Sunday, June 03, 2007

How to Waste a Million Dollars

I don't usually update my blog more than once a day, but I just couldn't wait to get this on line...

After I had posted my earlier entry this morning, my Sunday newspaper (The Washington Post) arrived, and I found this full-page advertisement on page A17 (this is a direct quote):

"Larry Flynt and Hustler magazine announce a cash offer of up to $1 Million.

"Have you had a sexual encounter with a current member of the United States Congress or a high-ranking government official? Can you provide documented evidence of illicit sexual or intimate relations with a Congressperson, Senator, or other prominent officeholder? Larry Flynt and HUSTLER Magazine will pay you up to $1 million if we choose to publish your verified story and use your material."

The advertisement goes on to provide a toll-free number and an e-mail address, and includes a promise of confidentiality.

How low have we sunk?

How shameless and amoral are those who will offer huge amounts of money to expose the private lives of our officeholders in such a lewd and tawdry fashion?

I have often written in this blog about the incompetence and stupidity of some of our elected officials, but there is in my mind a very wide dividing line between a person's competence to do the job for which he or she was elected, and his or her private sexual affiairs. I by no means condone extramarital sexual liaisons - in fact, I think they are the worst sort of betrayal. But unless they have a demonstrated negative effect on the individual's fitness to hold office, I think they should be off limits to exposure and public scrutiny. The reward for such actions will come in its own time.

Is it any wonder why our very best people don't choose to run for office, when they must spend their lives looking over their shoulders for exposure of real or imagined sexual affairs?

Ask yourself that question the next time you bemoan the incompetence and mendacity of our elected representatives, and then hope that Mr Flynt and his ilk choke on their misspent millions.

More thoughts tomorrow.


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