Sunday, December 11, 2011

Newt, GOP And Family Values

Last night, Newt Gingrich put to rest any questions about his infidelity. He handled the question perfectly. And Perry's contention that breaking marriage vows means that a person cannot be trusted in business or in any position of leadership is baseless. Thomas Jefferson had affairs. Ben Franklin had an illegitimate son. According to statistics, half the marriages end in divorce. Adultery rates are high. Is Perry suggesting that all divorced people or adulterers are unreliable business partners?

Some have suggested that Democrats will use Newt's marital problems in the general election. I doubt it. Democrats are not going to run on "family values". They never do and kudos to them for that.

How many times have Republicans been burned by "family values"? Newt. Livingston. Vitter. Ensign. Just to name a few. No political party can police the private lives of all its elected officials. So time to drop the preaching GOP. Besides, I do not want government to micro manage my business. I certainly do no want them to micro manage my private life.

For those who met the love of their life at 16 and proceeded to have decades of blissful marriage... I am happy for you. But most of us screw up. We marry people who turn out not to be our soul mates. We struggle keeping relationships together. Marriages are complex and no one knows what goes on behind closed doors except for the people involved. Sometimes a marriage is valid on paper but in reality it is over and people are leading separate lives under the same roof.

So time to put the sanctimony to rest. I do not see what government can do or should do to make families strong. I do not see that government has a role in keeping families together. I do not see that private lives of politicians should matter unless they are engaged in illegality or some sort of behavior that can affect their job performance.