I received some interesting feedback concerning my previous column where Sgt. Dave Karsnia stated “No wonder why we're going down the tubes," concerning the scandal that surrounds the now former senator, Larry Craig. As we all know, Craig resigned his seat today due to pressure from his Republican colleagues.
One of my readers stated that I sounded puritanical when judging the sexual behavior exhibited by the politicians mentioned and even not mentioned and nothing can be farther from the truth. Quite frankly, I really do not care what politicians do in their free time or behind the backs of those they are supposed to love. It is none of my business. As he stated they broke no laws and while that is true, they allowed for their personal business to encroach upon their duties as our elected officials.
What is supposed to be the news coming from their offices or them personally are the real issues that involve every single one of us. What is not supposed to be coming from various aides and assistants are of their philandering behavior. As each event occurs, it bleeds into our news cycles and is played over and over until we know every nook and cranny. If I wanted to hear or see a good juicy sex story, I would watch repeats of ‘Sex in the City’. At that point they become the Paris Hiltons, the Lindsey Lohans and the Britney Spears of politics. Left behind are the real bread and butter issues that affect each and every American.
As we hear of these politicians behaving badly are the real stories of death and what I am referring to is that in the month of August, 1,800 innocent Iraqis lost their lives. That is what the news should be delving into instead of men behaving badly. Not to leave women out, but reported extramarital affairs of these female politicians are rare.
One responder even told me how he felt about Gays and it was negative. Again that column was not a judgment on Gays but our direction as a country. I know of many wonderful Gay Americans who are trying to make life better for all Americans. So, I do not want to hear negative diatribes concerning Gay people. Their personal business is personal period.
But getting back to the respondent who labeled me puritanical, he wrote, “Politicians have the right to screw up their personal life as much as they want to” This is where I differ with my reader. When a politician places their hand on a Bible swearing to uphold the laws of this nation and to serve his or her constituents, they are making a sacrifice for a far greater good.
In the Star Trek movie, ‘The Wrath of Khan’ at the end of it, Captain Spock says to Admiral Kirk as he lay dying from radioactive exposure, “The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few and the one.” So, when a politician takes the oath of office he or she must put the needs of their constituents ahead of themselves. Of course that is in a perfect world, but we are mere mortals and ones that are fallible.
Again this one reader commented, “You sound more disgusted with the bathroom sex act than the hypocrisy of a sitting Senator who votes against individual rights, while soliciting gay sex.” I will go on record stating I am disgusted that a public bathroom was chosen instead of a private meeting place for this alleged tryst. Again, I do not even want to know anything of his personal sexual behavior. If the behavior itself goes against how one votes in the Senate, the House or any other legislative body, it also disgusts me.
If the sexual behavior of an elected official is directed at a minor such as the case with former Congressman, Mark Foley, then that is the people’s business.
Getting back to the war in Iraq or rather our occupation of it, the AP reported, “U.S. military officials have insisted that the security plan launched early this year have brought a decrease in attacks on civilians and sectarian killings, especially in the Baghdad area, which was the focus of the new strategy.” In that passage alone, I feel as if they are trying to lessen the blow where 1,800 innocent people lost their lives and this is where my anger towards these politicians’ comes from. As they are behaving badly, the figure cited above includes fathers, mothers, and yes, innocent Iraqi children. Can’t these politicians first think of them instead of their libidos’?
Through this sectarian violence brought about by our illegal invasion of this innocent country a little boy named Youssif was burnt by masked men. Would that have happened had Saddam stayed in power? Who is to say since it is an unknown.
In a past column written by Jim Pinkerton, ‘Where's Saddam when you need him?’ He wrote, “The biggest mistake was thinking that American troops could be effective in a protracted ground war/occupation. In this postcolonial era, it's simply not possible for a "white" European army to invade a Third World country and make enduring friendships with the locals. If the Westerners get in and get out quickly - to be replaced in power by indigenous folks who share color, language and religion with the population - that's often doable.” There is a lot of truth in that observation since the majority of Iraqis wants us out of their country. Hey, it is their land, not ours.
To close out this piece, again, I think that Sgt. Dave Karsnia made an astute observation when he stated “No wonder why we're going down the tubes," Because what is happening in Iraq, our politicians are supposed to be handling. Since they are not, we are all feeling the negative ramifications. As we crave for answers from them, what we see on our television sets are endless broadcasts of men behaving badly. While some may fault the media, if there was not a story to report in the first place concerning their behavior, then maybe we can hear of solutions to the myriad of issues that are affecting each and everyone of us.
To the offending politicians no matter what party who choose to behave badly, all I will say is zip it up and get on with the people’s business. That is what you were elected to do in the first place. Do ‘we the people’ expect perfect politicians? Of course not, but what we crave are ones that are at least trying.
Author’s email address is, firstname.lastname@example.org