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Linda_Owl's avatar

Do you ever wonder if it is a pre-requisite in order to be a politician that you must have a defective moral compass so that you can cheat on your spouse?

Asked by Linda_Owl (7728points) June 24th, 2009

the jerk governor of SC who ran off to south america to spend a week with his girl friend, while his wife & his party members were trying to figure out where he went.

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24 Answers

eponymoushipster's avatar

nope. the prerequisite is thinking with your dick.

Tink's avatar

Cheat on your spouse?!!!
No

tinyfaery's avatar

The two have no correlation. Do you know how many people cheat on their spouses? Career choice has nothing to do with it.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

There’s a lot of people who do these sort of things, not just politicians.

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s only that you have to be subject to massive invasion of privacy. There are uncountable other people with the same issues, but we simply don’t hear about them, just as the majority of politicians don’t act like that. If it was common behavior, it wouldn’t be splashed all over the news, ad naseum.

bea2345's avatar

Sometimes I wonder myself.

Judi's avatar

I think the “passion” center of the brain is defective in a lot of politicians. The same passion that drives them lead is the same passion that drives them to cheat. It is the only way I can see how someone can be at the same time brilliant (ala Kennedy, Clinton) and also a complete idiot who thinks with their not so privates.

dalepetrie's avatar

Though I do think there is something in the mindset of a person who would deem himself worthy of seeking a position of power over a large number of people which might also make the person fee they were somehow “special” in a way that exempts them from playing by the same rules everyone else plays, there are plenty of politicians who don’t cheat on their spouses, and plenty of non-politicians who do.

gailcalled's avatar

Funny: Our former governor (Eliot Spitzer), thought to be the model of probity, did the same thing, but with a call girl

Blondesjon's avatar

Why are we so surprised and appalled when shitty human beings behave like shitty human beings?

I have yet to see a halo above any celebrity/politician/religious icon’s head.

chyna's avatar

Doesn’t hurt to have no morals. I’m not understanding the wife standing by her man. Eliot Spitzer’s wife stood by him while he gave his little “I’m sorry” speech. She looked shell shocked. I don’t think you have any right to ask or expect your wife to stand beside you while you admit to being a self serving, cheating jerk.

dalepetrie's avatar

@Blondesjon – Amen, wish I could give you 10 GAs for that one.

jrpowell's avatar

It would be different if this guy was in the party that doesn’t care about what I do in my bedroom. This guy preached “sanctity of marriage” and flew 8 thousand miles to bang someone on fathers day while his kids and wife were sitting at home.

Fucking hypocrite.

dalepetrie's avatar

@johnpowell – not only that, he was a Congressman in 1998 and voted for 3 of 4 of the Articles of Impeachment against Clinton, decrying the oath the Clinton broke to his wife and claiming the need for values in our government.

Double fucking hypocrite.

wundayatta's avatar

When did you stop beating your spouse?

It’s easy to point fingers at tempting targets. Everyone can agree. But, as the biblical saying goes, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Everyone has made some kind of moral transgression at some point in their lives. We have no idea what was going on in this guy’s life. We don’t know how his wife was treating him. We don’t know if she was ever even around him. We don’t know if he was emotionally distant. We don’t know if he did what he did because he saw it as a perk of power, or because he was thinking with his dick or because he was miserable and just looking for some kind of emotional connection.

Sometimes it seems to me that there’s a hypocrite under just about every stone—especially the virtual ones. Few care to confess. Most just wait to get caught. As long as they are not caught, they think they are getting away with something. But boy does the shit hit the fan when you are caught. Things are so much easier to fix when you confess on your own rather than because you were forced to because you were caught red-handed.

Just sayin’.

dalepetrie's avatar

@daloon – I personally go by “he who lives in glass houses”. I wouldn’t be “pointing fingers” if this dickwad hadn’t been one of those “family values” types who try to tell people how they should live THEIR lives, then don’t live up to their own strict expectations. I could buy your argument for someone who had that same type of empathy for people, i.e. not choosing to judge people and point fingers when you don’t know what’s going on in their lives, but this asshole was the first in line to point fingers when other people did the same damn thing. Fuck him.

Jeruba's avatar

Well, there is one theory that says men seek those positions in order to get their pick of women, so failing to take advantage of that is like winning the horse race and walking away without the purse. Unfortunately we don’t see very many unmarried politicians.

In the impeccable grammar of tjhe Bible, it is “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

wundayatta's avatar

@dalepetrie Yes, that makes a lot of sense. I guess sometimes I am a bit too understanding. I mean, I know he has to say that shit if he’s a conservative Republican. I know that many conservative Republicans have done this and gotten caught, as have Democrats, who may not make such a fuss about it.

