Why do politicians break the no rooting rule?

An article in the Sydney Morning Herald investigates why politicians are inveterate rooters:

Richard Nixon’s secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, said: ”Power is the great aphrodisiac.” (Although it has to be said his planned seduction of the B-grade movie actor Mamie van Doren went awry when she was repelled by his smelly socks.) He regretted saying that famous bon mot but it’s true. Because political leaders are the alpha males in the community, women are attracted to them, even though the men may be ugly and much older, as was Bill Clinton when he and Monica Lewinsky indulged in kinky cigar sex in the White House.

It’s the same with the recently resigned Italian prime minster, Silvio Berlusconi, whose orgies, or bunga-bunga parties, have become notorious. What repelled many people was the thought of this plump former cruise singer in his 70s, with a rigid, shiny face courtesy of plastic surgery and Botox, bedding teenagers.

But, as I know from my own past, the allure of the dominant male is strong.

A relative of mine was a prim and proper woman and a fanatical Labor supporter. Although she was married, she had flings with a charismatic prime minister and an unappealing but highly intelligent state premier. She not only admired these men but justified her behaviour as a feminine way of supporting the Labor Party.

Many political leaders have had enormous sexual appetites. Chairman Mao Zedong was a legendary sleaze and the recently murdered Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, fuelled by dangerous amounts of Viagra, had sex five times a day with any women his aides could find for him. Mussolini and Napoleon were just as voracious.

The thing is that we might be shocked by the amount of sexual excess but not surprised, which is why it’s strange that we continue to have politicians’ careers ruined or besmirched by sexual allegations.

So it appears that politicians break the no rooting rule because they can.

What appears common to most of these politicians is the risks they take, whether it’s sex in the Oval Office or mooching around for hookers in a Paris park. But then it could be said that most politicians succeed by taking risks.

It’s the nature of politics to gamble on making a grasp for leadership or to outfox one’s opponents with a risky strategy. Fuelled by a lust for power and driven by vast reserves of testosterone, which he needs to make it to the top, the alpha politician regards women as a just and proper reward for someone in his position.

Politics is about power and with it comes the exhilaration of being the dominant male. The risks of discovery these men take in their private lives is a part of the allure of such adventures. The excitement of the risk of being caught is underpinned by their arrogance and feelings of invulnerability, something that was clearly evident in Clinton’s dangerous fling.

But there’s more to it. The art of politics is being able to seduce your backers and the public to vote for you. It’s only a short step to these men thinking it’s only natural that they can also seduce any woman they want. If you believe Tiffanie – and there are many reasons for doing so – then Macdonald said to her: ”If you knew who I was, you would be very surprised.” It sums up both a politician’s massive ego and the thrill of being a powerful man.

 

 

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