Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows I’m opinionated. I can’t help it. I was raised by opinionated people; people who had/have no trouble voicing their opinions (even if they’re based in crap and propaganda). I’ve learned over the years, though, that if I’m going to say what I think, I really need to have my ducks in a row. I’ve learned to keep my big mouth shut if I don’t know what I’m talking about… or if I’m not willing to walk the walk. I’m also learning that it’s really not necessary to spout off every time I disagree with someone; that sometimes it’s enough just to know I’m comfortable with what’s in my own head and heart.
But sometimes… sometimes I have to say what I think. Sometimes people disagree, which is fine. Sometimes they’re nasty about it, which is not so fine (remember our dear Former Reader? He still sends me emails, which I don’t even bother opening, of course, as he’s probably still singing Rush Limbaugh’s praises).
Today is one of those times when I’m going to say what I think.
I’m sure everyone (in the US, anyway) has heard about, if not followed, the stories of SC Governor, Mark Sanford and Nevada Senator, John Ensign. They’ve been all over the news lately. Both conservative, Republican, Christian politicians, they are known for their strong stances on ‘Christian and family values’ and ‘traditional marriage’.
They are also both known for having extra-marital affairs while in office and, in Sanford’s case, for going AWOL to visit his mistress out of the country, while on state time, without divulging his whereabouts to his family or constituents, and using state funds.
OK, we all know I have deep personal issues and biases regarding infidelity. I think it’s wrong on so many levels. But it happens. People cheat on their spouses. Sanford and Ensign are certainly not the first or only politicians to do it. When Bill Clinton finally admitted to his sordid little fling with Monica Lewinski, Sanford was one of the Republicans clamoring for his impeachment. I was disgusted by Clinton’s behavior – the affair and the lying about it. It changed the way I saw him as a man and as the President. But did I think he should have been impeached? No. Do I think Sanford should be impeached? No.
But do I think he should step down as Governor as SC? Yes. And here’s why.
Sanford introduced himself as an officer of the Morality Police when Clinton’s affair was made public. Both men, in fact, have flashed their badges on numerous occasions. And I completely believe that if you are going to take the moral high road, you damn well have to follow the traffic laws. You can’t just talk the talk; you can’t judge others or claim to represent a moral position if you’re not willing to live that position.
Mark Sanford and John Ensign took the moral high road and then they sped off in their little red mid-life crisis sports cars, screaming ‘fuck you’ at the law.
And that’s not right.
I think they need to practice what they preach. I think they need to stop being ‘do as I say, not as I do’ leaders. I think they need to stop thinking they know what’s best for the rest of us and sort out their own damned lives. They are absolute crap examples of strong 'Christian and family values' and 'traditional marriage'. They are perfect examples, however, of the hypocritical, immoral, lying, judgmental, critical, reprehensible people running our government. And before anyone thinks I’m attacking the Republicans, I’m not. While they happen to be the focus of this particular bit of smarm, I’m fully aware that dishonesty and hypocrisy in government is not solely a Republican issue… it’s rampant in both parties.
I don’t expect politicians to be perfect. I know they’re human. I know they will make mistakes – sometimes big ones – just like I do. But for all my screw ups; for all my shortcomings and flaws, I try hard not to be a hypocrite. Maybe that’s my high road. I know I’m willing to overlook and forgive a lot… but not this… not such blatant hypocrisy. I am so damned sick of the Morality Police – the 'new and improved' branch of the Moral Majority – telling the rest of us how we should live and acting like their shit doesn’t stink. It does stink. It stinks big. We know it because time after time, we get their shit thrown on us and we have to shovel out from under it. Well, I'm getting friggin' tired of shoveling. How about the rest of you?
Whew. I feel better. I needed to get that out. And hey, dear Former Reader? Yeah, you. Shut up, OK? I don’t want or need you spouting moral shite from your little red sports car.