I’ve followed politics for many years now but I just can’t figure some people out. Why do so many elected officials do such stupid things? I mean, you would expect someone who is able to be elected governor to be somewhat intelligent, right? It’s not so much that I can’t understand why he might do it. People sin – including elected leaders. But if you’re a governor, a congressman, or even the President, you have to know that something like an affair will be found out. Are these people so weak-willed and short-sighted that they can’t see beyond the heat of the moment?
Sanford is a special case. This guy thinks he’s a hero in a romance novel. In the NY Post article he said, “This was a whole lot more than a simple affair, this was a love story. A forbidden one, a tragic one, but a love story at the end of the day.” Give me a break! This was about sex. You’re a grubby adulterer; you’re not King David. If Sanford specifically confessed to his sin, expressed sincere contriteness, and asked for forgiveness, I might feel differently about him. But to play the part of a tragic hero just tells me the guy is only sorry he was caught and is more interested in saving his political career than in redemption.
I know that people are sinners. People cheat on their spouses every day and try to candy coat it. They don’t “commit adultery,” they have “trysts”, “affairs”, and “relationships.” They’re victims whose spouses don’t understand them. They were driven into the arms of their lovers. Yada, yada, yada.
We need to stop turning a blind eye (or a bleeding heart) toward sin. There’s no longer any stigma in being divorced just like there’s no longer a stigma in having premarital sex or having illegitimate children. We’ve become a “tolerant” society that doesn’t “judge” people. It seems that the only vice society won’t tolerate is hypocrisy – we loathe people who preach morality and cheer (jeer) when they fail to practice it!
I try to call a sin a sin. I hold elected officials to an even higher standard than I do society at large. I even hold Republicans to a higher standard than Democrats. We entrust conservative leaders, for example, to defend traditional marriage. How can I trust Sanford to do that if he can’t even keep his own marriage together?
I’ve said that Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Robert Edwards, Barney Frank are morally bankrupt. I also say that so are Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, and now Mark Sanford. I guess I could take solace in the fact that at least Republicans speak out in defense of traditional values even if they don’t always practice them but it seems a very small comfort.