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United States: When adultery and patriotism play in the same ballpark…
As far as adultery is concerned, politics are an endless source of entertainment throughout the world…especially if one has a working sense of humor!
In the United States, for instance, many are eager to speak of morals and the straight path, sin and religion…They are very good at lecturing other and telling their citizens how they ought to behave.
But what about their own personal lives? What about their own codes of conduct? Are those abided by? Not so much…
Newt Gingrich is a prime example: an American politician, he was the leader of the House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. He remains the man who famously tried to destabilize Bill Clinton in his extramarital arguments, berating him at the time when Clinton was having an affair with Monica Lewinsky. But what about his own private life? During his two marriages, Newt Gingrich was unfaithful to say the least, even announcing on the phone to his wife afflicted with multiple sclerosis that he was leaving her for another woman. But why, then, you could ask? The man’s explanation: he did it out of patriotism! An exhausting work pattern and his constant patriotism thus pushed him into adultery!
During the Clinton scandal still, the president’s Republican adversaries must surely have ignored that adultery was a private matter. They indeed did not hesitate to stigmatize Clinton’s behavior, calling it a threat to the stability of the nation. “If the President betrays the bond of trust he shares with the American people, he loses all credibility”, as was declared by Henry Hyde, member of the Republican-held Illinois Senate and then president of the judicial committee. But in 1998 it came to light on an Internet site that the man, married and a father to five children, has had an affair with Cherie Snodgrass, herself a mother. Quoth the accused: “The statute of limitations on the mistakes of my youth has expired a long time ago!” (says the then-41 year-old!)
What we tend to find amusing in these stories is not so much the supposedly “immoral” character society wishes to impose on extramarital relationships but rather the discrepancy (some would say the chasm!) between politicians’ actions and what they preach.
For after all, there are numerous politicians who have committed adultery in the past. In France, Mitterrand and Strauss-Kahn especially spring to mind, their revelations of adulteries having been the talk of the town. People who live in glass houses…