Quote of the Day

"Happiness is not an accident. Nor is it something you wish for. Happiness is something you design." ~ Jim Rohn

Make Mine Freedom

Monday, February 06, 2012

Marital Fidelity in Presidential Politics

In 1998, Democrat President Bill Clinton came under fire from Republicans and Conservatives for lying to Congress and for having an allegedly sordid affair with intern Monica Lewinski. Prior to his election in 1992, then candidate Bill Clinton faced a similar scrutiny for his marital infidelity as Newt Gingrich is now. At the time, Democrats claimed that Clinton’s private life would not impact his professional life, and Republicans replied to the contrary.

Like Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich has come under attack from the religious faithful who observe his marital infidelity and echo Rick Perry’s sentiment that if a man will cheat on his wife, who else will he cheat on? Or, more succinctly, if a man will violate the oath he takes at marriage, what other oaths will he violate? These are good questions and worthy of consideration. They are certainly important. No doubt about it, but in politics they tend to be driven by fear, not rational thought.

Bill Clinton’s supporters and Rick Perry’s speculation are both correct but not completely so. As usual, the truth tends to live in the middle of two extremes. The truth is marital infidelity suggests a certain lack of commitment that may or may not carry over to the commitments of responsibility held by the President of the United States. It is the uncertainty, and therefore, the fear of a negative outcome that mitigates the whole issue.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

The LDS Religion and Presidential Politics

When Mitt Romney ran for President of the United States in 2008, it was only the second time in the history of the nation that a “Mormon” ran for President. The first time was in 1844 when Joseph Smith, Jr., himself, made a bid for the office. Now, Mitt Romney is running a second time along with first timer—now bowed out—John Huntsman, Jr. who is also a “Mormon.” Because of his candidacy, much ado has been made about Romney’s religion.

The increased attention to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has included both detractors and those who have attempted to at least treat the church fairly while illustrating an obvious lack of knowledge. Still, the fact that Romney’s religion is even on the radar screen shows an apparent lack of thinking when it comes to religion and presidential politics.