Pages

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

How Much Should We Weigh a Candidate's Past?

All but one of Florida's candidates for governor share something in common: they've been divorced at least once. I fail to see why this makes news. Didn't we dispel of the Divorce Taint when Ronald Reagan was elected President?

Let's face it, whether it's ideal or not, most of us have been divorced at some point. My divorce was many years ago, and simply because I lived with someone more recently doesn't make it any less of a relationship either, although I'm happy there was no legally binding status. Let me add that my recent relationship mistake was much worse in some ways. Although I may be a good person, this would probably disqualify me from ever running for governor. But should a simple divorce cause us to look askance at these men?

I would say that it's all a matter of timing. If these men have gone through a recent divorce based on bad choices on their part, they should be disqualified. A lack of character in the bedroom can also prove to be a lack of character in the boardroom.

But, we all change and grow as people. If we didn't, then there would be no point to living. What other reason for the phrase "live and learn"? Why don't we keep a one-time offender in jail for the rest of their life? Because we assume that people develop. If we were a sure bet from the time we were born, we could be raised in sterile environments with little to no human interraction. Instead, we know that children are influenced significantly by their external environment.

I discovered many years ago that my parents continue to change and grow, even though they're now in their 60s. They are not the same people that held me as a baby in their arms. Shouldn't we also recognize that these candidates can do the same?

P.S. Update on Me: Other than having a bout with my nervous stomach last night, I'm hanging in there! I sent Jack flowers yesterday (Jack is Ozma's brother). He's been such a gentleman, and has willingly sacrificed a great deal of sleep to watch over me. The rest of their family has also been there for me, at all times, day or night. My own parents have tried to help as best they can, but my dad's in poor health and I am trying to spare them. SaurKid's thriving and having a ball!

24 comments:

michelle said...

Hello, thanks for stirring up trouble on sweetnsaur yesterday. What to do you think of our new poster "mel"?

Saur♥Kraut said...

Michelle, uh oh. I'll go over and have a look. I'm sure we know who Mel is, huh?

LZ Blogger said...

You are correct, we all grow as we get older (and) we shouldn't judge people by their past. But... sometimes it can be a glimpse into their future. People who learn from their MISTAKES can actually be some of the wiser ones among us! Those who don't, just keep screwing up because they know what the outcome will be. ~ jb///

michelle said...

YUP!!

I think you should run for school board. It is not too late. If not now in 2-years. After school board run for Gov. Who cares about yousy who. Outa site, outa mind.

Edge said...

I think past is only important in context. Did he divorce because he was lying about being homosexual or because he killed someone or because they just couldn't work things out? You see, those are three different scenarios that would impact my decision.

~Jef

Saur♥Kraut said...

Jef, excellent points. I agree.

Michelle, Silly! YOU should run. With my past campaign experience, I'll work tirelessly to get you in. I'm already trying to get your hubby used to the idea...

LZ Blogger, yeah, you're entirely correct. ;o)

Scott said...

I am thinking that things like divorce have no bearing on someone's suitability to hold office. Now if we are talking a history of illegal activity that is totally relevant.

Scott

Mr. Althouse said...

Well, I don't know how much divorce counts in the body politic, but I do know that many of the brightest and best qualified wouldn't consider entering the game because of the scrutiny they must endure. No one is that squeaky clean yet we hold them up to these unrealistically high standards. Count me out - literally!

I'm so glad to hear things are starting to settle down for you. I am not surprized the the *now* ex was released on OR. It's pretty common in California at least. One would have to have committed some kind of violence or physical injury... at least a felony to have bail set. I'm afraid what you know about the system and its dysfunction pales in comparrison to what you don't.

Finally, I wandered over to Sweet N' Saur this morning only to discover that our friend who is known by many names is back and loaded for bear. I almost accused her of inciting mahem in a drive by fashion, but in her case - she actually pulled up and parked. Anyway, i addressed some of her phychiatric issues and perhaps caught her off-guard... for a minute.

Have a great dat!

~Mike

Mr. Althouse said...

day! ;-'o

Badoozie said...

I'm sure we are missing out on a lot of really good people all because of this stupid judgement. For the love of pete, who among us is perfect. if there is anyone among them that can say they are without flaw, or sin let them cast the first stone.

also, i'm in favor of women taking over the world, and i think things would really look up. women are very good at thinking with both sides of their brains, instead of just the left side, not to say that men are not smart, i'm just saying, lets get some new perspective in there. I was pleased when i went to the last legislative session in idaho, to see so many women in the seats. Bring it on.

so, in conclusion, i would like to say, women should take over the world. am i kidding?

The Lazy Iguana said...

"Live and learn" is out, and "make a choice and stick to it no matter what happens and no matter how bad of an idea it was" is in. Just ask a neo-con. All they can say about current leadership is "he ain't no waffler".

So who is the one goober running for Jeb's soon to be ex job that is not divorced?

The Lazy Iguana said...

By the way, did you see my "Lewis The Cat" post? Lewis is in legal trouble.

Miss Cellania said...

