The blogs are afire about the sex life of Governor Mark Sanford, Lt. Governor Andre Bauer and now former South Carolina Board of Education Chairwoman Kristin Macguire. It all makes for juicy gossip on the web. Bloggers hint at Sanford’s “other women.” Others claim the Lt. Governor is gay and claim to have the goods to “out” him. Other blogs are just smitten with the idea that Macguire might have written some rather explicit erotic stories on the internet under a pen name.
Since the beginning of politics, there have been politicians who have had sex scandals. There also have been activists who like to take vague information and twist it to their point of view being validated. For whatever reason, gay activists seem to be among the strongest at taking vague information and “outing” someone. They usually try to “out” prominent politicians, such as Alexander the Great or Abraham Lincoln. The reason is simple and human. If one feels unaccepted by people, the natural reaction is to find someone who is highly regarded and say, “hey, this guy is just like me.” Others enjoy living on the edge with their personal lives and love to pounce on someone who espouses otherwise but appears to live on the same edges through the same vague information.
The problem with the above is that we really do not know the private lives of our neighbors, much less the private lives of our politicians. Further, anyone with a sense of decency respects other people’s privacy, unless their private lives cross the line into affecting their job.
In other words, if a gay Governor hires his gay lover for a job, as was the case in New Jersey, that is a problem. If a straight Governor has a high sex drive and chooses to hire hookers and open himself up to blackmail, as the former Governor of New York did, that is a problem. And, yes, if you are a Governor and go AWOL for a week over an affair, that is a problem. As such, the above Governors mentioned deserved criticism and political humor thrown at them. Their private lives conflicting with their public duties.
But, other scenarios are a bit more difficult. Suppose a state senator is gay. He keeps it to himself. It never interferes with his job and his ethics in office are true? Is outing him something good for the state? What about a state senator who provides for his wife and children, but enjoys “messing” around with women. None of them have ever worked for him. He has not missed one day of work over them or gave them public favors. Should his private life be exposed? What good would it do?
In every major aspect of professional life, there are people who are outstanding in the professional jobs, but lead colorful personal lives. There are also people who have no real personal lives of their own, and sitting around and fantasizing about other people’s personal lives and gossiping is all that they have to do.
That is why VUI will not comment about rumors about the Lt. Governor, the former School Board Chairwoman, or any other politician until proof is given their private lives conflicted with their public duties.
Some might call that hypocritical given VUI’s stance on Sanford. But, consider this, Mark Sanford chose to let his personal life cause him to go AWOL. He and his wife both chose to have their sad and silly interviews with the press. Thus, their private lives interfered with public duty, making it fair game.
Think on it. The personal lives of your neighbors around you really do not concern you unless one of them shows up at your home and starts a diatribe about their personal lives and asks you for help with something. It makes you uncomfortable, but you don’t know what to say. You just feel sad and you remember that the police spent public money going out there a few times. Further, the couple brought their troubles into your home with their diatribes. That is what the Sanfords have done to SC. Their public comments brought their troubles into SC homes. On the other hand, when the nosey neighbor comes by and starts talking about the neighbors down the street, it is much easier to just say, “I don’t give a crap about all that. Let’s talk about something else.”
Well, that is how VUI feels about fellow bloggers and others when it comes to rumors about Andre Bauer and other political figures. We don’t give a crap. Can we talk about something else?