It looks like the American people might lose another congressman at the end of this month. But Sen. Larry Craig from Idaho would resign from office holding strong that he’s as straight as a ruler, even though he plead guilty to disorderly conduct after a sex sting in a men’s room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
It was extremely easy for me to immediately point my finger at Craig, stamping him as yet another corrupt and hypocritical politician when he denied the allegations because he’s a right-wing conservative senator from Idaho that has voted for more than two decades against legislation that would’ve given gay individuals more rights. He even voted in favor of a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in 2006.
I began thinking about all of the hypocrites in positions of leadership that preach one thing while practicing another. But I must say that I have a little more respect for a public official that recently came out of the closet, former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey, than I do for Craig. This isn’t because he’s a Democrat, but because he was honest with himself and the people.
Although McGreevey stayed in the closet for 47 years before coming out in 2004, he voted for legislation to help progress and expand gay rights while he held office. For example, he signed a bill that would help same-sex marriage be recognized in the state of New Jersey. McGreevey also resigned from office as a gay American.
“At a point in every person’s life, one has to look deeply into the mirror of one’s soul and decide one’s unique truth in the world, not as we may want to see it or hope to see it, but as it is,” McGreevey said at his resignation conference. He did the best thing that a politician could do while trying to maintain the role of an acceptable American, as seen through the eyes of most of the American people.
I’m pretty sick of hearing about all of the extremely powerful and authoritave positions held by people preaching one message while living a complete lie, hiding dark secrets that entail acting in a way contrary to the beliefs they claim to uphold.
But to give them the benefit of the doubt, in the world of politics, what choice do they really have? Politics are politics and religion is religion. Being true to oneself, admitting to being gay, doesn’t really fit in the rule book.
Coming out of the closet isn’t an option if you don’t like pissing off your bosses, which in this case are the people of Idaho, who are also the people that you represent and that vote to reelect you or to kick you out of office.
A recent CNN poll indicates that 62 percent of Americans would vote for a politician even if this person were gay, and it seems that some Republicans are more upset about the restroom incident becoming a scandal itself than they are about the homosexual-oriented behavior that was allegedly exhibited by Craig. There’s no doubt that next year’s presidential election has something to do with it.
Craig told the press that his decision to resign would be in the best interest of the state of Idaho, and he’s probably right, seeing as how more than half of the population of Idaho is Republican.
It seems like Larry Craig will leave the Senate a straight man. Whether he’s in denial or not has yet to be discovered by an undercover police office in an airport restroom stall.
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