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Did you hear this one?
Question: Why did John Kerry send his girlfriend to Africa?
Answer: Having mastered domestic affairs, the presidential candidate wanted to work on his foreign affairs.
But seriously folks, I have two big concerns about the latest allegations against the junior senator from Massachusetts:
- During the Clinton administration we defined morality down. We got used to making excuses for our leaders. We got sick of hearing about their peccadilloes. We collectively decided standards that had served us pretty well for thousands of years were no longer needed. We allowed horrible examples to be set for our young people. We decided issues of character were no longer relevant.
The allegations about Kerry, if true, threaten to pull our nation down that steep and slippery slope once again. I say we should hold our elected leaders to higher standards. I say if a president’s wife can’t trust her husband, neither can we. I say character counts. I say any leader who has been unfaithful to his wife has something to hide and is thus compromised. I say any politician who doesn’t have the self-discipline to keep his pants on even when he is on the verge of achieving his lifelong political dreams may not have the self-discipline required to uphold the oath of office as president. It may seem old-fashioned, but I say such a politician has disqualified himself for the highest office in the most powerful country in the world.
- Having said all that, and again assuming the allegations about marital infidelity are true, I fear this issue – as serious as it is – could overshadow much more significant deficiencies in John Kerry’s record and character.
From our experience with the Clinton scandals, we know how sexual affairs tend to galvanize the public’s interest – often at the expense of far more serious issues and offenses.
With Clinton, the nation overlooked the fact that China illegally funneled massive amounts of foreign capital into his campaigns and that money seemed to be rewarded through China-friendly administration policies – including some that put national security at risk.
With Clinton, the nation overlooked his abuse of civil liberties, the way he abused his power – even using the most feared federal agency in America, the Internal Revenue Service, to go after his political enemies, people like me.
With Clinton, the nation overlooked serious questions about the deaths of those around him – including Vincent Foster and Ron Brown.
I could go on and on. But let’s talk about John Kerry.
I don’t want to see his treasonous post-Vietnam antics overlooked because of a sex scandal.
I don’t want to see his flip-flopping on same-sex marriages overlooked because of a sex scandal.
I don’t want to see his use of obscenity in a magazine geared for America’s young people overlooked because of a sex scandal.
I don’t want to see his sell-out of the Vietnam POWS-MIAS overlooked because of a sex scandal.
I don’t want to see his comments about putting the U.S. military under the direction of the United Nations overlooked because of a sex scandal.
I don’t want to see his vote for the Iraqi war and his subsequent flip-flop overlooked because of a sex scandal.
I don’t want to see his record as one of the biggest and most reckless spenders in the U.S. Congress overlooked because of a sex scandal.
I don’t want to see his political corruption – the kind that landed lucrative real-estate deals for family members in Vietnam as a result of his “public policy” efforts – overlooked because of a sex scandal.
In other words, let’s not lose perspective on this candidate. He’s rotten to the core. And the fact that even his wife can’t trust him should be a red flag to us. It should make us probe more deeply into his character flaws. Let’s not get fixated on the sins of the flesh when there are deeper problems of the soul.