Lord Acton, a British aristocrat and political observer, once said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. While Acton was mainly concerned with excessive political power in the hands of royalty and government officials in England, his comment can also be applied to the continuing line of politicians here in the United States who are so drenched with power and fame that they risk their marriage, their family and their reputation by engaging in extra-marital affairs.
Of course the Arnold is the latest power figure to fall from grace along with the French banker Dominique Strauss-Kahn. But these two morally challenged bigwigs are just some of the political leaders of late who think nothing about the impact of their affairs on those who they claim to love.
Here is just a short list of these narcissistic and horny political figures – Sometime presidential candidate John Edwards, Nevada’s former senator John Ensign, former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, current presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, and of course don’t forget ol’ William Jefferson Clinton. If you want to go back in time there is always Thomas Jefferson and John F. Kennedy to add to the list.
Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, church goers and seculars, it doesn’t make much difference when it comes to infidelity. Obviously these guys think of themselves as different when it comes to marriage and see their position and power as giving them some sort of pass when it comes to keeping to their marriage vows.
But the key question that always has been on my mind when I find out about politicians going off the rails is if they can lie to their wife and children, then it must be really easy to lie to the voters and the general public.
While this behvior is reprehensible, remember, eventually these guys get caught sneaking around. With all the social media, investigative reporters and paparazzi around it is next to impossible to conduct a double life. Sadly, these guys don’t seem to mind putting their careers, their marriages and their family behind their lust. It seems that the power drug that corrupts is so powerful that it destroys common sense and common decency.