POLITICIANS, SEX SCANDALS, AND THE VIEW THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE

THE PARADE of politicians—each one in the midst of a personal and a political crisis spawned by a sex scandal—seemingly grows longer, and more sordid by the week. This is one parade that can't end soon enough. It tramples across too many humiliated spouses, bewildered children, and innocent bystanders. It sows too much cynicism. It corrodes the resolve of honest individuals trying to do the right thing.

It's easy for the public to jump on a bandwagon devoted to painting all politicians with the same broad brush as morally compromised and ethically bankrupt. But that overlooks a simple reality. Politicians are pretty much like the rest of us. Unquestionably there are hypocrities who condemn colleagues (usually from the opposite party) only to be caught later in their own scandal. And there are sincere people who uncharacteristically have stumbled but are now scrambling to regain their moral footing. And then there are many individuals striving to live decent lives, and serve their constituents ably and honestly.

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August 24, 2009
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