Congressional affairs are not significant to political performanceBy Regan Williams | 04/09/2014 11:00pm
One of the bigger stories over this past week has been that a Louisiana congressman, named Vance McAllister, was caught kissing a woman who was not only not his wife but was also one of his staffers. These reports are true, and he himself has come out and admitted that they happened and that he had an affair. Even though it is 100 percent true, I still fail to find the relevance.
The two main arguments I have seen so far is that it violates the voters’ trust and that he is a hypocrite who ran on religious beliefs. Others say that it is disrespect of the office itself.
So let’s start by responding to the arguments. Violating the trust of the voters is the first argument. Yes, you might have a hard time trusting him, but overall, how has the trust really been violated? Did he vote on something that hurt the district? No, he had an affair. The second argument is that he is a hypocrite so we cannot trust him.
Yes, he is not perfect, but overall he is human and he makes mistakes. No one is perfect, and forgiveness is part of the equation. The third is the violation of the office; however, many congressmen have done much more to violate the office.
I just don’t think an affair is that terrible to justify saying he is such a bad person. Now, I know that it seems like it is a conflict of interest to have an affair with an employee. But unless she reports that she was coerced into the relationship, then it should not be news. Until then, they are just two consenting adults having a relationship.
While I understand why someone would not want to trust him, I raise the question does an affair change the way he votes in congress? The answer is probably no.
The other big problem I see with these reports is that I don’t think it is our business. This should be between the congressman, the staffer and his family. This is not an issue that changes our world. It is really not a concern of mine how congressmen spend their free time. We should be more concerned with our economy, our relationship with Russia, our relationship with the Middle East and so many other things that could actually change the way we live life.
We have so many more important issues to be talking about than how a congressman decides to spend his free time. We need to hold our news outlets accountable to actually send us real news instead of issuing reports of how congressmen spend their free time.
Regan Williams is a senior majoring in political science and communication studies. His column runs biweekly on Thursdays.