Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has owned up to having a child with his maid, a secret which he kept from everyone, including his wife and kids, for more than a decade.
This is what he had to say in response to the media onslaught which he will inevitably face:
"While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not."
No, Nein, Nicht! Schwarzenegger is wrong. He does not deserve the unremitting attention of the public or the media. Nor does he deserve the unmerited castigating which he will endure at the hand of Public Opinion.
No doubt, the former Governor's conduct is deplorable: cheating on his wife, fathering a child with the twenty-year live-in maid, hiding the secret with kickbacks and handouts to keep it quiet.
But for the media to insist on blasting a has-been governor, a so-so actor, and morally feeble human being, that is simply worse.
This country and its readers have more pressing matters to focus on. Let's consider:
-The plight of millions of displaced Japanese hammered into a humanitarian crisis by the worse earthquakes in the island nation's history.
-The growing clamor for freedom from oppressive governments sweeping across the Middle East, upsetting stable regimes in Sub-Saharan Africa, and endangering the State of Israel, the one long-standing democracy in the region.
-A now nuclear-armed Iran, run by religious zealots who openly avow a desire to impose freedom-killing, no, life-endangering Shariah law on the whole world
-Let's not forget the onerous budget deficit and escalating national debts eating away at Europe and threatening the fiscal solvency of the United States and the world, a financial disaster which would reap for worse havoc than the spreading military chaos engulfing the world.
And the media chooses to invest its resources in dishing on another philandering politician?
Consider also the invasive humiliation which Governor Schwarzenegger will face for his private failings.
We have no business bashing celebrities who do not affect or influence our lives. Statesmen and all other holders of public trust, however, must be open to public scrutiny. If they step out on their spouses, they must step out of office. After that, if we insist on purging a man for his private failings, we only debase ourselves, foolishly deluding ourselves into thinking we are somehow better.
We have all fallen short of the glorious moral ideal which we insist on for others. Instead of slaughtering another celebrated celebrity for his or her intimate escapades, we ought to take a look at ourselves.
Do we flirt with other who are not our spouses or significant others? Are we introverts in public, but perverts in private? Do we "slide into third base" with every person we meet, in our minds at least, whether we actually accomplish anything physically? No meets the standards for moral purity when it comes to matters of intimacy.
Rather than hounding one more ousted political figure with moral failings, let's focus on global issues that affect us, and mind our own P's and Q's.