Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Saturday, February 14, 2004  

The personal is political

Roger Simon has a brief blog on the question of whether personal behavior affects political policy. Many excused Clinton on the grounds that private doesn't effect the public.

But still that begs the question. Is there really any evidence of a relationship between private behavior and public actions? Well, we all used to talk about the French, how sophisticated they were in the political realm, separating the private lives of their leaders from civic affairs. (I know I did.) But the truth of the matter is that French politicians—from Mitterand to Chirac—have been extraordinarily corrupt, far more so even than ours. (Don't believe me? Check out the Alain Juppé affair.) Is there a connection between their public and private morality?

I would add that the French political manner is highly duplicitous. They don't consider Treaties as binding but as something one pays lip service to, and breaks in the shadows. Isn't that how they consider marriage? A necessary formality that one ignores privately, and is merely discreet for the sake of public honor.

The French, in the infinite wisdom of whores, would willingly sign the Kyoto accord, and then never fulfill its terms, but maintain their superiority as a signatory over others. The French agreed to Euro accords on deficit spending, but happily violate the terms.

The French condemn terorists and dictators while joyfully doing business with them and supporting them in secret.

So for all the cosmopolitan sophistication the French insist relaxes their attitudes, what we find is an underlying baseness and corruption. And isn't that exactly how they treat marriage and their women? The women aren't expected to be faithful anymore, either, but invited to be equally treasonous to insincere vows.

Private behavior matters. How can anyone be trusted to manage a government well if they can't even manage themselves?

Pondering this thought previously, I wondered if that applied to FDR and WW2. Was there anyone at the time more qualified and capable than FDR to be president? Many historians do not think so. Yet, FDR was a philandering egotist who did a good job of running the war (and wrecking the constitution with his socialism).

I did not live then, and I don't know who might have been equally capable or even better than FDR in the various balancing acts of the time. If anybody else can comment on how we might have been better led then, I'm all ears. (Of course, Truman did an excellent job, and his honestly and rectitude was exceptional. The committee he ran in the Senate which investigated and punished fiscal waste and war profiteering was highly effective.)

posted by Mark Butterworth | 10:02 AM |