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Two Tradgedies

January 9, 2006

I read an interesting piece on Jack Abramoff at Gay Patriot yesterday that got me thinking about this reflection on former Congressman Randy Cunningham. Both men have more to them than the sweaty-pig-in-a-tux-cigar-smoking-Republican we’ve all been trained to despise.

Many seem to love to swell with anger and judgement when they read of political corruption like this. I tend to view these affairs with sadness, much as I do when I read of a celebrity who has succumbed to drugs, or is getting a divorce: occupational hazard.

It is all too easy to burn with judgment against those who fail publicly.There is always a detached unreality to our public figures; whatever we know about them, it is never the whole picture. The illusion of fame and celebrity is that through repetition comes a kind of familiarity that allows us to form some sort of opinion on persons that in reality we know almost nothing about.

Politicians, I think, have the most to lose from this arrangement. A movie star can benefit from bad as well as good publicity; but a politician rarely does. Even when they do something "good" there will be an organized opposition that will rise up to minimize it, pevert it or persuasively and honestly attempt to undo whatever they did.

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