Driving the other day through the Texas Hill Country, I saw a campaign poster for a woman running for the Legislature … and it brought to mind the hypocrisy of so many male politicians I have watched over many years.
The candidate, whose name escapes me, was pictured with her family. Her husband and children surrounded her in the photo. I thought, “How sweet is that?”
Then I told my wife that the picture reminded me of all the men I have watched seek public office campaigning with pictures of them expressing devotion to their wives and children … only to watch it all come crashing down amid scandal.
I cannot even count the pols I have seen crumble and crater. A couple of my “favorites” do stand out.
Sen. John Edwards ran for vice president in 2004 on the Democratic Party ticket led by Sen. John Kerry. Edwards told crowds of his love for his wife, Elizabeth. He didn’t say, naturally, that at that very time he was involved in an extramarital affair with Rielle Hunter. Oh, and Mrs. Edwards was dying of cancer at the time!
Another one is Republican U.S. Rep. Van Taylor, who this year was running for re-election the congressional seat he held since 2019. He had shown himself with his wife and kids, too. Taylor happens to represent my family and me in Congress. Then, while preparing to participate in a GOP runoff this year, Taylor revealed he had a months-long affair with a woman who once was married to an Islamic State officer. His re-election campaign came to an end.
These are the examples of hypocrisy we don’t see among female candidates for public office.
For that I am delighted. If only the men who seek our support for public office could be as faithful to their own sacred vows. Given the annoying regularity with which they let us down, I have grown instantly suspicious of any politician who proclaims his faithfulness to the person he loves.