I haven’t been much of a David Vitter defender nor have I been critical of the Sinator, that is until today.
News of Elliot Spitzer’s high priced extra marital proclivities spread through the airwaves today with everybody having an opinion on whether this guy should resign not for loving women other than his wife, not for committing the illegal act of engaging in prostitution, but instead, *gasp* for being a hypocrite. As if there’s no greater crime than being a hypocrite.
Let me see if I get this straight, for those of you who think hypocrisy is the greatest of all crimes, would you allow your children to hang around the neighborhood dope head who proudly encourages other kids to smoke dope because at least he’s not *Gasp* a hypocrite?
For those of you out there who think it’s about hypocrisy is really the reason people are offended and assume that people will not have the same reaction to a non-hypocrite who’s out there cheating on his wife because at least he’s not a hypocrite have a gross misunderstanding of what leadership is and what it takes to lead.
People follow people who are better than they are, that lead better lives than they do, that don’t get caught doing wrong things because they don’t do wrong things to begin with. They follow people who they would strive to be like, to emulate. That’s why your boss doesn’t smoke dope in front of you if he wants to maintain your respect.
People respect their leaders who are better people than they are. Would you respect your boss if you knew more about the job, cared more about the job, and can accomplish more on your job than your boss can? Of course you wouldn’t, yet, based on nothing more than party politics, we expect the American public to look at the guy who stood for family values and hold him accountable because he was a hypocrite? What do we want politicians to do? Be honest with us, use that as campaign literature? Imagine opening the campaign literature of any of the politicians telling us “will end poverty, fix social security and most importantly he’s not a hypocrite – he cheats on his wife with hookers and he wants you to do so too.” Really, would that make you want to vote for him?
Elliot Spitzer ought not resign, New Yorkers voted for him, they should be stuck with him for the remainder of his term, as should Louisiana’s own hooker chaser David Vitter and Massachusetts’ male hooker addict Barney Franks. Even guys like Mark Foley and the Idaho Sinator who got turned on by men’s bathrooms should have finished their terms, after all, didn’t we decide in the 1990’s that sex wasn’t an excuse to throw somebody out of office? As Abraham Lincoln once said, the cure to a bad election is the next one.
What does it say about New Yorkers who vote this guy back in? Or Idahoans, or Floridian and Louisianians as well? What’s it say about them when they would choose to put these guys back into roles of leadership, knowing what they do about them? Do they really respect the man who would go down a road of personal destruction enough to reward him with such a prestigious job? Let’s face it, the people of Massachusetts must really be screwed up when you consider they got Barney Franks, a guy who killed his secretary in Chappaquiddick lake, and a guy who was sympathetic to the North Vietnamese.
I personally have no say in whether whether Barney Franks can continue to do whatever he does with male prostitutes in front of the President’s gym locker, I can’t vote for him. I can’t vote for or against Larry Craig, Elliot Spitzer, or Mark Foley either, but I can vote against David Vitter. I can send a message about who I’d choose as my leader and the type of people I’d choose to follow and it ain’t going to be the guy who can’t control his hormones.
I always wondered about the guys who defended Bill Clinton in the 1990’s, who readily shook their heads in agreement that it was just sex, and so what if he cheated on his wife. One has to wonder what kind of skeletons they had in their own closet. Did they defend Bill Clinton as a justification of their own actions, as if they were preparing their own wives for the inevitable news that would cross their dinner table?
I’ve long stated that a conservative without character does more harm to the cause than a liberal with character will ever do, so defend infidelity, I won’t. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe people don’t care about what kind of people they follow just so long as they are in the right party. Maybe they will let their children hang around drug addicts so long as they aren’t hypocrites, maybe men will marry prostitutes because they share the same political beliefs, maybe laws are only meant for the other party, just not our own. Maybe I am wrong, but if want my vote, if you want to lead me, be a better man than I am, have a stronger character than I do.