June 25, 2009
With yesterday's admission of an extramarital affair by Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina, and last week's revelations of Nevada Senator John Ensign's recent unfaithfulness, I am really starting to wonder how the Republican Party can continue to stake its reputation on its apparent concern for maintaining family values, as well as its ability to court "values voters."
Literally my whole life I have been fed the line that Democrats are immoral, and that Republicans are wholesome, Christian, and practically holy people.
I don't mock the premise to denigrate the idea that living by standards and core values has a valuable purpose in individual lives. I mock the premise because of the fact that the same conservatives who wear their values on their sleeve, are outraged when a democrat is caught red-handed, yet seem to justify the actions of their republican standard-bearers when similar conduct is unearthed.
It's not that John Ensign and Mark Sanford screwed up (sorry for the terrible pun), it's that in the past, when they responded to other individuals - for instance, Bill Clinton - they demanded resignation and/or impeachment for such indiscretions.
The question that remains with me is this: if the democrats are the godless, valueless party, why are conservatives so outraged when democrats get caught doing immoral things? What do you expect from a party devoid of core values, or Christian principles (just going off the republican-fabricated premise, mind you)?
However, coming from the likes of people with all the important values that I myself value, you'd think conservatives would be more outraged at the Ensigns and Sanfords of their own tent, since one doesn't expect people with values and principles to act with such utter disregard for those very values held so dear.
Democrats did not brand the Republican Party as the party of values. Republicans took on the mantle themselves. When it comes down to it, we are all human, prone to err, and often betray those values we hold dear. Put more bluntly, in the words of Jon Stewart, Mark Sanford is "just another politician with a conservative mind and a liberal penis."
But a party that derives its worth, to a large degree, from condemning the other side as immoral, and touting their own piety, should expect to be held to the high standard they purport to endorse. When that standard is violated, they should expect to be treated as great disappointments, since we should expect better from the party of values.