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Focus on sexual indiscretion pushing people out of politics

Embattled Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig finally resigned after it was pretty clear to him that he was losing his party’s support. The Republican Party is not comfortable with sexual indiscretions by its senators, and quite clearly, this is a trap of their own making. They have always sought to rule on a moral basis, and any such indiscretion by a Democrat would have brought them out in full force appealing against a ‘moral vacancy’ in Democrats.
The Senator had pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct related to a sexual advance on an undercover policeman and then did not reveal these details. However, the fact is, American society has an unhealthy obsession with sexual morality of its politicians. Anything out of the ordinary, whether it be an affair, a one-night stand, a letter to somebody outside marriage, all of them are enough to make the media and talk shows latch onto these and essentially put so much pressure on the politician that they are eventually forced to resign. Read this:

Embattled Republican Sen. Larry Craig resigned his seat Saturday after a weeklong political maelstrom triggered by revelations he was convicted of soliciting sex in an airport bathroom stall. Amid unceasing pressure from his party’s leaders, the 62-year-old Idaho senator said he feared fallout from the scandal would not allow him to “devote 100 per cent of the time and effort” to his job.

Political analysts say the scandal involving Craig was magnified because he was convicted of a crime and kept silent about the incident. “It is a truly remarkable thing that politicians get in trouble this way all the time — thinking they can keep quiet negative information about themselves,” said Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
“But with so much scrutiny on top level politicians, it was bound to come out … It’s fairly clear to people that he did enough that he thought he needed to plead guilty.”

The last line is the important part. There is so much politics and so much focus on the politicians that any indiscretions, however small, gets magnified. Politicians are supposed to be clean, but they also come from society; there would hardly be anyone in society who is as lily-white as a politician is supposed to be. After all, American society has a fair amount of second and more marriage, there are high divorce rates and people living alone, and there are a number of children being born outside marriage. When these are accepted among society, it seems scary that politicians are supposed to come into politics and stay there keeping totally clean all the time.
With these kind of expectations, it would seem normal that there would be a large number of prospective politicians who do not have such a clean family life, but are otherwise good administrators and would be good for the country; but who will stay out of politics because of these very reasons. The hounding a determined media can give to a person accused will be enough to shake the convictions of even a determined person. It would be far better if the media focuses on effective administrative policies; the amount of pork-barrel and corruption in Congress would be a far better judge of how good a politician is.

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