Just want to give my two cents on the recent Michael Palmer affair that has been dominating the headlines in Singapore lately.
In case you are not Singaporean or you are but somehow still do not know what happened, basically it is your classic story of a politician who decided to have an affair, the news got leaked out, and he resigns his post.
There are no sex tapes or naked cellphone photos accompanying this news (boring!) except some mushy smses discussing... fruit... but Singaporeans are still pretty excited about it. Our country is kinda boring.
The first thing that popped into my mind when I heard of this was... "Not again? Why can't politicians keep their penises in their pants when they have so much to lose?"
So I googled it and got some answers from various articles. The top answer to the Yahoo! Question of "Why do so many politicians have affairs?" is:
"Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac."
It is true that women are generally more attracted to men who are rich, good-looking or show leadership qualities. Being a politician possibly also means being good with words (or lies) and having a certain amount of charm. The average man might have perhaps 5 women trying to seduce him throughout his married life but if someone has 1,000 women fawning over him the chances of a successful seduction is much higher. Of course, not in all cases the homewrecker must have been the initiator, but I'm just saying it is hard to resist, say... Marilyn Monroe if she were coming after you. (Not that Laura Ong is anywhere near that standard)
Another reason could be that politicians are supposed to uphold extremely tight morals, including fidelity to their wives. Rarely do we hear of politicians who get divorced, probably coz they know it will negatively affect their image. So I suppose a lot of them stay on with an unhappy marriage, which is, again, more susceptible to infidelity.
Thirdly, it has also been said that the more someone knows they shouldn't do something, all the more it is fun and thrilling to them.
It may seem at this point that I am somehow on the side of the philandering politicians and finding excuses for them. Rest assured that I am not. Despite all the solid reasons listed above, the fact remains that although it may be harder for politicians to keep it in their pants, we expect MORE from our leaders.
We expect them to show more self control than the average man, be more loving and considerate towards the feelings of his wife and family than the average man, and to be SMARTER than the average man.
Yes, smarter. We don't need a dumbass to be making decisions for us and for our country.
These politicians KNOW very well the consequences to having an affair. They know they will lose everything - the career they worked so hard for, their precious public image built up over years, the trust of their voters and family.
They know that if they send a picture of their penis to their mistress the mistress can blackmail him and/or the penis photo can be sent to the media. They know the media will dig around and publicize every other shameful secret they have.
Plenty of precedence in history. And yet they still fuck around.
The ensuing scandals erase whatever good they have done previously, making them go down in history with all their dirty private sex secrets exposed as an adulterer. I don't know a single good thing Bill Clinton did when he was president but I do know he put a cigar in Monica Lewinsky's cheebye.
ANYONE can tell you it isn't worth it. What do you call a person who, despite knowing that fire burns, decides to put his head in it? Crazy.... Or stupid.
Michael Palmer doesn't seem crazy, so I'd say he is stupid. I won't vote for a stupid politician.
Which leads me to the next topic of discussion...
It is extremely surprising to me that a lot of people are saying he shouldn't have to resign. Are you kidding me?
Here are some of the reasons I've read:
1) His private life has nothing to do with his work life.
2) He just made an "honest mistake".
3) Cheating is not a crime
And this paragraph I got from Yawning Bread:
Right... Firstly, I'd like to say that being faithful to your wife hardly seems to be a "throttling moralistic standard".
70% of men did not cheat throughout their marriage, and to act like it is SOOOO much to expect of Michael Palmer to tell Laura Ong "Look, sorry, but I'm married and also being with you will be political suicide." - that is ridiculous. It isn't that hard, sorry.
Let's not forget that however throttling being monogamous is, Palmer was the one who agreed to it in the first place. Nobody forced him into it.
He could be a single man now and who he fucks is nobody's business, but he proposed, he signed an oath, and to turn back and say "Hey, this fucking one person thing is really throttling!"... That's his fucking problem. You don't want to have one vagina the rest of your life, don't sign on the dotted line. Regret it? Divorce your wife, THEN fuck around.
Nobody expects our politicians to be saints, but since when is being faithful considered... unachievable saintly behaviour?
The line has to be drawn somewhere, and if it is lower than adultery... well then let's also invite rapists, murderers and thieves to lead the country, lest we deprive ourselves of possible talent.
(There are leaders who have turned into rapists, murderers and thieves later on, but we generally do not elect them knowing so)
2) His private life has everything to do with his work life. While his actual work may have no relevance to whoever he is inserting his penis into, whether he likes it or not, he represents the PAP, our government.
Our government dictates a huge part of our societal laws. As a married woman and an expectant mother, yes I'd like to believe in the sanctity of marriage - one man and one woman (applicable also for homosexuals, but that's another topic altogether) for better or for worse till death do us part blah blah.
