Wake up conservatives. The election of Mark Sanford to Congress should not send a message to the GOP elites to back bad candidates. It is also not some angelic story of redemption and grace…or the second coming…or even the raising of Lazarus.
Let’s review the facts. Four years ago, Mark Sanford left his wife and four sons to be with his Argentine soul mate, after lying about his whereabouts on the Appalachian Trail.
Then—just during this campaign—he trespassed on his ex-wife’s property, violating a court restraining order. He also asked his ex-wife to come work for his campaign, and worst of all introduced his children to his mistress-turned-fiancée ON stage AT a campaign event.
Those acts alone should make us question not only his sense of morality, but also his judgment. Lying, family abandonment, poor parenting choices, and violations of court orders: Sounds to me like the conservative values we all know and love.
If the man can’t show good judgment with his own children, what makes anyone think he can legislate on behalf of anyone else? In a party where we advocate for limited government, we need a strong civil society made up of moral individuals. If Sanford is the standard-bearer of conservative values, count me out.
Republicans always want to rally behind a singular hero when we have solid principles on our side. Heroes fall and fade. Let’s not keep putting our faith in political savior.
If we’re really being honest with ourselves, Sanford is not the second coming for conservatives. This isn’t some story of forgiveness, but of rewarding continued bad judgment. Sanford is at best the lesser of two mediocre options, and at worst the personification of what’s wrong with conservatism today.