The Affairs of the Heart vs The Affairs of State

It doesn’t matter how apologetic Governor Sanford is, or how many tears he sheds. The American public has heard it all before. The “I’m so very sorry…” followed by the unspoken “I got caught” line is beginning to become an all too familiar mantra for politicians, especially Republicans, but should their personal weaknesses totally destroy years of public dedication and service? Absolutely not.

It’s the same old song sung by so many others who were cut to shreds by the almighty sword of infidelity; from John Edwards, to Elliot Spitzer, respected leaders in power fall so easily from grace when they’re caught, literally, with their pants down. Add to the list those we’ve elected to the highest office, our illustrious Presidents from Thomas Jefferson through Warren Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, and of course Bill Clinton, and the new Jay and the Americans “Only in America”song lyric has been changed from the “land of opportunity” to the “land of infidelity. Yet, not one of these Presidents resigned.

So, why should a Governor be treated any differently?

Sanford didn’t break any laws, other than possibly using tax payer dollars to finance his trips, but so did Rudy Giuliani, and not only did he remain in office, but went on to become a major contender for the Republican Presidential primary.

The Governor made a mistake. From recent revelations, he has made several personal errors in judgement, but he’s a MAN for godsake!

The public has no real insight into the personal life of any politician. What goes on behind closed doors, and between married couples as ordinary human beings, has little to do with decisions made in their professional life. If we were to demand that every man in power resign from their job because of a personal indiscretion, then every major CEO who has had an affair, or has gone through a divorce should also resign.

A married man who has an affair is by definition a liar and a cheat by society’s definition. He lies to his wife about where he goes, even though in most cases, the wife knows exactly where he is going and what he’s doing. He cheats, not only his spouse out of full emotional commitment, but also the woman he’s having the affair with. However, if he is giving 100% of his time to his profession, then what exactly is the damage? A public official serves the public, but does that mean that they have to sacrifice their personal happiness in the process? We only elect representatives, we don’t appoint saints.

And as much as Sanford’s wife is put on stage as the victim, there is no doubt that she, herself, was as much to blame. Jenny knew about her husband’s affair and kept quiet. When the media asked her where he was, she covered for him when she could have just as easily said “Well, he might be in Argentina with his girlfriend.” She could have blown the whistle on her husband months ago, but said nothing. Sanford’s affair wasn’t the first, nor the last, to be destroyed by a fatal case of wife-read-his-email-ites. Men, it seems have the ability to use a computer to send and receive emails with ease, but for some reason have no comprehension of what the DELETE key is for, or how to set up an undisclosed, private email account.

So, now that all the skeletons are out of Sanford’s closet, what is the best choice for the State of South Carolina? Do they follow the quote “The evil men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones”, or do they take a long, hard look at all the good this man has done for their State, and as a Nation, what good he might do for the country in the future?

According to his bio, posted on the Sanford website: During his political career, Stanford accomplished much for South Carolina. He served six years in the U.S. Congress and was ranked #1 in the entire Congress by Citizens Against Government Waste, the National Taxpayers’ Union, and Taxpayers for Common Sense inducted him into the Taxpayers Hall of Fame.

Sanford was elected as South Carolina’s 115th governor in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, becoming only the third two-term governor in modern state history.

He helped pass comprehensive tort reform and cut the marginal income tax rate – both firsts in state history. Today there are over 170,000 more people working than there were when Governor Sanford took office. The state passed first-of-its-kind charter school legislation to allow parents more choices in where their children attend school. He was dedicated, and he was faithful to his office and to those who elected him to serve.

Sanford made personal mistakes and severe errors in judgement, not as the Governor of South Carolina, but as a man. If we cannot understand a person’s heart, if we punish lovers with self-righteous indignation and condemn them to obscurity for not being “perfect”, then we all lose.

Mark Sanford may or may not become another divorce statistic. He may or may not find personal happiness with either his wife or his lover, that future will be left solely to him. However, destroying his political career, based on the public’s past history with elected officials in similar situations, would be hypocrisy at it’s very worse.

Affairs of the Heart are not, and should not, dictate Affairs of the State.

It doesn’t matter how apologetic Governor Sanford is, or how many tears he sheds. The American public has heard it all before. The “I’m so very sorry…” followed by the unspoken “I got caught” line is beginning to become an all too familiar mantra for politicians, especially Republicans, but should their personal weaknesses totally destroy years of public dedication and service? Absolutely not. It’s the same old song sung by so many others who were cut to shreds by the almighty sword of infidelity; from John Edwards, to Elliot Spitzer, respected leaders in power fall so easily from grace when they’re caught, literally, with their pants down. Add to the list those we’ve elected to the highest office, our illustrious Presidents from Thomas Jefferson through Warren Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, and of course Bill Clinton, and the new Jay and the Americans “Only in America”song lyric has been changed from the “land of opportunity” to the “land of infidelity. Yet, not one of these Presidents resigned. So, why should a Governor be treated any differently? Sanford didn’t break any laws, other than possibly using tax payer dollars to finance his trips, but so did Rudy Giuliani, and not only did he remain in office, but went on to become a major contender for the Republican Presidential primary. The Governor made a mistake. From recent revelations, he has made several personal errors in judgement, but he’s a MAN for godsake! The public has no real insight into the personal life of any politician. What goes on behind closed doors, and between married couples as ordinary human beings, has little to do with decisions made in

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