John Edwards was indicted today by a federal grand jury for using campaign funds to cover up an affair.
It may be completely wrong of me to feel the way I do, but I see moral behavior within a relationship as completely separate from moral behavior in public office.
I believe that you can be a scumbag to your wife, and yet be an ethical equivalent of Chuck Norris (in a good way) as a political leader. I believe that the behavior and policy decisions of a politician holding public office should be based on a philosophy: a consistent, well-reasoned, objective view of the world. Such a philosophy is not dependent on whether youâ€™re drunk, horny, lonely, or self-obsessed. However, all those factors do contribute to the decision that that same politician makes in his personal life.
It may be naÃ¯ve of me, but I feel like a politician should be able to say what Newt Gingrich tried to say in the most inarticulate way. Something like:
â€œThe stress of public office has had a toll on my personal relationships. I made mistakes that damaged those relationships. I slept with a hooker, and now I have to pay the price in the years ahead of mistrust and tension in my relationship with my wife. But that has nothing to do with you. I balanced the budget. I passed a bill that helped revitalize the healthcare system for 21st century. Thatâ€™s what matters for you. And no number of hookers I sleep with will change that.â€
Rereading the aboveâ€¦ it does sound naÃ¯ve. But I stand by it. I vote for a separation of Sex and State.