Monday, June 13, 2011
Congressmen's Sex Problem: These Are the Guys We Elect
The New York Times, in a piece Sunday trying to explain why male politicians act like sex-crazed idiots on a frequent basis, came to some of the same conclusions as my old girlfriend.
But there was also this from Debbie Walsh of the Center for American Women and politics: “Women run for office to do something, and men run for office to be somebody. Women run because there is some public issue that they care about, some change they want to make, some issue that is a priority for them, and men tend to run for office because they see this as a career path.”
It is a career path fraught with temptation and moral minefields--one that men often negotiate badly, waking up one morning missing vital parts of their being in a public sex scandal. The losses in these instances outweigh the momentary gain of sexual conquest (something men seem to value far more than do women) in a massively disproportionate manner, especially when the sex is consensual and none of our business. So many men I've known over the years--especially the powerful ones--give off the aura of being bulletproof and, frankly, I think that attracts some women.
One of the ingredients in this sexual morass that the NYTimes didn't approach is that powerful men attract women (they'd be called "groupies" by a rock band) who are willing to do anything for and with them. Power, the cliche goes, is the greatest aphrodisiac. This, of course, is quite attractive to these men, who love to be worshiped.
The NYTimes piece talks about women's reluctance to serve in Congress or any other elective office and, frankly, I believe the story is remiss in not recalling that men of quality, solid moral underpinning and intelligence rarely go into politics. That's one of the reasons our various elected bodies have the collective college sophomore mentality and intellectual level, are as corrupt as any bananna republic dictatorship, and simply don't see the urgency in legislating. We won't even get into the obvious fact that people in elective office have the courage of a building full of opossums.
It's the sex though--always--that gets the nation's attention. The French laugh at our faux morality and they should. And we should take a little personal responsibility here and put better people in office. I'm not holding my breath on that last one because, frankly, people smart enough to be good legislators are simply not going to run.