An Open Letter to Governor Mark Sanford

Dear Governor Sanford

Personal decisions sometimes have very public consequences.  For you, it appears that your very promising political career is over.  As it should be.  We need men and women of integrity in public office.  If you can’t keep promises to your wife, how can the public trust you to keep your promises to them?

I listened to most of your press conference yesterday.  Thank you very much for not including your wife in the press conference like so many of your fellow philanderers do.  You all have embarrassed your wives enough.  No reason to rub their faces in your farces of press conference apologies.

Governor, KISS–Keep it Simple Stupid.  No reason to go on and go with your apology press conference.  Just stand up, tell everyone that you are a cheater and a liar, and,  if you are truly sorry, say so, then shut up and go away.

As far as going away, you might want to consider that when it comes to public office.  You have thrown away the trust of your wife and your family.  The citizens of South Carolina probably don’t trust you anymore either.  Perhaps the honorable thing to do now would to just resign.

A few words of advice–given, of course, way too late to be of any help to you.  First, if you are going to be a fool and cheat on your family, don’t do it on Fathers Day weekend.  Your sons will never forget how selfish you really are.  Your marriage might not mean anything to you anymore, but why Fathers Day?   Second, you mentioned in your press conference that this affair was with a good friend that you have had for a long time and things just got carried away.  One of the most useful and important lessons that I learned in graduate school had nothing to do with academics.  It had to do with fidelity.  My professor taught us that the best way to protect again the situation that you are now in is to be overly cautious.  Don’t touch anyone at work other than a friendly handshake.  No hugging.  No touching.  If you keep strict limits, you  probably aren’t going to have an office affair.  If you are married, avoid being alone with women.  You said that this “relationship” started out “innocently.”  Innocent relationships can quickly get very complicated and not so innocent.  Just don’t go there to begin with and avoid the heartbreak.

I wish you the best, Governor.  I hope that you can somehow work things out with your wife and regain her trust.  I hope that you haven’t irreparably damaged your relationship with your sons.

Start telling and living the truth.  Your personal life might then have a change to recover and to heal.


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