On June 24, 2009, Governor Mark Sanford stood before the media, the residents of South Carolina, America and the world. And he told of how he had committed an infidelity, had an affair, cheated on his wife of twenty years.
I am a man. I am a Christian. I am a conservative. And I am a resident of South Carolina.
As a man, I can understand the temptation of an illicit relationship outside of one’s marriage, especially during a “rough patch”. Make no bones about it, I do not condone it. I can just understand the temptations. We are creatures of nature and thereby ruled, in part, by basic instincts. When feeling lonely or confused or stressed, the appeal of access to a woman who desires a physical relationship is overwhelming. But the intellect we hold as humans gives us access to logic and common sense and the realities of cause and effect. In other words, our brains have the ability to overrule our bodies at such times. To fail to do so is a weakness of character. And it is the height of selfishness.
As a Christian, I understand that we are all frail humans, often given to incredible feats of stupidity and selfishness. My belief in a forgiving God means that I can do no less. Again, forgiveness is in no way an open doorway to condoning the action. I may be appalled at the immorality of such an act and I would limit my association with such a person who could willingly cause so much pain and betrayal for the brief animal lust that is sated. But in the most heinous act, forgiveness is more than warranted, it is demanded. And as a Christian, my heart and prayers go out to his wife and sons, whom he gave not only pain and betrayal but also public humiliation.
As a conservative, I cannot understand how an elected official, let alone a governor, can leave his post for such a long period of time without even insuring that the ship of state is left with a hand on the tiller. I also must question the moral fiber of a man who would betray the women he vowed to love, honor and cherish for the past 20 years. It makes me wonder what other vows or oaths he may have taken that mean so little to him.
As a resident of South Carolina, I am stunned, hurt, angered and betrayed. The man whom we gave an office of trust has shunned us and our needs. He abandoned his responsibilities to us to go off on some mid-life crisis, to another country where he put his own life in jeopardy (kidnapping, murder, etc), and thought little of the consequences (both to his family and to the state). It makes me wonder about his judgment and his dedication.
Mark Sanford has, in my opinion, been a very good governor for South Carolina. He has stood strong for such conservative principles as opposition to Federal interference in State governance, the important issues of illegal immigration and the values that made this country great. He has voiced the concerns of many (a good 35 – 58%) Americans who believe recent legislation and executive orders in Washington are turning our country in the absolute wrong direction.
But his recent actions make me worry about his ability to govern effectively. He has lost any high ground in dealing with issues of a moral or political nature. He will not be able to effectively block any legislation that may be harmful to the citizens of this state. He will not be able to reach out and gather a consensus on any issue that might affect us or our state. In other words, his moral and political capital has been reduced to zero. No one is going to listen to a Governor who cares so little for the people who put their trust in him.
As painful as it is to say this, since he has been a valiant voice in opposition to the socialization of America, I feel it is time for the Governor to sit down, re-examine his life and his needs at the current time, and decide to resign his office. I am certainly no fan of André Bauer, but we would be better served with him in office for the remainder of Gov. Sanford’s term. Then we can elect a new leader for our state. Hopefully, Gov. Sanford will not have damaged too much the conservative image, because we cannot simply run for the liberal hills because of his selfish decisions.
As always, this is just one man’s opinion. You can either agree or disagree with me, so long as I have offered some thoughts for you to ponder as well. No matter, this is just me, thinking out loud.
Have a great day.