I'd also like to believe that my government upholds the same familial values and will have laws protecting me should I be a victim of my spouse's adultery.
I expect to see the same values reflected in who they choose to represent them in parliament.
To have an adulterer in the midst of my government... Sorry, I simply cannot accept. It would seem to me that the PAP finds adultery acceptable.
I know that if Palmer remained an MP he is 1% of 99% of monogamous people in the parliament, and it's not like he can suddenly approve a bill of polygamy for all Singaporean men or something, but I just find him repugnant and that feeling will extend to any political party he is in.
Besides, his actions (from his personal life) prove that he is a man who is weak-willed, lack self control, irresponsible, has rotten morals, and as I mentioned before, is stupid. I believe character has everything to do with what he votes for in parliament, don't you?
You may say that Michael Palmer probably will never cheat again so why can't he be forgiven? Which leads me to the next point.
3) It isn't an HONEST MISTAKE. An honest mistake is when you accidentally step on someone's foot in a crowded bus.
This affair has been going on for a while now. It is not like Oh Mr Palmer was not wearing pants one day and his penis accidentally went into Miss Ong's vagina when she was bending over to pick up a pen, oops.
No, he committed mistake after mistake, Monday after Monday... With no consideration for his wife and kid's feelings whatsoever.
Maybe, just maybe, his wife is a horrible person who is also cheating on him (not that this is a valid excuse, he should divorce her before cheating if that's the case) but what did his poor kid do to deserve this?
Sorry, this was done with selfish intent and purpose.
After the first time he had sex with Laura he must have told himself "Oh I've done such a horrible thing today!! Should I stop?" and somehow his answer was No, I should continue.
And he did... All the way he continued until he was caught, and if he weren't, he'd still be fucking Laura Ong next Monday.
So please men, don't say it's an honest mistake, trying perhaps to justify your own weakness and infidelity?
Count the amount of times you inserted your penis into a woman other than your wife... Considering you can stop after any amount of thrusts, THAT count is the total number of mistakes you made.
4) Michael Palmer resigned not because he was forced to but because he knew it was the strategic thing to do.
Just imagine if you were him, how thick-skinned would you have to be to stay on? All your colleagues will be gossiping about you, nobody will focus on any of your good work.
Nobody will vote for you anymore because someone who cannot even handle his family well should not try to handle the country. Staying on will only cost his party precious votes. Really, what choice does he have?
I've read people saying he being brave and honourable to resign. I agree it does take courage to admit a shameful mistake, and Michael Palmer's reaction is definitely more honourable than the last politician who had an affair, Yew Shin Leong, who is a coward, but let's not make him out to be some sort of hero, shall we?
A man should man up to his mistakes. He simply did what any PR agency would have advised him to.
I cannot believe that there are people who are on his side, and this is simply the most ridiculous thing I've read, via my facebook feed:
Are you fucking kidding me?
So now we are supposed to be sympathetic and empathizing to adulterers too? THEY HAVE RIGHTS?
No, what they had a RIGHT to is to NOT cheat!
Nobody took a gun to their head and forced them to have an affair!
Really, think about it, what do adulterers get when they cheat?
Sometimes, if the adulterer is male and rich and happens to have a scheming wife, she get a fair share of his estate, ie monetary rewards.
However, adultery isn't that easy to prove in court, and for the men whose wives cheated on them or for the wives of poorer men, sometimes the consequences for the adulterer is simply shame and embarrassment.
Most of the time the adulterer goes on to lead a new life with the homewrecker.
In the case of no divorce, the spouse is forced to forgive such a monumental mistake and continue trying to make the marriage work.
Is this fair? They do something so cruel and selfish to their spouse whom they have made a promise to, and signed an oath on. Sometimes there are children involved. Other times they pass sexually transmitted diseases to their partners.
And now you are telling me we should not even bestow upon them the rightful shame and scorn they deserve because we shouldn't DISCRIMINATE AGAINST THEM? FUCK YOU!
I can discriminate against them all I want because they made themselves into adulterers via conscious choice, it is not like they are born an adulterer now, are they??
Save your self-righteous anti-discrimination crap for the right people who deserve it, people who are discriminated based on something they cannot help, like gender, race, or disability - not for fucking adulterers for fuck's sake.
I'm still cracking my brains thinking exactly what "rights" I'm supposed to be giving to Adulterers... The right to privacy perhaps since what happened in their family is their business?
Sorry, the Adulterer is the first to pull a third party into the picture and after that he lost his right to privacy when he decided to create such a scandal for everyone to see. It's like dancing naked in your backyard and yelling at people to not look at you.
Adulterers know exactly what they are getting themselves into when they have an affair. The same reason I agree with capital punishment - if you know the consequences and still do it, you deserve it.