I was going to say the same as Mr. Althouse. Glad I read the comments! I pretty much said the same thing in the comments at this post yesterday.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy Iguana, only Jim Davis (see the article here). I didn't know that about Lewis the Cat! I'll come by now.

michelle said...

Oh my goodness. I can just imagine you and hubby's conversations. Leave me alone you two!

Grant said...

I used to be really big on the content of character issue, but I find myself caring less and less that Clinton cheated on his wife while in office. It's not ideal, but I doubt we'll ever get a perfect leader, and if he's going to have flaws, I'd rather they be in areas that don't directly affect their leadership.

United We Lay said...

The nervous stomach and relationship issues must be contageous. I'm currently too embarrassed about my situation to tell anyone who lives within 100 miles, so I'm tryign to focus on something else.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

The Moral Majority care...

Heather said...

The context of the actions and what they have learned from them matter to me more than the actions themselves. But they need to own up to them, say this is what I did and why and this is what I learned from it.

Anonymous said...

My feelings on divorce and the light they shed on a person are limited to my sparse experience but how I do feel about marriage and divorce in general is more serious than most. I feel that people don't take marriage seriously, but beyond that they do not take themselves seriously. I have had opportunity several times in my life to commit myself to a relationship, but I know that I take myself more seriously than that. If I look at someone and cannot give them my word that I will be with them for the rest of my life through thick and thin, good and bad then I will not commit to marriage. Now this takes into account two things, my love and like of that person and their character. Of course you cannot always know when someone will be abusive either physically or verbally and clearly it is sometimes hard to tell if someone is a cheater but do we get caught up in emotion and not really inspect who this person is that we are marrying because we are so in love with them now. Well that feeling may or may not last through the good and the bad, and generally I don’t feel that love fades but I know that you need to work at it or you can destroy it. So much of our society is what we want and instant gratification, so people rush into marriage to have that status or security or to beat the biological clock with the comfort of knowing they can get out if it gets too hard? I do not say that everyone thinks this way so please don’t take this as a simple generalization. I have a very dear friend that got a divorce about a year ago because his wife cheated on him. Now although the divorce was not his fault, the eventual end of the relationship was a reflection of the bad choice he made, he had low self-esteem, his ex-wife is very pretty, but she also used to be a stripper and always wanted to achieve the status quo. Deep down she was not a good person and definitely not someone that he should have committed his life to. He has learned much from this and I feel will come out much the better and wiser as a result of it. So although divorce may not be a reflection on someone, I do not think it is something that should be ignored or taken lightly, does this person take themselves seriously, is this person going to take this position seriously? Saur, I have read quite a bit of your blog although I have never posted before, I respect you and enjoy reading your blog, I understand that you are divorced and do not want you to feel that in any way I am passing judgment on you. What I do see is that your disinterest in marrying the most recent ex is a direct result of you realizing, maybe even subconsciously, that you could not commit to this person for the rest of your life, and come to find out, for good reason.

EmmaSometimes said...

People do change. But why would you not vote for someone due to the info the Who-Knows-If-Its-True-Media has told you about the divorce of a candidate. I think it has to be about the issues.

As for character in the boardroom/bedroom, I think you will attest Saur, that just because someone fails in marriage does not make them lacking in ability or character. It doesn't appear you were implying that either, but you can't really tell who is to blame unless you know the couple personally.

michelle said...

Hey,don't delete you know who on sweetnsaur. Tell you about it later.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Michelle, OK.

Emma, I agree entirely.

Anonymous, a very interesting and careful post. Thank you so much for your contribution. I read it thoroughly.

Strangely, I had a similar conversation with someone last night, but he already has his mind set that he never will fully commit to a relationship, under any circumstances. He says that he's made women mad in the past because they didn't believe him at first. I told him that I certainly do believe him, and won't forget it.

As for me, I still believe in love and commitment and someday I hope that I find someone else who feels the same way. The reason I didn't commit to the ex-boyfriend is that he was always lying or deceiving me or others in some way that left me to realize that there was nothing I wanted to be legally tied to. And despite what he said, he was never committed to the relationship. He simply wanted to be legally tied to The Bank. He could've brought me down completely, so I'm glad I followed my instinct.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Heather, ;o) This is very true.

Daniel, I don't know, actually. I suppose they might, but what really surprised me in all this is that our St. Pete Times (a moderate-to-liberal paper w/ the largest circulation here) published all this. I wouldn't have thought they would've deemed it newsworthy!

UWL, email me about it. We can commiserate.

Grant, you know, we usually agree but I found Clinton to be wrong here. It alarmed me that he was thinking so much with "his other head" because it's very easy to manipulate a guy with little to no self control. Blackmail comes to mind, for instance.

Miss C, thank you!

Susie, You're entirely right. Women should! This reminds me of the scene from Jurassic Park:

Ian Malcolm: God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs...

Dr. Ellie Sattler: Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth...

Mike A, a special thank you for helping watch over our other blog. You're a wonderful addition to our motley crew! She sure is back, huh? And thanks for your other observations. It's like a friendly pat on the back over the many miles.

Scott, excellent point indeed.