Cheating Becoming an Epidemic in Politics

Laura Cafasso

It was Niccolo Machiavelli, a famous Italian statesman, that once said “Politics have no relation to morals.” Well in our society today and even as long as our nation has stood, his words have rang true, while some words of our most trusted politicians, have not.

Currently, one politician being beleaguered by allegations of sexual misconduct as well as having a mistriss for 13 years, is Hermain Cain. Herman Cain was just a couple of weeks ago the front runner of the Republican Party for the 2012 Presidential election. But previously, a couple of women spoke out stating that he sexually harassed them when he was CEO of Godfather Pizza, and now according to a Atlanta woman named Ginger White, he also allegedly had a 13 year affair with her.

According to CBS News, White claims the affair was “not consistent”, meaning it was on and off and that she not “proud to admit that” she was a mistress. She went on to say, “The funny thing about Herman Cain is that never in a million years did he probably think I would speak out on this. I came out being very honest and so far I have been absolutely humiliated, embarrassed.” Not only did she reveal that they had an “affair”, but she also claims he should reconsider running president, saying that, “That’s something that he has to look himself into the mirror and ask himself.”

Coincidentally, Herman Cain came out this week stating that he is “reassessing” his political campaign, and even stopped to comment on Ginger White’s allegations. According to the Huffington Post Herman Cain retorts, “This woman’s story is completely false. I do know Ms. White. I have helped her financially at times over the past few years, just as I have helped many friends and acquaintances throughout the years. I thought Ms. White was a friend in need of a supportive hand to better her life.”

Whether you believe Mr. Cain or not, the flurry of allegations begs the question: Why do so many politicians cheat? Despite what religion you may be, it is selfish and wrong to engage in affairs because it damages your relationships, candidacy, and morals. A leader should lead, not stray and use their power to basically have immunity from getting caught. How can they forget their wives, children, and their duty to their country?

Sophomore Hannah Daly says, “I don’t think they’ll stop. But then again not all politicians cheat. They feel entitled to, because they are in a position of power. . .women look at a man and power and are attracted to that.” Many experts and therapists have backed up the theory of men using power to get what they want and to attract women. Just look at President Bill Clinton. During his presidency, the news that he had an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky caused his impeachment in 1998. Although he is still active in politics and highly respected by some Americans, it shows how detrimental bad decisions can be.

Elizabeth Landry, junior, agrees, ” . .For politicians it’s just put under a spotlight more, so it seems like they do it more often. On the other hand, it does seem like it happens pretty often, so maybe their feeling of having others’ support allows them to delude themselves into thinking they have power they don’t, such as the right to do what they want with whom they want.”

Although he does not follow politics, Chase Manning, sophomore, had this to say: “Of course it is immoral. . they made a covenant with each other. But I don’t know why they cheat on each other.”

Even if politicians still explain how wrong their actions were, sometimes we still cannot grasp their reasoning. One of the most shocking political sex scandals involved John Edwards, a former senator, keeping his affair with Rielle Hunter secret until 2007. He cheated on his sick wife, Elizabeth Edwards, who had incurable cancer (she is deceased now), and was indicted in june of using massive amounts of money to cover up his affair, and love child, Frances Quinn as reported by ABC News.

So why do Politicians cheat? Whether it be because they think they have the power to do so and they will be exempt from any punishment, criticism, or guilt, or  because they are unhappy in their current relationships, it still is inexcusable. What government needs today is less selfish acts and more focus on the real issues so affairs or harassment won’t cloud what is really problematic in society. They may never be a way to avoid this, but men in politics that cheat should realize their actions, and focus on self improvement by stepping away from the spotlight. This way government will be less corrupted and people and news outlets can absorb information that is crucial instead of just outlandish and disappointing.

So what do you think Franklin High? What are some of the reasons Politicians cheat? Leave a comment below!