American politics, scandals, and human failures
By Glenn Mollette
What do Anthony Weiner, Bob Filner, Eliot Spitzer, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy and Bill Clinton all have in common? Think about it. There are several answers to this question. One answer—they all had or have a human failure problem. Thomas Jefferson is reported to have had six children with a mistress slave. How would that play out on cable news today? Ralph Abernathy reported in his book that King had a problem with white prostitutes and that a mistress was in the hotel the night he was killed in Memphis. John F. Kennedy was reported to have had several affairs including one with Marilyn Monroe. His brother Bobby was also alleged to have been involved with Monroe. Roosevelt was accused of numerous women in his life including a twenty-year affair with his secretary. And then there was Bill Clinton.
Jimmy Carter drew national attention when he admitted to being an adulterer during his Presidential campaign. He said he had committed adultery many times. He referred to what Jesus said in Matthew 5:27 -28 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.'" I suppose a new translation of the Bible someday may say if a person has lusted after another person. It could work both ways. Carter was further criticized because he gave this interview to Playboymagazine. I think there is a difference between thinking something and actually doing it...but according to Jesus human failure begins in the heart and this is what Carter was talking about.
It seems like it usually boils down to sex, but not always. Richard Nixon was run out of Washington because of Watergate and Ted Kennedy almost lost his political career over the Chappaquiddick car crash that took the life of Mary Jo Kopechne. In 1922 Interior Secretary Albert B. Fall was found guilty of bribery, fined $100,000 and sentenced to one year in prison in what is remembered as the Teapot Dome Scandal.
Human failure is rampant in politics, mainly because politicians are human beings prone to fall short. You may quickly name persons of unblemished service and there would be many but the problem with that is that you never know everything. Every human being is guilty of foul-ups, let downs and human failure.
Even the Bible says all have come short. All means all of us.
People actually talk about the faults and mistakes of people all the time. They talk about them in church prayer meetings under the guise of prayer requests. That usually happens like the following: "Please pray for Brother John I understand he hasn't been making his house payment. Or pray for Jane Doe I understand she has been having an affair." The prayer request ends up being gossip with religious gunk on it.
We gather in our little circles and make each other feel better as we talk about the faults of others.
Granted you or your neighbor may not be running for public office and therefore you may feel you are exempt from life scrutiny. Just remember these people are human beings with a human nature and human problems and have the ability to fall short of perfection. We all have that nature.
Anthony Weiner needs professional help as does Bob Filner and so did Kennedy, King and Clinton.
Glenn Mollette is an American Columnist, Author of American Issues and nine other books. You can hear him on XM radio each Sunday night at 8 EST on XM radio 131. Like his facebook page at www.facebook.com/glennmollette.