Was the affair worth destroying your 20-year marriage?
Was it worth hurting your 4 sons?
Was it worth humiliating your wife (read her graceful statement here)?
Was it worth sacrificing the respect of those who look up to you, both in your state and around the country? People who thought you were a role model of good, clean, solid conservativsm?
Was it worth killing your political career?
Thanks to you, a lot of people have been emotionally devastated. Thanks to you, a lot of people have been disillusioned. Thanks to you (and you, too, Senator Ensign), it’s just become that much harder for decent Republicans – of which there are MANY – to lead on the issues of the sanctity of marriage and family values. When leaders of your own party don’t practice what they preach, whether it’s a minority of them who do so or not, it makes the mountain that much harder to climb because the media hypocritically scrutinizes GOP affairs more than they do affairs by Democrats. I don’t like it, but that’s Just The Way It Is.
Regardless of that hypocrisy, affairs bring to light something else that political adulterers don’t want to admit to (besides the fact that they’re sleeping around), and that is that they simply can’t be trusted. The vows of marriage a couple takes when they wed are sacred and binding. If you’re willing to break those vows, break that trust, how can you expect your constituency to believe you won’t do the same thing to them?
Updated with additional thoughts – 7:38 pm: How could anyone DO this to someone they claimed to love? What makes people think they can do things like this and get away with them? Sanford had to know of the increased scrutiny put on him because of his rumored presidential ambitions, so his attitude apparently was one we’re all too familiar with from today’s politicos – that they are “above” it all and will “never” get caught.
I’m not married, but even if I was I coudn’t even consider having an affair. The sheer guilt alone would eat me alive. That’s just not who I am, not how I was raised – and no, the “pressures” of being a politician on the road all the time, if I were one, would not be a valid excuse.
I just don’t get it. And you know what? I don’t think I really want to.