Politicians have been associated with sexual indiscretion as early as the creation of our Democracy. We have learned about George Washington and his success as the Commander in Chief from history books, but his prowess in the bedroom is much harder to find. Historians are unable to document what many suspect about the President. When we remember JFK, the first thing that comes to mind might be his assassination, followed by the Bay of Pigs, followed by his affair with Marilyn Monroe. However it is hard to find any pictures of the two of them together, and the few that exist show the President looking away.
Bill Clinton will always be remembered for his Oval Office adventures with Monica Lesinsky and the dirty blue dress.
Today with the international access to information through the internet, cell phones, Facebook, and Twitter we live in a different time. The difference is probably not the sexual exploits of politicians but the ease of access to information and pictures of those exploits. To think that I can access a picture of Anthony Weiner
from my home in Dallas Texas, within hours of the story becoming headline news is an amazing accomplishment of technology, but is also a sad commentary on what is considered “News”. Sex sells. Politicians involved in sex scandals sells even better.
Because name recognition is so important to the ultimate success of a politician, the sexual adventures of a politician or her family are destined to promote name recognition. Consider the name recognition that has arisen from the sexual exploits of the Palins.
1. Sarah- As the mother of five children, the last of whom was born when she was in her 40’s serves as confirmation that she is sexually active. There has also been questions raised about the father of her oldest son.
She has been rumored to have had an affair with Todd’s partner Brad Hanson.
2. Todd-He has been rumored to have taken advantage of the services of prostitutes.
3. Track has recently married with no advance announcement, without his siblings in attendance, in an outdoor service when his father-in-law was the pastor of a church, giving rise to the question of whether Britta is pregnant.
4. Willow has been rumored to have been pregnant. .
5. Levi Johnston, the father of Bristol’s son has posed naked for Playgirl.
6. Now Mercedes Johnston is also posing nude for Playgirl.
7. Bristol is the member of the Palin family that seems to have exploited her sexual experiences to the greatest extent. Her fame, fortune, and potential future involvement in politics is all directly attributed to her sexual exploits. When she was first introduced to the American public she was a 17 year old unwed pregnant teenager.
She capitalized on the image of her sexual exploits at such a young age through dancing with the stars.
Now in a book available in book stores across the country she shares the most private of experiences, the first time that she had a sexual relationship, which she describes as happening at age 15. She has shared her wisdom that “abstinence is not realistic” .” Later when it was to her financial advantage she became a spokesperson for abstinence, and has declared that, in the future, she won’t have sex until marriage. This is particularly funny when this is the same person who declared that even though her virginity was “stolen,” she felt that once her virginity was gone, there was no reason to refrain from further sexual adventure. So just to review:
Abstinence is not realistic, but she is now going to become abstinent; and
Even though she is going to be abstinent, there is really no reason to remain abstinent because of that fateful night when Levi “stole” her virginity.
In spite of her lack of experience and education, Bristol has announced that she plans to become a politician one day. Levi Johnston is a high school drop out and he is following in Sarah’s footsteps. The high school drop out aspires to be the Mayor of Wasilla.
It seems that the Palins equate sexual adventure with qualification for political office. Perhaps they don’t realize that most politicians didn’t become politicians BECAUSE of their sexual exploits, but IN SPITE of their sexual indiscretions. Sexual exploits generate “news.” “News” generates name recognition. Name recognition is essential to success at the polls. We must be cautious that the politicians we elect are the most competent and educated candidates, rather than the most promiscuous.