Last week his boss had his career sunk by revelations of participation in prostitution. Now the new Governor of New York starts his term by confessing his past affairs. I’m not here to criticize Gov. Paterson – his affairs hold no interest for me (especially since he’s not my governor). What I think is ridiculous is our cultural obsession with this topic.

The reason he is making this confession is that he knows that it won’t hurt him politically unless someone else reports it first. The newspapers cover this on the front page when it really deserves nothing more than to be buried in the archives for historic reference. This front page coverage serves to reinforce the perception that every marriage encounters infidelity and therefore it’s not a big deal. Is this the message we want to send to the rising generation?

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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4 Responses to Ridiculous

  1. Reach Upward says:

    I beg to differ to a degree. When a political figure’s sexual pecadilloes could be a form of political payoff or lobbying, then it is the citizens’ business, just as much as is a gift by any lobbyist. Did Gov. Paterson’s affair with a journalist garner politically favorable news coverage? If so, that’s the people’s business.

    Also, when a politician’s sexual indiscretions constitute felonies, that is the citizens’ business just as much as is any other felonious behavior.

    Take, for example, the behavior of former NJ Gov. McGreevy, who created a high-paid taxpayer-funded position for his boyfriend and alternative sexual partner. This rises to the level of being the people’s business. It was highly illegal.

    Unfortunately it requires research to determine whether a given case of infidelity crosses the line of being the people’s business or not. But once the information is in the hands of the media, could anyone argue that they can be trusted with that which should remain private?

    The moral of the story is that if you’re going to choose politics as a profession, you must accept the rules of the game. I’m not saying that this is the way it should be. I’m only saying that this is the way it is. The only way to prevent salacious news about your personal affairs from becoming public is to be squeaky clean. Many politicians prefer to gamble on that score.

  2. David says:

    You are right – it does become the peoples business in any instances like the ones you cited – although it is less my business than if I were a resident in the jurisdiction of the political figure in question (New York State in this case).

    By the way, I was not arguing that the information should remain private, I was arguing that it should be somewhere behind the front page as if it were something to be ashamed of.

  3. What bugs me is how these guys drag their wives in front of the camera to be humiliated yet again.

    I also agree that it’s odd that he felt it necessary to preempt any attacks by admitting his mistakes up front.

  4. David says:

    I wonder which is more humiliating, learning about the affair(s) in the first place or standing in front of the camera during the public confession.

    It’s a very sad day for our society when airing your dirty laundry is standard procedure for politicians (and aspiring politicians too).

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