Why Do Politicians Cheat On Their Wives?
I know, I know, it’s sexist to suggest that all politicians are men, but all of our Presidents have been men and most world leaders throughout history, so for the purposes of this post let’s just go with it.
On the morning of January 21, 1998, as Americans woke up to the stunning allegation that President Bill Clinton had had an affair with a 24-year-old White House intern, Darwinian historian Laura L. Betzig thought, “I told you so.” Betzig points out that while powerful men throughout Western history have married monogamously (only one legal wife at a time), they have always mated polygynously (they had lovers, concubines, and female slaves). With their wives, they produced legitimate heirs; with the others, they produced bastards. Genes make no distinction between the two categories of children.
As a result, powerful men of high status throughout human history attained very high reproductive success, leaving a large number of offspring (legitimate and otherwise), while countless poor men died mateless and childless. Moulay Ismail the Bloodthirsty, the last Sharifian emperor of Morocco, stands out quantitatively, having left more offspringÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬?1,042ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬?than anyone else on record, but he was by no means qualitatively different from other powerful men, like Bill Clinton.
The question many asked in 1998ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬?”Why on earth would the most powerful man in the world jeopardize his job for an affair with a young woman?”ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬?is, from a Darwinian perspective, a silly one. Betzig’s answer would be: “Why not?” Men strive to attain political power, consciously or unconsciously, in order to have reproductive access to a larger number of women. Reproductive access to women is the goal, political office but one means. To ask why the President of the United States would have a sexual encounter with a young woman is like asking why someone who worked very hard to earn a large sum of money would then spend it.
So it goes hand in hand with being powerful? I guess if we accept the conceit that all men are motivated by sex it makes perfect sense. But are we ultimately motivated by sex and that’s it? That’s what it all leads back to? Fellas, weigh in here. Personally I don’t think so because reproduction also means responsibility and how many kids do these politicians really want to be responsible for? I’m guessing not to many. And by the way, Moulay Ismail the Bloodthirsty? Sounds like he was thirsty for a lot more than blood.
In any event, if you have some time today, click over and read the entire article. It proposes 10 politically incorrect “realities” about human nature. I don’t know if they’re true or not, but if you read the whole thing, come back here and comment.