The Mistakes of Political Affairs
– by David Matthews 2
Funny how it’s been ten years since headline stories of hypocritical politicians caught in their wanderlust were catching our attention. Ten years since we heard talk of impeachments and resignations and saucy details of political peccadilloes.
So why haven’t we learned anything from them?
Seriously, why haven’t we learned the lessons of these affairs of the political heart by now? You’d think that after all of the coverage in the past ten years about hypocritical politicians that either we’d wise up about them or the hypocritical politicians would.
If anything, they’ve gotten worse and weirder. Anonymous encounters in an airport men’s room? Sexting with male interns? Literally vanishing off the face of the earth for some weekend nookie in another country? Do we actually have to wait for the circus midgets to get brought in before we start putting two and two together?
Part of the problem, of course, is that we continually fall into the same traps. We get all shocked and outraged that YET ANOTHER politician is caught with his or her pants down. We get all in a huff because they have been caught in a LIE about themselves and their stances.
And then… NOTHING! We get all hot and bothered about it and then just let it go until the next philandering hypocrite comes along and we start the cycle all over again.
Maybe that’s why conservatives have such a mad-hate for evolution… they really don’t want us to know any better about this stuff! They don’t want us to mentally evolve past this.
Well, let’s take the time to go over some of those mistakes and maybe that will inspire us to try to do something different.
Mistake #1: We beatify the betrayed spouse. “Poor woman” we say. We actually feel sorry for her, don’t we?
I know this comes off as incredibly insensitive, but why to we automatically turn the non-cheating party into saints? How do we know they didn’t have a hand in creating the mess?
Maybe she’s a hypersensitive parent with a child-fetish, playing the role of “mommy” 24/7. Maybe she is wrapped up with her own career and ambitions and has to actually schedule in time where she pretends to be the loving spouse. Maybe she berates him constantly away from the cameras and away from the prying eyes. Hey TLC’s “Jon and Kate” aren’t the only ones in America that have an emotionally-castrating relationship.
Maybe their marriage is or has become just an arrangement of convenience. It doesn’t have to START out as one. Maybe they WERE loving and caring to each other once upon a time, but then agreed to stay together for the kids, or for prestige, or because the illusion just fits in with their various projects.
Maybe, just maybe, those dreaded press conferences where she’s standing there stoically by her spouse as he publicly confesses his sins is done so at HER behest to further dig at her philandering husband and make him that much more of a heel. If she was the one that drove him into the arms of another through her mechanizations, then standing there by his side, pretending to be the “poor victim”, is yet another careful attack on his manhood and proof that SHE is the dominant one in the paring.
Either way, folks, don’t automatically presume that she is either innocent or the “helpless victim”.
Mistake #2: Is this love that I’m feeling? Lust and love may have a few things in common but that does not mean that they are interchangeable. It could very well be that the person of infatuation is in love with that cheating heart. That doesn’t mean that the feeling is mutual, though. Just because he’s in someone else’s bed doesn’t mean that he is in love with that other woman.
Having an affair is NOT about looking for a new spouse. Having an affair is about fulfilling a need that is not being met in the current relationship. Cheating hearts are very greedy people. They want to have their cake and eat it too.
Mistake #3: Fixating on the details! Do we REALLY need to know all of the dirty low-down details of how they conducted their affairs? Seriously. WHY?
You tell me which is more relevant to the subject:
A - That the cheating heart family values hypocrite had NUMEROUS affairs on his or her spouse while at the same time condemning those that fail to meet their personal standards.
B - That the cheating heart family values hypocrite had a total of FIVE HUNDRED encounters with at least TEN different people, including two former beauty queens, one current beauty queen, two lobbyists, a next-door neighbor, someone they met at the airport, and a circus midget, and have explicit and detailed accounts of EVERY ONE of those five hundred encounters, including the use of whips, dips, chains, clamps, feather boas, and a couple of accessories not even thought of using in that way since Malcom McDowell in the movie “Caligula”.
When a politician or their acolytes and myrmidons are willing to provide WAY too much information about the scandal, it’s not done to “clear the air”. It’s done to overwhelm the senses of the masses and to get them to FORGET about what this is really all about, which is the HYPOCRISY of it all!
And last, but certainly not least, the biggest of political mistakes that we commit in these situations…
Mistake #4: WE HYPOCRITIZE OURSELVES! Let’s get brutally honest here… we CODDLE these hypocrites when their lies and their double-standards are exposed!
We FORGIVE them when they admit to their hypocrisy! We let them keep their jobs when they decide to not hold themselves to the standards they pompously judge US by!
These politicians get on their soapboxes and they talk about how America has become this moral cesspool because of the lack of “family values”. And their lemming supporters nod their heads like good Pavlovian dogs and agree with him. These politicians get elected and re-elected on that talk. They get laws and regulations and policies enacted based ON that talk about morality and “family values”. They turn their pompous judgmental eyes towards the movies and TV and video games and the Internet and judge them EN MASSE to be guilty based ON that talk.
And all the while, politicians like South Carolina Governor Mark Stanford and Senator John Ensign are doing the very things that they publicly condemn. And when they are exposed for what they really are, what happens?
WE FORGIVE THEM!
We EXPECT them to do the “right thing” on their own. We EXPECT them to punish THEMSELVES for their hypocrisy. We EXPECT them to resign on their own.
But if they don’t value their marriages, why should we EXPECT them to do the right thing on ANYTHING?
What happens when these hypocrites are exposed for what they are and they REFUSE to hold themselves to the same standards they judge the rest of the world by? What do we do when that happens?
We will actually FORGIVE THEM for their hypocrisy! We will not hound them at every corner and crevice like they would have done TO US. We will not PROSECUTE them under any laws on the books that would apply in that situation as would be done TO US. We will not hold them to ANY KIND of accountability for their actions as they would have done TO US.
We will, instead, re-elect them if they so choose to run for re-election. We will let them stay in office and stay in power and let them continue to judge the rest of the world by standards that THEY THEMSELVES refuse to uphold.
And it is here, at this point, that we become the willing accomplices to the crime after-the-fact. We pompously proclaim that a certain action is wrong, that in some cases even violate some arcane law on the books that we think still need to be enforced, and yet we FAIL to push for that enforcement when it comes to our political leaders, be they governors, presidents, or even the city mayor. We allow the perpetrator to prosper and profit from their act. We let them get away with it, no different than helping a bank robber escape from the police.
We FORGIVE them… because we expect them to forgive us if the situation was reversed.
But in the meantime, what does that say about those “morals” and “values” that we supposedly want imposed in society? Doesn’t that DE-VALUE those concepts?
And here’s the clincher: the politicians KNOW THIS! They do! They know that while you talk the talk about values and morals and ethics, that you would rather keep a corrupt SOB in office than lose your precious special interest programs.
So there is no incentive for them to do better. They know that even if they are caught that they can smooth things over and you will forgive them and they can go on doing what they’ve been doing.
Let’s get brutally honest here… when it comes to lying cheating no-good rotten-to-the-core hypocritical politicians, the biggest mistake made is not on their part, but on our own! It’s not that they cheat or even that they were caught cheating, but that we don’t hold them to the very standards they complain about and campaign under! We expect more from them, but we don’t want to hold them to it.
This is all just a game to the politicians. Every cause they claim to champion, every crusade they publicly support, every soapbox and rubber-chicken speech they make, all of it is nothing more than window dressing. It’s a front to disguise their true intentions. The only way they will do anything different than before is when their constituents insist upon it. After all, if you don’t care about it enough to bring in people that truly reflect what you believe in, why should they be any different?