Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

November 21, 2012

We the People: Warriors, clay feet and misadventures

By Clyde Ussery
Chronicle contributor

CROSSVILLE — There is nothing like a good sex scandal to take our minds off a political campaign that lasted far too long, cost way too much money, and left no lie behind. Plus, General Petraeus’ sexual escapade is guaranteed to divert our attention away from things our lawmakers really don’t want us to know. We will be spared no details. What I find appalling is that the general has been given a pass for years on matters of much more significance than his romp in the hay with Paula. I am no Petraeus admirer for reasons too numerous to list here, so the unveiling of his clay feet and the public humiliation he is about to get causes me sorrow only for his wife and family.

If this country is going to continue a pretense of Puritanism, we need a manual for men in public positions. Do not tweet pictures of your body parts. Never, ever short-change a hooker. Avoid cheating on your wife, especially while spouting the old “family values” line. It is like playing the Coliseum, you might be putting on a great show, but sooner or later the lions will eat you. This is a high-tech age of communication; there are no secrets. Hard to say whether indulging in risky fun and games by men in powerful positions is caused by hubris or stupidity. I lean toward stupid. It is not that there has never been a political sex scandal involving women. Cleopatra and Catherine the Great spring to mind. But the uproar over their indiscretions has pretty much died down.

The Petraeus misadventure conjures up memories of the nonsense that was bandied about during the recent political campaign. Tell me again, Mr. Republican, how men are the superior gender and women are so stupid they don’t even know when they’ve been raped. Tell me again why men should control women’s reproductive rights. And be sure to explain to me how women are incapable of exercising and controlling power, because I thought that silly notion was put to rest when Delilah clipped Samson.

The 2012 election was a historic one for women, both in the voting booth and on the ballot. Knowing what was at stake, women showed up at the polls in great numbers. Joined in long lines by Latinos, African-Americans, gays, Muslims, those who didn’t take kindly to being called “moochers,” etc., they brought down corporate warrior Mitt Romney. To cap the stack, the election increased the number of women in both the House and Senate. Still not enough, but a start.

To these women I say good on you, but when you are ushered into the Halls of Testosterone in January, don’t become one of the boys. Remember, it was the white man’s way of doing things that brought us to the brink of financial collapse, destroyed our manufacturing base, and gave us ten-plus years of unnecessary war. Not to mention all the extracurricular peccadilloes. You can do better than that.

We can’t let the campaign go on forever. So Mr. Romney, with sincere goodwill, I say go in peace, back to whatever century you live in. And to President Obama, we have your back, but we will also be holding your feet to the fire.

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This column represents alternative thoughts to other published columns in the Crossville Chronicle. “We the People” is published each Wednesday. Opinions expressed in “We the People” columns are not necessarily those of the Crossville Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. For more information, contact John Wund, editor, at