Sex and politics. What do US voters really think?

Newt Gingrich has surged to the top of many polls in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, despite being married three times. Herman Cain’s campaign ultimately collapsed after allegations of sexual misconduct and then allegations of infidelity.

How much should a candidate’s private life affects his public service?

Our ideas about marriage in the USA are fundamentally changing at lightening speed. Even with those changes I believe there are still some hard fast guidelines for candidates seeking the presidency.

Number one, I think all candidates must be married. We are a long way away from handing over the government to a single man or woman.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but marriage matters much more here than it does in other country. Look at this example in supposedly conservative Great Britain.

Ed Miliband married the mother of his two children in May, less than a year after becoming the leader of the Labor Party. Miliband, who is likely to run for prime minister in the next election, previously responded to criticism about cohabiting by saying he was “too busy” to get married. Good one Ed.

Here in America marriage rates have fallen dramatically however people’s attitudes about what counts as a family and what they expect from their political leaders are still basically conservative.

It doesn’t even have to be a candidate’s first marriage. A divorce, perhaps even two, is not a problem.

America’s divorce rate has sky rocketed to a level where nearly half of all marriages ended in divorce, and Americans’ attitudes began to change. In 1980, Ronald Reagan became the first person to be elected president who had divorced and remarried. If Gingrich were to win the Republican nomination, he would be the fifth major-party nominee to have been divorced and remarried, following Reagan, Bob Dole, John Kerry and John McCain.
newt
Asked about his family life and how it reflected on him as a candidate, Gingrich said: “I’ve made mistakes at times; I’ve had to go to God for forgiveness; I’ve had to seek reconciliation.”

Obviously the most important guideline is, don’t have an affair.

Extramarital affairs, especially those uncovered in the course of a campaign, are still a problem with American voters. Cain, who was polling well in the GOP race this fall, saw his campaign crash and burn because of sexual harassment allegations.

After you are in office you may survive a “sex” scandal…after all look at Bill Clinton for example.He could run for office today and win.
bill-clinton-460_786386c
In the General Social Survey, a national poll of adults conducted biennially by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, the percentage of Americans who responded that it is “always wrong” for a married person to have sex with someone other than his or her spouse rose from 73 percent in 1991 to 81 percent in 2008.

America seems to moving away from the old standard of lifelong monogamy to a new one of serial monogamy. Being married remains important, but we are allowed, even expected, to move from one marriage to another. However, we are supposed to remain sexually faithful to whomever we are married to at the time.

What we accept from our politicians in their personal lives is inconsistent with how our own personal lives work. I want our President to be….well Presidential. The contradictions reflect our difficulty in coming to terms with the great changes in sex and marriage since our parents’ and grandparents’ generations. We value marriage, but it looks like today we value the right to pursue personal happiness a bit more.

What do you think?

Advertisements

Internet and the Election of 2008

ts-4
The following facts and figures are from http://www.pewinternet.org, As I studied for my MBA last year I used them a great deal as a source of accurate information especially since I was studying international marketing and the web is such a key element to successful business these days.
ts-1
I thought is was appropriate to share this as we are all Xanga freaks and use the web daily to express ourselves, so too do the parties and candidates. Although McCain says he doesn’t know the web very well his staff certainly realize its power and Obama is using the web more than any candidate in history.
Snapshot 2008-08-12 09-58-49
A record-breaking 46% of Americans have used the internet, email or cell phone text messaging to get news about the campaign, share their views and mobilize others.
ts-3
Barack Obama’s backers have an edge in the online political environment. Furthermore, three online activities have become especially prominent as the presidential primary campaigns progressed:

First, 35% of Americans say they have watched online political videos, a figure that nearly triples the reading the Pew Internet Project got in the 2004 race.

Second, 10% say they have used social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace to gather information or become involved. This is particularly popular with younger voters: Two-thirds of internet users under the age of 30 have a social networking profile, and half of these use social networking sites to get or share information about politics or the campaigns.

Third, 6% of Americans have made political contributions online, compared with 2% who did that during the entire 2004 campaign.

A significant number of voters are also using the internet to gain access to campaign events and primary documents. Some 39% of online Americans have used the internet to access “unfiltered” campaign materials, which includes video of candidate debates, speeches and announcements, as well as position papers and speech transcripts.

Online activism using social media has also grown substantially since the first time we probed this issue during the 2006 midterm elections.

