Fun_People Archive
17 Sep
That's my theory, anyway.

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 98 11:30:43 -0700
To: Fun_People
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Subject: That's my theory, anyway.

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649
Forwarded-by: mgobbi
Forwarded-by: (Quote of the day)

There is an intermittent debate, in these last dying millennia of
puritanism, about the connection between sexual orthodoxy and the exercise
of power.  If a President can't keep his pants on, does he lose the right
to rule us?  If a public servant cheats on his wife does this make him more
likely to cheat on the electorate?  For myself, I'd rather be ruled by an
adulterer, by some sexual rogue, than by a prim celibate or zipped-up
spouse.  As criminals tend to specialize in certain crimes, so corrupt
politicians normally specialize in their corruption: the sexual blackguards
stick to fucking, the bribe-takers to graft.  In which case it would make
sense to elect proven adulterers instead of discouraging them from public
life.  I don't say we should pardon them -- on the contrary, we need to fan
their guilt.  But by harnessing this useful emotion we restrict their
sinning to the erotic sphere, and produce a countervailing integrity in
governing.  That's my theory, anyway.
	-- Julian Barnes, from the novel "A History of the World
	   in 10 1/2 Chapters" (published 1989)

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