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I had a wonderful mom. Before I began dating, she prepared me for almost everything. I knew every line a boy in high school would use to try to get a girl in bed or, more likely at that age, in the back seat of a car. There were times that I was tempted to give in, but I didn’t. Knowing what was coming in advance was a great help to me.

There were times when a boy who had been rejected wouldn’t call for a day or two but my mom would assure me that he’d be back and she always was right. However, there was one thing my mom never could have imagined – that her daughter would be taken in by an older, married man. She did not prepare me for that.

As a young schoolgirl, I was modeling when I was invited to be on a TV show. A month or so later, the host, who also produced the show, invited me back and seemed to take an interest in my career. I filmed a series of commercials produced by his company and later a pilot for a TV show of my own. When that didn’t work out, he offered me a summer job as a production assistant. He was well known, successful, kind and generous. Then, one day, out of the blue, he took me in his arms and told me he was in love with me. I was caught off guard. “What about your wife?” I stammered.

“We’re getting a divorce,” he explained. There were children. It would take some time to prepare them and work out the details so it had to be kept secret. I believed him. Here was this man, whom I looked up to and he needed me. I was flattered and completely swept off my feet.

In the fall, I went back to college but continued to work for him after school. Months passed. He still lived at home. There were a lot of excuses as he continued to pursue me. There were phone calls, a stolen hour here and there, but he did not get me into bed. It drove him crazy.

Finally, he divorced his wife. He then pushed me into a hastily arranged marriage. I knew it was wrong. I wanted someone to talk me out of it but knew that no one could. To this day, I will never know if he would have left his wife and children if I had walked away after that first surprise embrace but I do know that there would have been other women.

He ran around on her, but I was so naive that I was surprised that he ran around on me. Once we were married, he began working late and rarely had time for me. Three years later, I caught him with a Playboy Bunny. The bubble burst. Surprise, surprise, my prince charming was a womanizer!

Married men, who pursue young girls, are not after love, they are after conquests. They may be successful or have powerful positions but they are in some ways insecure. They are out to prove they are still attractive and there is no better way to do that than to win the adoration of unsuspecting young girls.

Good marriages don’t just happen; they take a lot of work. Our elected representatives are coddled all day at the office. They have staffers who are at their beck and call. It’s hard to go home after all that and take out the garbage. It’s even harder to go home and have to work at a relationship.

It’s a lot easier for anyone to impress a perfect stranger than it is to impress one’s spouse. If you doubt me, next time you’re on an airplane, just listen to the conversation around you. Most married couples are silent. Yet, perfect strangers are chattering away keeping you awake.

Certainly, there are some young girls who go after older, married men looking for trouble. Monica Lewinsky was from a broken home. She had been looking for love in all the wrong places. Monica snapped her thong at President Clinton, and he was only too happy to respond. She was young and irresponsible. He was old enough to know better.

However, a young girl – any young girl – is no match for an older man. It doesn’t matter what kind of home or background she is from. If he is married, it is so much easier because their relationship appears safe at first. “He is married so he couldn’t possibly be interested in me in that way or for that reason,” she rationalizes. It allows him to get closer than he should, gain her confidence, respect and adoration before moving in.

A girl or young woman, who is in school and never been out from under the protective wing of her parents (age really is unimportant), is easy prey, especially if he is an authority figure. In her young life she will have had many male authority figures and she has learned to trust them. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a teacher, principal, doctor, boss, or elected leader.

The only difference is that today, it’s much harder for a man in one of the first four categories to get away with seducing a young school-age girl or woman. Society will not allow it!

There is no greater authority figure in the United States of America than a member of the United States Congress, unless, of course, he happens to be the president of the United States. Members of Congress reached a new low when they decided that a presidential affair with an intern entrusted to the people’s house didn’t rise to the level of an impeachable offense.

If you will remember, President Clinton was not impeached because of the affair with Monica Lewinsky, he was impeached because he obstructed justice and lied under oath. In the end, the members of our illustrious Senate even let those things slide. Why? “It was only about private behavior. It was only about sex.”

It is time that we, as a nation, admit that we made a mistake in not holding this man accountable. The commitment you make to your spouse is the most important commitment you make in your life. If a man cheats on his wife, will he cheat on his country? Of course he will!

Now that Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., has admitted to an affair with missing Washington intern Chandra Levy, Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., is calling for Condit’s resignation, which is appropriate if not inconsistent. However, over the weekend, when two of Condit’s colleagues in the House of Representatives, Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., and Christopher Shays, R-Conn., were invited by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer to join Lott in asking for Condit’s resignation, they couldn’t bring themselves to do it.

Why? 1) If he doesn’t resign, they can use his vote. 2) Many of their colleagues also are preying on the starry-eyed young girls who come to Washington. 3) They don’t want to appear mean.

There are those in Washington who are telling us that if he just had an affair with this young girl and didn’t kill her or order her demise, then it is no big deal. Likewise, it is no big deal that he had affairs with at least half a dozen other young girls, some in his district, some in his office. But it is a big deal! It’s a huge deal! If you don’t believe it, just ask his wife.

There are those who are telling us that he has been a good representative. How would they know? Up until a few weeks ago, Carolyn Condit thought he had been a good husband. It is completely unrealistic to think that a man who cheats on his wife and puts his very own family at risk will put his constituents above his own self interests.

Why should we be surprised that he lied about his relationship with Levy? Why should we be surprised that he may have tried to get flight attendant Anne Marie Smith to perjure herself and sign a false affidavit? His life is a walking, living, breathing lie!

The statement that is often repeated in Washington is that if you eliminated all the people in Congress, who have had affairs, you couldn’t get a quorum. Maybe there shouldn’t be a quorum until we clean up the place! Have the people of this country really sunk so low that we can’t find enough honest men and women to send to Washington to represent us?

It is time that we rise up and demand more of our elected representatives. An affair with an intern or young staffer should be a guaranteed one-way ticket back home.

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