In 1987, right or wrong, this was a career killer:
In 2022, this is a resume enhancer:
Rod Dreher has the sordid details.
There was a time when Caligula's Court was a cautionary tale. Today, it's the prize at the end of the race.
By now I hope we realize that the West and historical United States died some decades or even generations ago. It's just that now we're finally beginning to see the decomposition and rot before our eyes. .
I'm not even sure what either of those pictures areReplyDelete
Unknown, the first photo was of Gary Hart a politician running for office caught in an adulterous relationship.Delete
The second photo is our government at work.
Oh, my bad. I didn't realize the one was male. I thought the top photo was some lesbian thingDelete
I read the Dreher article and wish I hadn't. This is one f'd up society we are living in where even the demonic and/or psychologically and mentally damaged are presented to us as normal. What is most disturbing is that so-called reasonable and rational people are actually perpetuating this crap. These people need help and those supporting their perversions need it more.ReplyDelete
Not only perpetuating, but excusing or ignoring. I think there is a serious lack of backbone among many of our leaders today. Perhaps it was just too easy to stand for Truth that, when it became difficult, the easier solution was to abandon the Truth.Delete
I wonder about people like Caligula. Knowing human nature, and bearing in mind the scandals of today, yes, it is clear that people in positions of power will often abuse that power in shocking ways. On the other hand, people in power also have enemies who will slander them, and the enemies who succeed them will often employ others to write histories that exaggerate and outright fabricate crimes of their predecessors. I suspect that is a large part of why such a large proportion of historical figures have been accused of sodomy, sorcery, etc.; it was an attempt by their contemporaries, or their near-contemporaries, to discredit them. Today, however, those libelous accounts are used to argue that sodomy, sorcery, etc., are really quite normal.ReplyDelete
That could be true - to a point. But I wouldn't put too much on that. After all, taking that idea of 'history written by winners' (implying therefore unreliable) and running with it is why we have so many version of what really happened nowadays. Of why so many seem to place no value in history today. I recall a couple years ago blogs buzzing over an English professor who wrote a book suggesting there was no Christian martyrdom in ancient Rome. Just a big lie told by the ascendant Church to justify its eradication of those lovely pagans. A few Christians beaten up over a couple years perhaps. But the great stories of martyrs and saints and persecutions? Completely made up by Christian contemporaries to buttress their power. I fear that's where we end up if we place too much suspicion on the sources and traditions at our disposal.Delete
I've come to believe that the reason a lot of people do what they do and believe what they do is because they think no one will ever hold them accountable. All those denying God and Christianity today but are big on social justice and equality better think this twice. If no one is held accountable for their actions in this world and especially in the next world then Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao et al got away with the murder of millions.Delete
I was not appealing to "history is written by the winners". I was pointing out that you have to understand who was writing and what their plausible motives were. You also have to take into account the genre, the idioms of the language, the cultural conventions, etc. All this boils down to, "Use a bit of sense."Delete
The ancient world had its CNN's and Fox News's -- neither of which are, by any sane standards, "the winners", but they produce records that might survive. The ancient world was a lot like our own; it was not exclusively occupied by Saints and virtuous pagan philosophers; yellow journalism is no doubt as old as the written word. Ramses II did not really win the Battle of Kadesh, but to read his monuments, you would certainly think he did. He didn't have to win, he just had to survive long enough to record his propaganda.
Only an idiot thinks "history is written by the winners". Who knows the Babylonian side of the Sack of Jerusalem? Only a few scholars. The Judaeans lost, but their account is the one people might know.
While I'm on a roll, there is no answer to the question of "How will history view such-and-such?" because history is not a person. The real question is, "How will historians and/or the public view such-and-such?" The answer to that is clear: each generation will see such-and-such differently based on their own experiences, biases, ambitions, etc. Witness the changing attitudes towards Hannibal, Christopher Columbus, and the Founding Fathers, just to name a few.
Sure those things are true. And historians have understood the potential bias of various sources since the beginning of history. But I wouldn't too quickly dismiss the modern exploitation of 'written by the winners' in order to rewrite the history. One problem with history, of course, is that we often have very few actual sources to go with. If we only have a few, and those few paint things in conflicting manners, we have to make some educated guesses. Generally that's when we lean on those who lived closer to the times than those who came later. Today, however, that tendency to dismiss any history as having been propaganda and unreliable has been used to rewrite the record in ways convenient to the writers today. Which, if you think on it, gives credence to the idea that history is written by the winners.Delete
I think Donna Rice is past 60 now. Hope she's living a proper and enjoyable life.ReplyDelete
Mrs. Gary Hart died last April at age 85. The obituary indicates that there were two grandchildren, but no great-grandchildren. Evidently, both of her children lived within about 20 miles of her, so there's that. The son (and presumably the grandchildren) lived a five minute walk down the road. The daughter's lived in suburban Denver for about 20 years, apparently with a female housemate.
A student of the Harts offered the view back in the day that his 2d attempt in 1988 seemed like it was done as a weird exercise in family therapy.
Hart left the Church of the Nazerene in 1968 and his parents died in 1972. (His in-laws had died in 1964 and 1968). Gail Sheehy in interviewing people about Hart for magazine articles discovered a passel of campaign employees who had in 1971 and 1972 either slept with him or commiserated with his discards. Taken out of a very particular ecosystem, he was godawful.
He never seemed a paragon of virtue. I'm not sure where I read it, but I seem to recall it was actually the Gore camp that found out and exposed the story - though I could be wrong.Delete
It's the fact that there was a time when such things were deal breakers, as recently as when I was in college. Now look at things. Except for Trump, it's as if character and morals no longer matter.
There were rumors brought up to Hart at a press conference and he challenged them to 'follow me around. You'll be very bored'. Quite reckless. Morton Kondracke in writing about it later said he'd been told by people in the Democratic nomenklatura who'd worked for Hart that the problem had been under discussion among their set for some time because Hart's promiscuity was compulsive enough that he'd been sloughing off work, creating problems for his staff. The gleichschaltung hadn't consumed American journalism at the time so you had a body of journalists (liberal or non-aligned like Kondracke and Sheehy) who could cover the story and critique Hart. Wouldn't happen today. Hart was embarrassed and had a smidgen of bad conscience about it all and his name was a punchline in Democratic politics ever after. Alas, the public responds positively to shamelessness, hence Clinton and Trump. What interested me about the surveys done on Clinton back in 1998 is that they were not consistent with an actuarial table driven cohort effect. Young people found Clinton's conduct more alienating than older people did.Delete
You look at Hart's family history and you just shake your damned head. He and his wife grew up in an intensely protestant subculture and her father was a big pine cone in the Church of the Nazerene. They attended a Nazerene college. His wife's sister was also elected to Congress the same year he was. They both were purveyors of a sort of politics quite incongruent with the cultural stance with which they were raised. One sister ends up divorced twice and the other the enabler of a serial adulterer.
I have had occasion to wonder of age or the experience of being hung out to dry persuaded him to stop dickin' bimbos.