Tuesday, August 02, 2011

August: A Line in the Sand

August 2011 CH/CB2
This month, crazy Frank Dunne, Jr. and I pontificate on philandering politicians. I, as always, am right. You can read Frank's opinion here, if you must.

Frank, I know you are not suggesting that I lack character or the ability to judge character. (Even though, per last month’s column, I do contribute to the eroding moral compass of the nation.) So, I’m going to give you a pass on that one and instead focus on that fact that your singular “Weiner” example is actually the perfect illustration of your one-track argument.

Anthony Weiner, that’s the best you can come up with? I mean granted, Weiner is media gold, he’s out and about showing off his private parts and his last name just happens to also be the caption for his pictures? Jackpot!

But, in truth it’s not about Anthony Weiner, Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Mark Sanford. Once again your narrow mind steers you down the wrong path as you suggest that this issue of philandering is one, only limited to politicians and two, that the only ones doing it are the ones who get caught.

Oh contraire mon frère. You may remember my “open your eyes regarding marriage argument” from last month? Well, let me continue to enlighten you. Let’s talk numbers, including the staggering 8.5 million members on ashleymadison.com, a website dedicated to helping married philanderers find a “philanderee.”

While infidelity statistics abound, I’m actually going to go conservative here and quote a 2007 MSNBC.com/iVillage Lust, Love & Loyalty survey, which concluded that, “About one in five adults in monogamous relationships, or 22 percent, have cheated on their current partner. And nearly half of people admit to being unfaithful at some point in their lives.” MSNBC also cited research expert Tom W. Smith, director of the General Social Survey for the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago who conducted the study “American Sexual Behavior,” a poll of 10,000 people over two decades. The study found that 22 percent of married men and 15 percent of married women have cheated at least once — similar to the results from the MSNBC.com survey.

If these statistics are true, 20% of our nation is cheating on their partner. So, for argument’s sake, let’s say that 20% of elected officials are cheating on their partner. However, unless they’ve been caught in a media firestorm, we don’t know about it. Is it really their cheating that makes them a bad politician or is it the media circus that surrounds the “big reveal” that renders them unable to lead?

I vote for the latter. Character is comprised of many things. And, everyone defined character differently. If politically a politician stands for and works for everything that you believe in, do you really care what he does in his personal life? What if you find feet to be disgusting and your Congressman has a foot fetish? What if he is having an affair (with a women with beautiful feet, mind you), because his wife hasn’t been interested in sex in 10 years? Better yet, what if his wife is cheating too? Or, what if they have an agreement to step outside their marriage? Why do we care? Are you not going to vote for him because his ideals don’t match up to yours in every column? If so, you’d never vote again.

Look around right now. One in every five people you see is statistically a cheater. It could be your mailperson, the little league coach who lives next door, the bagger at your grocery store, your child’s teacher, your best buddy, your boss, the waiter at your favorite restaurant, the minister at your church (oh yeah, I’m going there).

Is your mail still being delivered on time? Is team moral up? Are your freezer items separated from the cans? Is your kid getting A’s? Is your buddy still your favorite drinking partner? Is your boss still tolerable? Is your service still top-notch? Is Sunday’s sermon still inspiring?

All I am saying is let’s not rush to judge.

I’m sure you’ve made some mistakes along the way Frank, but heck, our Editor still let’s you write. Right?

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