Sexual and Political ethics

Wed Aug 30 13:32:00 MDT 1995

From:   NAME: Bill White
        TEL: 326/371                          <WHITE, BILL AT A1 AT JCCV03>
To:     IN%"rushtalk at"@MRGATE at JCCW22
        Is a politician accountable to the public only for what he does for his
    constituents not for his marital infidelities?  Bruce seems to say, yes.
        This position is joined with the contemporary pattern of "defining
    deviancy down," a term coined by Sen Moynihan in his now oft referenced
    article of that same name.  Is adultery another deviant behavior which has
    simply been "defined down" because it occurs frequently?  Are the
    consequences of this behavior now seen to be neutral or even benign?
        Most vows of marriage still include vows of chastity, "keeping each to
    each."  The promises made by politicians Hart, Clinton, or Packwood, I dare
    say were based on honor, trust, and keeping sacred vows.  If a politician
    plays fast and loose with marriage vows, it is not purely a private matter.
    It is a matter of public concern.  Marriage vows are declared for both
    public and private purposes - certainly for a circle of friends and
    relatives, but also, beyond them, for the state and the body politic that
    licenses and sanctions marriage and enforces its contracts.
        Adultery in marriage is a significant personal and public act of
    betrayal.  As such it can be scrutinized as an indicator of how a person
    keeps his vows and maintains the bonds of trust.  To be truly strong, our
    democracy should not depend on the charismatic rogue who can score with a
    fawning public by performing a few beneficient public deeds while he
    tramples on his friends and family.  Such a flawed personality can have
    only a fleeting public success.  The long term results will show the crack
    in the vessel.  It is not sincere.  In the final analysis, the rogue is
    likely to be a public misfortune.
William B. White                | Joined with the quest.

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