For most Americans the sad reality is that the cover of OK! Magazine is more recognizable than Newsweek. The recent attention garnered by John Edwards and Arnold Schwarzenegger feeds the downward spiral from the Puritan roots of this country. Scandal in politics receives more attention than politics itself; politics has become scandal.
Politics risk becoming something without debate or reason or anything of any intellectual merit. The leaders of the country are not only cheating on their wives, they are also fathering illegitimate children! As the details keep coming in, people are becoming more and more captivated with the wrong side of politics.
John Edwards cheated on his cancer stricken wife, fathered a child out of wed-lock, then his campaign manager claimed the child as his! (CNN: Edwards' Fall) If that doesn't take the cake, now he may have used campaign money to try to cover this up, apparently no amount of cash could cover John Edward's past.
Schwarzenegger's fall seems more predictable considering he burst into fame with "Pumping Iron" where he directly compares lifting to sexual intercourse, and where he openly smokes marijuana (Democratic Underground). To a lesser degree Obama falters too. In college towns Obama campaigners would promote Obama's drug use in the past to gain the youth vote, as if that qualifies him for the most important job in the country.
Allegations and Investigations Swarm Schwarzenegger
New reports suggest that Arnold may have used taxpayer's dollars to fund multiple extra marital relations. CHP officer William Taylor reports highway patrol vehicles ushered women to Schwarzenegger's hotel suite. Investigations into Schwarzenegger's legal liability put him into the same trouble as John Edwards. (National Enquirer: Arnold uses CHP...)
(Picture Credit: Celebzine.com)
America's fascination with scandal and willingness to give second chances speaks volumes--volumes of dissonance that threaten the very integrity of the country! Yes, people make mistakes; yes, no one is perfect. However! However, when you hold a public office you should hold a stronger character, you deserve judgement of the highest of standard. Maybe marriage as an institution holds unreasonable expectations, maybe drug use should not matter. These arguments may hold some validity for the average person but they should not ever be mentioned with the people who run the country.
But Everyone's Doing it, Right? Wrong.
Whatever happened to men of character like Eisenhower, men that would blush if they ever said "damn" or "hell" in front of a woman (PBS: Character Above All). Character that helped him take on the tough transition from segregation, even without an upbringing of tolerance. His character's strength let him use his political force at Little Rock, allowing integration to begin.
Leaders without character or morals will falter in the face of fear or temptation. Even more importantly, when our leaders do not show restraint, steadfastness, and commitment why should Americans? Why should someone follow a law created or enforced by someone who has no respect for someone they love? Surely Schwarzenegger loves his spouse more than he loves the average American, so how much respect could he have for a stranger? How could John Edwards have gotten so close to the White House?
The Future Deserves More
Without solid leadership Americans have good reason to reject laws. Without honor at the top who's worth emulation? Politics need role-models, and this country deserves men and women of reason and dignity, not scum of reality TV and tabloids.