Political gossip draws attention from more important issues

BY MICHAEL DAVIS | JUNE 30, 2009 7:21 AM

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has become just the latest high profile politician to fall in the “booby trap.” Across this nation, regardless of party alliance, people are scratching their heads at the impossibly stupid behavior of these men. Infidelity is becoming the only thing politicians can agree on acting upon.

Health care? “Nope, I would rather go to Argentina for some fun.”

Iran? “No way!. I would rather send a dozen very racy messages to my temp.”

Automotive industry? “Are you kidding? Let’s use our time to call high-priced call girls to our hotel rooms.”

The excuses have been a veritable spin of the wheel of inane selfishness. It would be tough to say that politicians are the kryptonite of the hallowed realm of marriage. Their egos just cloud their judgment, making the deed more laughable.

But should politicians really be our role models in the first place? How much do we really know about these so-called “reformers” and “change agents”? In fact, do we really want to know what goes on “behind closed doors”? I’m sure Charlie Rich would be able to write a few verses about this positive posturing on behalf of petty politicians. Politicians have always played an important role in our society’s moral imperatives. Ronald Reagan developed a following for that very reason. Now, those values are about as universal as a friendship between a Democrat and a Republican.

With a celebrity president in office, the growing fascination with the lives of our representatives, senators, and governors has become as common as Hollywood commentators remarking on Angelina Jolie’s next adopted child. When these things became important is when our world lost its sensitivity to the real issues. Hard news runs shallow in the waters of “La La Land.”

We were already a world of “Peeping Toms.” Now, it has just become commonplace in our society for anyone to brandish an obscure press badge and stalk our citizens. In this digital age, any information out there will soon become public knowledge, erasing any privacy politicians or celebrities hoped to have.

As these extramarital affairs sting our Congress, the shock value decreases. Soon, the right-wing religious groups will be throwing up their hands in desperation. Bill Clinton made it famous. Now these politicians are making it infamous.

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