More web facts regarding this election:
1. 11% of Americans have contributed to the political conversation by forwarding or posting someone else’s commentary about the race.
2. 5% have posted their own original commentary or analysis.
3. 6% have gone online to donate money to a candidate or campaign.
4. Young voters are helping to define the online political debate; 12% of online 18-29 year olds have posted their own political commentary or writing to an online newsgroup, website or blog. Led by young voters, Democrats and Obama supporters have taken the lead in their use of online tools for political engagement. _
5. 74% of wired Obama supporters have gotten political news and information online, compared with 57% of online Clinton supporters.
6. In a head-to-head match-up with internet users who support Republican McCain, Obama’s backers are more likely to get political news and information online (65% vs. 56%).

Obama supporters outpace both Clinton and McCain supporters in their usage of online video, social networking sites and other online campaign activities. Yet despite the growth in the number of people who are politically engaged online, internet users express some ambivalence about the role of the internet in the campaign.
ts
On one hand, 28% of wired Americans say that the internet makes them feel more personally connected to the campaign, and 22% say that they would not be as involved in the campaign if not for the internet. At the same time, however, even larger numbers feel that the internet magnifies the most extreme viewpoints and is a source of misinformation for many voters.

The Politics of Fear

Kudos to the New Yorker for putting the “The Politics of Fear,” as the cover is called, with all of its upsetting realities, on the table. I think it’s an amusing satirical illustration for a piece that dissects all the prejudice and misinformation that is out there.
33158-NewYorkerL

Gore Sets ‘Clean’ Energy Goal for Next President

gorex
Just as John F. Kennedy set his sights on the moon, Al Gore is challenging the nation to produce every kilowatt of electricity through wind, sun and other Earth-friendly energy sources within 10 years, an audacious goal he hopes the next president will embrace.

The Nobel Prize-winning former vice president said fellow Democrat Barack Obama and Republican rival John McCain are “way ahead” of most politicians in the fight against global climate change.

Rising fuel costs, climate change and the national security threats posed by U.S. dependence on foreign oil are conspiring to create “a new political environment” that Gore said will sustain bold and expensive steps to wean the nation off fossil fuels.

Gore is set to attend the Unesco Global Summit for Ecology in November in Japan. The Summit is organized by Activate.
summit logo

Internet and the Election

ts-4
The following facts and figures are from http://www.pewinternet.org, As I studied for my MBA last year I used them a great deal as a source of accurate information especially since I was studying international marketing and the web is such a key element to successful business these days.
ts-1
I thought is was appropriate to share this as we are all Xanga freaks and use the web daily to express ourselves, so too do the parties and candidates. Although McCain says he doesn’t know the web very well his staff certainly realize its power and Obama is using the web more than any candidate in history.

A record-breaking 46% of Americans have used the internet, email or cell phone text messaging to get news about the campaign, share their views and mobilize others.
ts-3
Barack Obama’s backers have an edge in the online political environment. Furthermore, three online activities have become especially prominent as the presidential primary campaigns progressed:

First, 35% of Americans say they have watched online political videos, a figure that nearly triples the reading the Pew Internet Project got in the 2004 race.

Second, 10% say they have used social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace to gather information or become involved. This is particularly popular with younger voters: Two-thirds of internet users under the age of 30 have a social networking profile, and half of these use social networking sites to get or share information about politics or the campaigns.

Third, 6% of Americans have made political contributions online, compared with 2% who did that during the entire 2004 campaign.

A significant number of voters are also using the internet to gain access to campaign events and primary documents. Some 39% of online Americans have used the internet to access “unfiltered” campaign materials, which includes video of candidate debates, speeches and announcements, as well as position papers and speech transcripts.

Online activism using social media has also grown substantially since the first time we probed this issue during the 2006 midterm elections.

More web facts regarding this election:
1. 11% of Americans have contributed to the political conversation by forwarding or posting someone else’s commentary about the race.
2. 5% have posted their own original commentary or analysis.
3. 6% have gone online to donate money to a candidate or campaign.
4. Young voters are helping to define the online political debate; 12% of online 18-29 year olds have posted their own political commentary or writing to an online newsgroup, website or blog. Led by young voters, Democrats and Obama supporters have taken the lead in their use of online tools for political engagement. _
5. 74% of wired Obama supporters have gotten political news and information online, compared with 57% of online Clinton supporters.
6. In a head-to-head match-up with internet users who support Republican McCain, Obama’s backers are more likely to get political news and information online (65% vs. 56%).

Obama supporters outpace both Clinton and McCain supporters in their usage of online video, social networking sites and other online campaign activities. Yet despite the growth in the number of people who are politically engaged online, internet users express some ambivalence about the role of the internet in the campaign.
ts
On one hand, 28% of wired Americans say that the internet makes them feel more personally connected to the campaign, and 22% say that they would not be as involved in the campaign if not for the internet. At the same time, however, even larger numbers feel that the internet magnifies the most extreme viewpoints and is a source of misinformation for many voters.