A word or four about Mike Pence and his marriage: His body, his choice. Lots of feminist frothing over the following sentences in a Washington Post story about Karen Pence, Mike Pence’s wife:
“In 2002, Mike Pence told the Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.”
For all the preening harpies who are so incredibly naive about marriage and politics:
- The political beast is an avaricious one. The personality loves adoration and seeks it. The personality is energized by people and ideas and especially good looking people with exciting ideas. Very few of these political beasts recognize their own appetites and weaknesses. Those who do, take precautions.
- Marriage is a compact of trust. The strength of it and what makes it more and different from other relationships is that it abides through everything and forms a foundation for two people to be stronger than each would be alone. Infidelity destroys that foundation. People who value that compact, protect it and fight for it.
- Alcohol reduces inhibitions. Alcohol makes all sorts of bad ideas seem good. Beer goggles, guys who gnaw off their arms in the morning, the walk of shame–these jokes and clichés exist because, surprise, people universally recognize the weakness that can come with imbibing.
- Avoid the appearance of evil. Conservative politicians, more than any other flavor of politician, are targets because they have standards. What fun to bring down a conservative politician. He’s a hypocrite! It is wise to understand this dynamic and protect against it.
- The Teenager Defense: You’ll never trust me!!! A parent and wise adult knows that life is not lived in a hermetically sealed vacuum. It’s not just the teen driver he worries about, it’s the crazy drunks on the road when bars close. It’s the distraction that happens with a carful of people. It’s the fact that the parent is out of town and so cannot help if a situation goes badly. Marriage is between two people but the contract is not kept in a vacuum. There are all sorts of external threats that exist without even sitting with a beautiful person other than one’s spouse, drinking a glass of Chardonnay. Why borrow trouble? Why not protect what you love?
The political world is difficult and mean. Spouses are separated at long stretches. Some, make “arrangements.” Some endure hardships with their trust and marriage in tact. Some abide by rules to keep them honorable.
That there is so much scorn about the Pence’s marriage illustrates what an upside down world we live in these days. A long, happy marriage is not easy. A political life completed with one’s reputation in tact may be even more rare than a successful marriage. To do both at the same time is no small feat. The Pence’s are wise to take precautions. We’ve all seen what happens when couples don’t.
P.S. Bill Clinton.