Bill Clinton, John Edwards. Newt Gingrich, John Ensign.
The first was a U.S. president; the third a former Congressman and House speaker; the second and fourth are former U.S. senators. What do these men have in common, other than their being major Washington Beltway politicians?
While Clinton and Edwards are Democrats, Gingrich and Ensign are Republicans. All are adulterers.
So it comes as no surprise that, by one measure — those who sign up for the “Life is short. Have an affair” website Ashley Madison — Washington, D.C. has more adulterers than any other city in America.
Neal Augenstein reports for wtop.com, Feb. 24, 2012, that more people per capita in the D.C. metropolitan area sign up for the website Ashley Madison than in any other city, according to the site, which helps people looking to stray. Washington has the highest per capita membership among the site’s 13 million users, The Washington Post reports. The site claims 38,000 registered users in the District.
Ashley Madison’s CEO Noel Biderman rationalized to the Post that it’s because D.C. has so many successful people. People become successful from taking professional risks that often pay off; that risk-taking personality trait also prompts personal risks such as adultery. “The more successful you are, the more prone to cheating you are, and Washington is full of successful people looking for something outside their marriage.”
So the political capital of the United States of America is also the adultery capital! No wonder our country is so screwed up.
Founding Father John Adams certainly anticipated this sad state of affairs, writing in a letter to Mercy Warren in 1776:
“Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics. There must be a positive passion for the public good, the public interest, honour, power and glory, established in the minds of the people, or there can be no republican government, nor any real liberty: and this public passion must be superiour to all private passions.”