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Why did the US choose the bald eagle as our national emblem on June 20, 1782? Is it because the bald eagle symbolizes long life, superior strength, beauty and only lives in North America? Or is it because he mates for life? Does the symbol of the bald eagle put unrealistic expectations of fidelity on married public officials?
Was our country founded on the idea that we should be monogamous? Is that what makes our leaders admirable role models? David Petraeus was the director of the CIA and a four-star general serving over 37 years in the US Army. Did his rendezvous with Paula Broadwell affect his job performance? Is there any reason to believe that he was having a tryst during the Benghazi attack? The American public doesn’t trust cheaters. Do public officials cheat more than the average Joe? The percentage of cheating is probably the same, but it’s not tolerated in the public eye. This is hypocritical since no one would expect your physician or mailman to resign from his post for having an affair.
Why would a man be disloyal to the person he married? The answer: because he made the choice to cheat. No one forced the married man to have sex with another woman. It’s a choice with consequences. The public official must have some inkling he might get caught if he cheats. He also has to realize as he’s stripping off his clothes with a prostitute i.e. Eliot Spitzer, the working girl may want to make some cash and become an overnight celebrity. The thought must cross a politician’s mind that he could end up losing his job. Hiding a pregnancy can ruin political ambitions such as the case with John Edwards. Do public figures believe they’re omnipotent and won’t get caught?
Maybe it’s okay to cheat if one holds a public office. Newt Gingrich justified his cheating by stating that he worked too hard and acted inappropriately due to his passion for his country. Martin Luther King Jr. cheated on his wife and received a Nobel Peace Prize. Does mating for life really matter when it comes to public officials maintaining their jobs? America should lower its expectations and change the national emblem to the North American Jackrabbit. No one would fault a rabbit for cheating.