By Amira Francis, Staff Writer
Let’s picture a scenario: you go out to the mall with a friend to have a day of shopping. While you’re there, you decide to go to a makeup store to try on various eye-shadows and eyeliners. You and your friend see the perfect shade of lipstick, but, upon a closer look, realize that the price tag is way out of your price-range. Your friend pockets it. Minutes later, she’s escorted out by security and arrested for theft.
Now, would this deter you from stealing and committing this same crime in the future, or would you assume that you are just too sneaky to be caught like she was?
After the CIA’s most recent scandal involving the resignation of David Petraeus, the CIA’s director, you have to wonder the same kind of thing: do public figures who continue to attempt extramarital affair really think that they can escape unscathed from the curious eyes of the press? It seems like it rarely works out in their favor.
Does love (or sex) make humans blind to the dangers of committing this betrayal and facing the ultimate shame of hearing the news blasted around the country? Throughout civilization, public figures have made this same mistake over and over and over again, whether it’s man or woman, legal or not.
And how we forget these other infamous adulterers?: Jesse James, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, LeAnn Rimes and a number of others.
Surely, everyone remembers the Bill Clinton scandal. Like Petraeus, Clinton committed adultery while he was in a position of vast leadership. For obvious reasons, this is concerning. It is concerning because people with such responsibility decide to make such rash decisions and it is concerning because they think that they can get away with it. In this case, Clinton thought he could get away with it months after people started making allegations. He maintained that he did not have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, and continued to dodge accusations and manipulate words.
It was only when Lewinski turned proof over that Clinton came clean after months of denial, which makes you wonder: what kind of integrity do those who we put in power have?
Unlike Clinton, Petraeus came clean relatively quickly. He was not asked to resign, but rather made the choice and showed repentance for his actions. His affair, like many public official’s affairs, could have had serious consequences on not only his organization, but the entire country (consequences that are still being contended).
Petraeus, however, owned up and removed himself from the position. You could question why he did so (did he do it out of selfish reasons or did he do it because he has his own moral compass?), but the fact that he took responsibility for it still stands true.
Now, we all make mistakes in our day-to-day lives. I guess the question that remains is: does the magnitude of your mistake grow with your position in society? If you have some sort of power, are you held to a higher expectation than the average person? Surely, but to what extent? Regardless, this adulterous trend throughout history makes you wonder if the human race, and especially public authorities in the constant limelight, will ever learn from mistakes.