his side, and he promised to seek counseling.

In 2013, he decided to make a run for the Democratic nomination for Mayor of New York City.  When allegations of very recent ‘sexting’ were revealed, he discounted them and swore to continue his campaign.  He is now in 4th place.

The present Mayor of San Diego, Bob Filner, is facing multiple sexual harassment lawsuits.  He is not denying some of them, and is at present in therapy.  He refuses to resign.

Why are these charges, allegations, convictions, and resignations important in relation to their ability to govern their constituents?  The answer is simple, but voters don’t often see it that way.

If these men could lie to those who had the closest of relationships with them, why should we believe they would tell the truth to voters with whom they have no personal contact?  And those who have already lied to their supporters, such as Mark Sanford, and Anthony Weiner, cannot possibly believe that we could trust them again.  And yet the voters of South Carolina have.

When serving in public life, character does matter.  It matters a hell of a lot.  Once a political candidate has lost the respect of his constituents, he should never be trusted again.  This is not a case of a man who has made incorrect change in a supermarket, and may deserve a second chance.  This is the well-being of our country.

Politicians have one ambition, to secure a permanent life that offers them benefits far beyond those of the voting public.  If we give it to them, we are the guilty party, and deserve whatever havoc occurs because of their lies and mistakes made, which are frequently intentional, procuring monetary enhancement for themselves.

Sex scandals and politics are important, and do make a difference.  If we vote for candidates who lack morality, we will get what we deserve.

James Turnage

Op-ed

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