Political Candidates’ Infidelity: Will it Sway Your Vote?

COMMENTARY | With Herman Cain suspending his campaign for presidency and Newt Gingrich’s affair ending his second marriage many would wonder just who isn’t guilty of something? Who hasn’t found a way around the moral dilemma of infidelity? Given so many facts, one would think that both candidates would be suspending their quest for the presidential candidacy. What makes it okay for Gingrich to continue his quest? Why did Herman Cain give up?

Should candidates’ personal lives matter in a political campaign?

Who sets the example for the nation? Just as parents set an example for children, so does the president, or in this case, a presidential candidate.

Should personal morals matter?

Many candidates seemingly find a way around the morality by claiming they never “slept” with another woman. Moral dilemmas are nothing new to the presidency. Reviewing history we know that many presidents have been unfaithful to their wives while in office. So what makes it so different for one candidate vs another? How does it affect us as a nation? How does it affect their campaign? How does it affect the candidate’s ability to do their job? Infidelity is a huge distraction, not only is the person being unfaithful, they’re trying to hide it from those closest to them.

Does it matter that Gingrich is running for the nomination of the Republican party?

Newt Gingrich has never denied that he cheated on his wife, in fact, he admits it. He claims he’s not proud of the act of cheating on her, but “Newt has been honest and forthright about the fact that he has had moments in his life that he regrets, that he has had to seek reconciliation, and go to God for forgiveness.”

Is it because he admits this that he is still in the running for presidency? Or does this appeal to a different moral aspect of life in that he acts repentant and has “sought reconciliation”? Whichever the case, he’s definitely seen in a brighter light than Herman Cain.

When a candidate claims to stand for family values will he get more votes if his life displays what he stands for, or for what he’s actually doing?

How Do We Decide?

With these choices, how do we as a nation decide who to support for president? Is the moral dilemma pressing our decision? Will Newt’s affair weigh heavily in our choices for president? Did Newt learn anything through his experience that he’s willing to share with a nation?

Will we vote according to our personal values, or the persuasive media coverage attempting to leverage our vote?

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