The State in South Carolina has suspected Gov. Mark Sanford has been having an affair for quite some time. Apparently the newspaper got copies of emails between Sanford and his beauty of Buenos Aires in December, but could not verify their veracity. The emails came from an anonymous source. Those emails, however, may have prompted Sanford to tell his wife about the affair before she read it in the papers.
It’s hard to know what goes through somebody’s mind when they’re involved in a heady romance and attempting to make leaps in their political career. At one point, Sanford was rumored to be a top Republican pick to take on Obama in 2012. We’ve seen these scandals in Republicans and Democrats alike. It’s as though their external barometer gets turned off…or they just surround themselves with so many loyal people that nobody bothers to notice or remember the imperfections of a politician on a meteoric rise. There is nobody there to slap their hand away from the cookie jar or ask them to think again. Or maybe the politician doesn’t listen to trusted advisers and staff who are making gentle corrections. It’s had to know and it does take an abundance of ego to even want to pursue an elected office and believe you can win, in addition to a desire to serve your fellow man.
But the common theme in all these politician personal transgressions is arrogance. For Sanford it’s one thing to cheat on his wife, he will spend the rest of his life trying to answer for that to his family. It’s another for him to thumb his nose at his elected office and disappear. We saw similar arrogance with President Bill Clinton, who whether he had sex with that woman or not, apparently did not consider it abusing his power or office when he even entertained a flirtation with a overeager intern in a cute blue dress.
It’s not that every politician needs to get on television and sob like Jimmy Swaggert “I have sinned…” but, it would be nice to see some geniune humility, or better yet some respect for the elected office, whatever it is.
After all, some countries are still fighting for their right to vote and for it to be counted. Have some public officials forgotten that?