jeffenank3 posted an update 1 month, 3 weeks ago
Enough with the shock, people! While we‚Äôre at it, enough with the investigations, the gossip and the congressional testimony.
The most remarkable thing about the David Petraeus sex scandal is that it proves there‚Äôs no limit to people‚Äôs ability to feign shock and surprise about what is, after all, nothing but a warmed-over retelling of a story that was old even when Homer fashioned ‚ÄúThe Iliad.‚ÄĚ
That 8th-century B.C. tale was, let‚Äôs recall, a story of how a prince‚Äôs lust for another man‚Äôs wife led to the prince‚Äôs death and the destruction of all the prince held dear.
When I went through training to become an officer in the CIA‚Äôs Clandestine Service, they encouraged me to learn, as all successful spy recruiters must, how people tick. You can‚Äôt convince people to accept the wonderful opportunity to risk their lives and reputations by spying for the CIA unless you have a very pragmatic understanding of psychology and human motivations.
You don‚Äôt learn what they should do, what their duty tells them to do, what their church tells them to do, what their reputation claims they do.
You study what people, when nobody is looking, actually do.
Take a general who was ascribed near demigod status by a good segment of the country. Put him in a new position that requires remaining low-profile and allows few opportunities for the public ego gratification he had in previous jobs. Immerse him in the world of clandestine relationships, where double lives are par for the course.
Add a sympathetic, attractive, starstruck woman willing to supply gratification (in all senses of the word) in spades. Mix, heat and serve: instant sex scandal.
Not only is this not surprising, it is practically clinical in presentation. One study of the phenomena, ‚ÄúPower, Optimism, and Risk-Taking,‚ÄĚ by Cameron Anderson of the University of California, Berkeley, and Adam Galinsky of Northwestern, theorizes the phenomenon works like this:
‚ÄúPossessing power increases people‚Äôs proclivity for risk . . . individuals with power should be more likely to engage in behaviors such as gambling or unprotected sex, because they would be more focused on money they could win or the physical pleasure involved in the sexual encounter, and less focused on the possibility of losing the gamble or contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
‚ÄúThat is, power might make people less aware of the risks in the first Michael Kors Tote place. Furthermore, they might be more optimistic of their chances of winning and of avoiding a disease ‚Äē basically, power would induce a perceived reduction in the Michael Kors Outlets probability of experiencing the downside of risk.‚ÄĚ
In plainer language, when you are on the inside of a life-long winning streak, Michael Kors Usa you begin to believe, ‚ÄúWell, I‚Äôve been successful at all these other difficult things; surely I can do this and avoid the downsides, too.‚ÄĚ
So it is not despite Petraeus‚Äô great and gifted military service that he wound up here, it is because of it. In real life, the people least immune to occasional bouts of ego-driven folly Michael Kors Hamilton Large are those with deservedly big egos.
Whether it was Anthony Weiner, Thomas Jefferson, Bill Clinton, the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart, Alexander Hamilton, Pope Alexander VI, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower or Petraeus, this kind of risk-taking behavior is endemic to high-status men. It is as likely to stop, or even slow down, as the sun is to be blue tomorrow morning.
Assuming no classified information was compromised, the only people who have the right to be Michael Kors Hamilton Large Tote outraged over the Petraeus scandal are the betrayed spouses.
The U.S. has real issues to face, not least a looming economic crisis ominously dubbed the ‚Äúfiscal cliff.‚ÄĚ We need to get past the Petraeus scandal, and even more than that, avoid getting embroiled in similarly pointless sideshows when a nearly identical revelation happens again next week and next month and next year.
Unless the person came into office on a single-issue platform of marital fidelity, it is just not our Cheap Michael Kors business.
Keller is a former CIA case officer and author of the novel ‚ÄúHollow Strength.‚ÄĚ