In the light of the most recent Washington Sex scandal with New York Democrat Anthony Weiner, it makes me wonder what the American collective thought is. We say it isn’t right, never mind stepping outside the bounds of marriage, but our actions don’t seem to indicate what we say.
My friend Rich Harwood of the Harwood institute, www.theharwoodinstitute.org, spends his life trying to urge people to connect their private lives with a public one. To encourage more people to use their voice in matters like these, not only around the kitchen table or on-line, but at the polls.
Take both David Vitter, Louisiana Republican and Elliott Spitzer, New York Mayor, both guilty of being involved with prostitution rings ! Spitzer gets a TV show and Vitter was re-elected by a wide margin ! Pretty good deal for both of those guys.
Washington sex scandals are nothing new, and if you could ask Thomas Jefferson, Grover Cleveland, or John F. Kennedy, you’d find that comment true. Remember Gary Hart and Donna Rice? The “loveable” Bill Clinton, speaking directly into the camera saying he didn’t have sexual activities with Monica Lewinski, then looking directly into the same camera admitting his guilt ! Amazing ! Oh the list goes on and on, how about Massachusetts Democrat, Barney Frank having a relationship with a male prostitute and then hiring him as an assistant ! You simply can’t make this stuff up.
So, are we really disgusted by this behavior of our elected officials, or do we secretly think it isn’t connected to the work they do? That maybe it doesn’t cloud the judgements they make concerning their position. Deep inside do we think it’s just sex, and since we all have our own little twists on tradition there, we don’t want to judge too harshly. Or do the ones screaming the loudest have more skeletons in their closets? Is it the inside and/or outside the bounds of marriage that we have problems with? Or the fact that we’d like to hold these positions to a higher level of integrity?
Maybe it’s all of the above or little bits and pieces for us all. One thing seems apparent if you turn to history as a course guide, as long as we are human; as long as men have “power”, and women can be drawn to “power”, this behavior will continue. So do we just shout about it with church friends, with strangers at the corner pub, at our dinner tables, or do we use our votes if it really bothers us? Like the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words ! These are all questions of interest to me, of not only how things are manifested, but where the root comes from. What are we trying to fill; are we culturally too crazy tight publicly on sex? What do you think?