Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, who three years ago secretly left the state to visit his lover in Argentina under the cover that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, is engaged to said lover, Maria Belen Chapur.
Sanford was a rising Republican political star before he vanished from South Carolina for five days in 2009. Reporters were told he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. But when he returned to South Carolina, the father of four admitted that he was instead in Argentina with Maria Belen Chapur, whom he later called his soul mate.
“I’ve been unfaithful to my wife. I developed a relationship with what started as a dear, dear friend from Argentina. It began very innocently as I suspect many of these things do, in just a casual email back and forth in advice on one’s life there and advice here. But here recently, over this last year, it developed into something much more than that,” Sanford said in explaining the affair.
The episode ended in divorce from his wife, Jenny, and derailed the political career of a GOP conservative with presidential aspirations.
There are many things Governor Sanford has done during his career that are wrong, such as using public funds for private expenses, violating camping finance laws, improperly converting campaign funds for personal use and endangering his state’s economy by threatening to refuse stimulus funds. But the one and only thing he is famous for are his extramarital indiscretions, because as we all know, in this country ,what other people do with their private lives and sexual organs in particular is of utmost importance for the public and other legislators. What? He is a corrupt, dishonest crook? Meh. But wait what? He had sex with a woman who isn’t his wife? Let’s release the lynch mob.
I must say that the obsession people in this country have with what others do to the three holes in their bodies or generally conduct their lives, whom they bed and marry and sleep with, is beyond me.
Anthony Weiner, a capable democratic Congressman, had to resign office for having sent kinky text messages to people online and feeling forced to lie about it to a public with a misplaced sense of what constitutes moral behavior. His kinky texting had absolutely nothing to do with his responsibilities as a lawmaker., yet he was forced to resign. The man was put in place to legislate and represent his community, not act as the religious moral authority on sexual propriety and marriage.
Congress members engage in all sorts of highly unethical acts, such as going to work for or owning stocks in companies they are to regulate, yet none of them are ever a grounds for impeaching someone or forcing them to resign. Why? Because they are not of a sexual nature.
People need to concern themselves with real issues, such as Julian Assange being chased around the globe on dubious charges for having exposed government crimes and the fact that Mitt Romney and his henchman in a suit Paul Ryan are preparing to officially ruin this country and bring it closer to dystopia. We should care more about who lines the pockets of our lawmakers, half of whom are millionaires, and what policies they enact, rather than about their rate of sexual intercourse and with whom.
If people really care about high moral standards, they should start in their own backyards, so to say, and try to do the right thing by the people around them, instead of caring about how someone else cheating on their wives affects the wife and them.
Most everyone who has been critsizing Sanford on moral decency and integrity, is most probably guilty of wrongdoing in their lives and to those around them to some extent. For the public then all of a sudden to hold Sanford to the highest moral standards, making him end his career while themselves obviously lacking in many ways is deeply hypocritical. The fact that their concerns of what constitutes moral behavior is limited to indiscretions of a sexual nature only is what makes it disturbing.
People, leave others be. That is the essence of freedom.