Nipplegate 2011

By Courtney Reynolds |

After the “Nipplegate” scandal about the Rep. Chris Lee — the married congressman from upstate New York who resigned from because of a shirtless photo he allegedly submitted to Craigslist for a dating ad — we as Americans have to ask ourselves when is a politician’s personal life and mishaps strictly their personal lives and not a platform for judgmental American citizens to express their distaste for their decisions?

If you remember back in the 90s we were bombarded with information that was spreading through the media circuit like the dreaded black plague about our then-President Bill Clinton and his sexual escapades with several women in the White House “clique” (pun is very well intended). The most memorable one being that of Monica Lewinsky and that damn black dress.

The nation came to a screeching halt when the public and his counterparts found out about his lies and discretions which had occurred. He was persecuted like the diseased men and women back in the biblical days. But what Americans failed to do while pointing their judgmental fingers at him was ask themselves that while he was doing these things, did the country suffer? Did we fall into a great depression like the 1920s? Did we have utter hysteria in the streets and start eating cats, squirrels, dogs or the occasional possum because we were all uncertain of the days to come? HELL NO! I still believe everybody was functioning to their very own capacity when all this news took over airwaves.

I totally understand the moral capacity that an elected official has to submit their selves to when they take public seats and so forth. Their moral compass has to be at a 100 percent and they must have the honesty of a “saint,” according to the people.

These are many things that we fail to realize, and the biggest is that they are only human and they are going to make mistakes. So with that being said I believe we as a society need to stop making these people out as bigger than life and just respect them for the jobs that they have chosen to do, not for their morally wrong and selfish decisions. Hell you have messed up before in your life as well. Geez!

Now here is where you should give a damn: the South Carolina Sex Scandal. On June 24, 2009, then South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford went “missing” in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for six days to visit a woman by the name of Maria Belen Chapuar. He admitted his “selfishness” on his part for going AWOL and committing adultery, which is still punishable in South Carolina. He went on to say he was sorry and asked for sympathy and privacy during this matter. Fool, are you serious? Privacy? Where was your so called “privacy” when you bluntly spent taxpayer money to fund your sexcapades to visit this broad? Where was it at then? Of course, after several investigations it was proven that he had funded his trips with state money.

Now, how funny is it that when President Obama introduced his $787 billion dollar stimulus package, he cried “fiscal suicide” and spent the rest of that spring rejecting and fighting the $2.8 billion dollar funds appointed to get South Carolina out of debt and to jump start one of the original slave states back to economic viability. Through all of this, keep in mind, he still had an affair.

Hugh Letterman, a Republican state senator from South Carolina, has been quoted as saying, “People will forgive private sins, but not a governor lying to them like this. This is an issue of governance. He can complain all he wants about the political bubble, but a governor is on duty 24/7.”

The question that remains is whether we are setting our standards too high? After all we know money and power is always the vice to make the unattainable attainable.

Now, I am not making excuses for these morally wrong actions that they might have committed, but personally I don’t care, and to a certain degree you shouldn’t either. I do believe that we should have outstanding people as our leaders and they should be held to a certain level of responsibility when it comes to morals and their obligations in their elected offices. Hell you don’t want any ‘ole Joe being the president. But we, the public, need to stop trying to create these mere human beings into Gods of some sort. You are only setting yourself up for disappointment.

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