However, when caught, it seems like members of both parties do similar things. Although, perhaps, Democrats resign more often. We’ll see what Sanford ends up doing.

I have a feeling, though, that it isn’t just politicians who are hypocritical, but so many non-public people, as well. Yet they act the same way. They deny, and then, when caught, typically, break up the relationship. It’s just too hard to forgive and try to rebuild things, or so my couples therapist tells me.

I think this atmosphere of judgmentalism makes it much harder for people to rebuild relationships. There’s an element of pride that gets added, as the one who was cheated on has to punish the other, or be seen as too weak by family, friends, and public (if they are in the public eye). This makes it hard for both parties to admit to some responsibility, which, I believe, is a necessary condition for rebuilding a relationship. If they don’t have fairly equal responsibility, then one is always, and forever after, wrong, and the other is pure. You can’t have a relationship under conditions like that.

In any case, these moral judgments, I believe, make it much, much more difficult to rebuild relationships, and thus, the families, especially those with kids, are doubly hurt. In this case, Mrs. Sanford is acting all pious and saying that if he exhibits humility about this, she’ll take him back.

In saying this, she sounds like she is denying any responsibility for any emotional separation between them, that may have been a factor in him turning to someone else. If she seriously wanted to get back together, she would make some noises about perhaps sharing some blame for what happened. Under those circumstances, he could come back and try. Although, again, who knows what is happening in private?

Obviously, since I’ve been through this, I may be prejudiced about how society responds to infidelity. I could be seeking to reduce my own burden of shame. However, I do think I’m trying to make it easier for all couples in this situation to get back together. So far, my wife and I are making significant progress. I have no interest in emotionally separating from her again, and I think I now have the tools to be able to discuss with her the things that bother me about our relationship, without being afraid she’ll divorce my ass just because I do have problems with how we’re relating.

I don’t know if she can ever fully forgive me. I know she still worries that it might happen again. Perversely, that makes me feel more secure, because, before, I was sure that if I did the slightest thing wrong, she’d kick me out. I don’t want her to worry, and I don’t think she needs to worry, any more, but I’m happy that both of us do worry, because that says to me that we both want to remain together.

I suppose this sounds weird and counter-intuitive. However, it does give me what is perhaps a different perspective on the lives of public figures who experience these all-too-human problems. Forgiveness, to some degree, requires overlooking transgressions (not forgetting them)—at least to the extent that you can recommit to working through the problems in a relationship. If you can’t fully recommit, I don’t see how you can save the relationship. I don’t know if hypocrisy is endemic to the human condition or not, but I do think that hypocrites can recommit to relationships if they are not dumped upon with the full responsibility for the transgression. I’m sure others disagree, but I ask you whether saving the relationship is more important, of if the appearance of moral rectitude is more important.

YARNLADY's avatar

@daloon With answers like that, you could be a politician

wundayatta's avatar

@YARNLADY DOn’t think I haven’t been tempted, but the unfortunate truth is that I a far too lazy to be a politician. I’ve worked on campaigns. I know what it’s like. You never get any sleep. Maybe I could do that if I was manic, and one could argue that all really driven politicians are mentally ill, but I really don’t want to work that hard. It’s not worth it, and I’d probably find it more frustrating than anything else. If I’m going to be frustrated, I might as well do it out of the limelight.

YARNLADY's avatar

@daloon—yes, I have also been tempted. I worked on campaigns in the past. I can’t run for a prominent elected office because I was once a member of a very unpopular organization, and that would overshadow any other thing I’ve ever done.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I realize that politicians are ‘human’ & that far too many humans appear to think they can say they stand for something in public, but in private they think they can do whatever they want to do because it is no one’s business but their own. However, when a person decides to step into politics ( supposedly because they actually want to help their fellow human beings ), it seems they should acknowledge the fact that they will be in the public eye as a good example, a truthful, responsible example. If they find they can no longer be a person of truthful example – why not walk away from being a politician? It might be hard to give up the ‘perks of politics’, but it would make their life their own, once again. Or, if they do not feel as though they can abandon what they have been working for as a politician – at least do the honorable thing & tell their spouse that they want a divorce. They might end up getting voted out of office at the next election, but at least they would be dealing from a point of honesty. I guess that honesty & politics must be mutually exclusive for far too many of our politicians – either that or they must believe in magic – ‘magic’ that makes them think their actions are going to be invisible to everyone.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

no, i think that politicians are people who have affairs just like non-politicans that have affairs, and the only reason such a question would surface is because their private lives are made unnecessarily public every goddamn day.

there are many more ‘normal’ people cheating on their spouses, you just don’t know about them, because no one really cares to put the guy down the block on the news for sleeping with his ‘friend’ at the office.

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