Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Is it Ego or Something More?

It's been awhile so clearly the other day was the day for another, shall we say, heated debate between Julio and I (let me just say, we both love these tete a tetes).

It all started innocently enough, as it usually does. We have been discussing Nikki Haley, a republican candidate for Governor in SC.  In the past two weeks she has been accused of sleeping with two different men while she was married.  She has emphatically denied these reports, however, has not filed any slander lawsuits nor spent much time discussing them. Mind you the primary election is upon us. I say it is kind of convenient for this to come out now. Her latest accuser actually works (or worked, as he was fired the day this came out) for our Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer who is also running in the SC primary for Governor against Haley.

SC ranks 50th in terms of women in public office. Only 8.8% of the legislature is female. Therefore I said I felt Haley had worked too long and too hard to get where she was to throw it all away on a fling, a one night stand. This wasn't what sparked the biggest part of our debate however.

I said that if these men that are in public office and having affairs could just keep their pants zipped then we would not be having this conversation. I said, uh oh here it comes, that it all boils down to ego. That sex for men is all about their egos. Okay. So I should have said for most men, or for some men, or maybe for just this type of man. The type of man that likes the attention of being in public office, of being elected, of being "in charge".

I feel that it is a lot about ego for a politician. It is that ego that got him elected, enabled him to stand in front of a large crowd, bask in the masses chanting his name and cheering for him. It is also that ego that quite often makes him think he can cheat and get away with it.  However, after talking with some folks, namely Julio and my Mom, I have changed my mind a bit.

I still think ego has a lot to do with it, however, I can see where other factors can play into it as well. Take for example this latest accusation against Nikki Haley.  Larry Marchant claims at a convention in 2008 he and Haley had a sexual encounter. Now, in talking with my Mom she makes a very good point. These conventions are filled with people of the same intellect, having very passionate and intellectual debates. That can be quite stimulating. Add a little alcohol, which is always in large supply at any convention, and things quite often can, and do happen. 

Now I am not saying Haley is guilty. I am still holding out hope that she is just too smart of a woman and too dedicated to her family to do such a thing. However, I can now see where maybe ego isn't quite as big a part. I still think it plays a large role, just maybe not as simplistic as I was making it.

Haley has said if she is elected Governor and proof is produced that she had an affair she will resign.  I guess we will see what the voters of SC think today. Should be interesting.


Darkwulfe said...

I will agree that ego has a lot to do with it. "Cheating" in general not "sex" is mostly about ego. A person in a "stale" relationship is flirted with and seen as attractive to somebody and they make the biggest mistake of their life and destroy everything. Where I disagree, and disagreed vehemently in our discussion is the gender classification. The ego is more because we are human in general and these people are politicians specifically. The career of a politician is built in part on persona and ego. It has little to do with gender. The presumption that because she is a woman and is less likely to cheat because she has worked so hard to reach her place in the world is a sexist view that ignores part of the facts. There are less women politicians that cheat because....there are less woman politicians. Not because they are less vulnerable to the temptations of their office and the ego of popularity because they are a woman!

It is dangerous to make a gender characterization based on a lopsided environment. For example, I have worked most of my life in call centers and customer service, a female dominated environment as most that have worked it would agree. For me to make generalizations about women, their characters and morals, based on the stuff I have seen in the office, would be dangerous, incomplete and biased with a sexist view.

Now having used the word sexist, allow me to make clear that I know you are not a sexist. Neither am I. But face it, we all have a natural tendency to make gender generalizations that if we are not careful and do not think through end up being sexist.

And that is my point, cheating (not sex) is about ego. Politicians are particularly susceptible to this ego. It has to do with character...not gender.

Jay said...

Oh I think that gender doesn't really matter much when it comes to cheating. People in public office or whatever tend to be pretty narcissistic and have a huge sense of entitlement. This goes for both men and women. I think the reason for fewer cheating scandals when it comes to women politicians is mostly because of numbers. As the numbers of women in positions like governor and high ranking positions in congress increases, so will the number of cheating scandals involving those women.

Although, in this case, I do wonder if Mrs Haley is getting the benefit of the doubt from a lot of people and maybe even the media because she's a woman. (That should get me some hate mail.)

Also, we need to decide as voters whether or not fidelity matters. Personally, I find the first "accuser" to be fairly credible and believe that the affair probably did happen. But, I don't really care. It wouldn't stop me from voting for her if I lived in S.C. (Her being endorsed by Sarah Palin probably would though. LOL)

Darkwulfe said...

I agree...she probably IS guilty as sin. BUT...that is just the thing. What a person does in their private life and in their bedroom is none of my business. This is the big thing about the GOP, they always shoot themselves in the foot by eliminating some of their brightest stars based on non relevant issues.

For example, while I personally think Newt Gingrich is an idiot, he was at one time the GOP's brightest light. A seriously shrewd and competent politician, an idiot in my book, but by their standards and by their ideology he was effective. Yet he had an affair...eliminating him in their views. One of the biggest dogs on the playing field, Bill Clinton, had affairs, smoked dope and was a draft dodger. The Democrats saw his potential...not his flaws. As long as the extreme right controls the GOP they will continue shooting themselves in the foot...which is ok by me.

I have done a little research on Haley(since politics in general interest me, and SC politics will soon be MY politics) and while I do not agree with a lot of her policy ideas, and her association with Palin really....creeps me out...of the Rethugs in SC, I would choose her over the others. She has good leadership qualities even if she is a bad judge of character (i.e. Sarah Palin)

And? In a way...I kinda hope she DID do it...will be nice for a change to see a human Republican.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I don't think the incidents of public figures cheating is likely any more or less than the general public. People will act on their desires if they're given the opportunity (well, not ALL people, but a decent percentage, I would think).

Darkwulfe said...

ETW this is another very good point. These politicians represent the people well. In reality they are just a fraction of all the people that cheat on their spouse. The only difference is that we hear about them so much because they have the world training their cameras on them. I never did get why we demand so much from those that represent us; as though we can make mistakes but these people are expected to be perfect.

Matt-Man said...

I slept with her too. Cheers Mandy!!