What Happens in the Bedroom Matters in Public Office

Jokes about Weiner aside – because, let’s be honest, how often does a guy with the last name of Weiner get caught up in a sex scandal? – there is something serious to be said about the recent scandals in the political sphere. NPR brought up the point that many people attempt to criminalize such actions, though there’s no real law on the books against sexual misdeeds in congress. But there’s a bigger issue here that, for whatever reason has escaped public discussion, namely that if such people are willing to cheat on their wives (or husbands), then aren’t they even more willing to cheat the people they represent?

During the Clinton scandal the big meme was, “What happens in the bedroom doesn’t impact what happens in the Oval Office.” But wouldn’t a man of infidelity of a personal oath be unfaithful to a public oath? What makes us think that a man can forgo his children and wife with multiple women, but turn around and be a faithful servant? The simple truth is that what happens in the bedroom, or better said, what happens behind closed doors matters in public office. The honor of a man isn’t found in front of a camera lens or at a press conference, rather the honor of a man is found when no one is looking. Consider John Edwards, a man who cheated on his wife when she had terminal cancer, impregnated his mistress, and then used one of his staff members to take the blame for the pregnancy. And you think he won’t try to cheat his constituents if it ultimately benefits him in the end? And he’s not alone.

While Democrats have suffered lately at the hands of sex scandals, Republicans have had their fair share as well. Some simply choose to laugh it off and say, “Well what do you expect?” but then in the same breath complain about how corrupt our government is. “They don’t listen to their constituents, they listen to their lobbyist!” They also have sex with women (or men) they are not married to, hurting their families in the process. Do you not see the connection? A man who is immoral in private will be immoral in public as well; a dishonorable man doesn’t become honorable in the spotlight (though he will act honorable).

Now, certainly we don’t expect our politicians to be perfect, after all, they’re human. At the same time, they are representing certain populations of the United States, so they should be held to a higher ethical standard, both in the legislation they support and how they live their lives in private. So the next time you go to vote, consider this: If a man thinks he can violate the most sacred vow he’s taken (one of matrimony) behind closed doors, what prevents him from thinking he can violate his public vow just as much behind closed doors as well? We should seek out politicians who are virtuous, not because of what they say, but because of how they live.

A Nietzschean Parable of sorts

A long time ago in an ancient kingdom, the young peasant decided one day to go throw rocks at the king’s castle.

As the young peasant was walking along the street with an angry look on his face, an old fellow with a big bushy mustache and a thick German accent came up to the young lad with an inquisitive look upon his face.

“And where might you be going?” asked the old man.

“I am heading to the castle to throw rocks at the king’s windows.”

“And why might you want to do that?”

“What concern of yours is it old man?” the young peasant replied.

“Ah, have you not heard of me? I am the greatest spectacle this town has ever seen. My name is Zarathustra. Many find me crazy. Many others hate me. But I hold out hope that one day someone will grasp my teachings. Until then, it is my curse to be mocked – ever since I came down the mountain to enlighten this…this…herd I have had nothing but mockery!” Zarathustra let out a frustrated laugh that made the young peasant think that this man was truly mad. “Now, let us walk to the castle to throw stones at the windows and along the way tell me why you have such a desire.”

As they walked along the path, the young peasant opened up to Zarathustra and began to tell him why he desired to throw rocks at the king’s castle. The peasant said it all began when his farm was burned to the ground five years ago. He had just inherited it from his father and was beginning to make a profit on the land when raiders from the underworld burned his crop to the ground. The king did not send an army for vengeance; in fact, the peasant theorized there was no army at all. This had happened to other farmers as well – so if there was an army, why weren’t they fighting?

The second incident that raised the ire of the young peasant was that the local town – which was supposedly under the sovereignty of the king – was left lawless. People were left to fend for themselves or to form police forces. This, however, did not stop the constant fighting, brawling, rapes, and even murders. It seemed that if the king were sovereign over such a town, certainly he would intervene to stop such lawlessness.

The third and final incident was when the young peasant passed a group of starving orphans. These children had not eaten for days, but the king’s generosity was no where to be found. The young peasant decided that the king must be responsible for these evils.

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