Esse quam videri

Esse quam videri – to be, rather than to seem – is the state motto for North Carolina. where I live.  It first appeared in Cicero’s essay “On Friendship”.  

It appears to me to be a most appropriate headline for a list those who appear to be one thing, but actually are something else.  Americans are a most forgiving people, but many have discovered the limits of that forgiveness when you vociferously claim to be one thing, but are found to be something quite different.

With no further delay, my first list follows:

  1. Donald Trump – President (R) – Accused of sexual misconduct, assault and rape by several women.  Caught on video, saying “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”
  2. Denny Hastert – former Speaker of the House (R-IL) -Admitted to sexually abusing underage boys while a wrestling coach prior to his political career.
  3. Scott DesJarlais – current Representative (R-TN) -Reprimanded by TN Board of Medical Examiners for having, as physician, sex with two of his patients.  As ardent pro-lifer, made his ex-wife have two abortions.  Admitted under oath to at least 6 affairs.
  4. Mark Foley – former Representative (R-FL) – Accused of sending inappropriate e-mails to teenage male pages
  5. Robert Bentley – former Governor (R-AL) – Allegedly had an affair with staffer.  Plead guilty to two misdemeanor campaign financing charges related to concealing affair.
  6. John Ensign – former Senator (R-NV) -Admitted to affair with a woman and arranging lobbying  opportunities with her husband in violation of conflict of interest statutes.
  7. David Petraeus – former CIA Director, retired 4 star General – Accused of providing classified information to his mistress.  Plead guilty to one misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information.
  8. Roy Ashburn – former State Senator (R-CA) – Voted consistently against gay rights legislation, until caught DUI, while leaving a gay bar with a patron.  Subsequently admitted he was gay and now supports gay rights.


Dishonorable Mention (Just cheating, without any convictions)

  • Bill Clinton – former President – Had an affair with intern in White House. Impeached by the House, but not convicted by the Senate.
  • Mark Sanford – former Governor (R-SC), now Representative (R-SC) – Had an affair with an Argentinian woman. leaving the state several times secretly to meet with her, without informing state law enforcement, the lieutenant governor and others of his whereabouts.
  • Anthony Weiner – former Representative (D-NY) – Admitted sending inappropriate pictures of himself to many women.
  • Elliott Spitzer – former Governor (D-NY) – Reportedly used numerous prostitutes over the years as NY Attorney General and Governor.  No charges were filed, but he resigned as Governor as result.
  • John Edwards – former Senator (D-NC) – Had an affair with campaign worker.
  • Larry Craig – former Senator (R-ID) – Charged with lewd conduct in airport restroom.  Plead guilty to disorderly conduct.  Yes, there was a conviction here*.


*Craig is included under Dishonorable Mention because he basically just attempted to cheat.  Was he hypocritical?  Of course.  Most consider Craig to be more salacious because of the unseemly circumstances.  Meeting someone for sex is the same whether it’s at work, church, a bar, a bathroom, a hotel, online, wherever.  Intention, consent, relationship status, and other factors contribute far more to appropriateness or lack thereof than location.