Tiger Woods in Puritan America?
A good case in point is that of Mark Sanford the staunch conservative governor of South Carolina who not only cheated on his wife after declaring Clinton's behavior to be "reprehensible" and voting for his impeachment, but also used public money for expenses with his mistress.
As for Bill Clinton, most Europeans did not get that it was the lying in a deposition as much as his cheating in the White House that shocked the Americans. As the nation's highest elected official the president in America is not just a politician, he embodies the nation. The French tend to think that the president is a man like any other and the separation between public and private is enforced by one of the toughest libel laws in Europe. (and Sarkozy’s public display of his private life has damaged his popularity in France).
Still, there is no doubt that in America, morals play a more crucial role in politics than it does in Europe.
I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. ... Although I am a well-known person and have made my career as a professional athlete, I have been dismayed to realize the full extent of what tabloid scrutiny really means. For the last week my family and I have been hounded to expose intimate details of our personal lives. ... Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn't have to mean public confessions. (Tiger Woods' Website)
Unlike today’s America, they would have never turned a mere mortal into a god. Tiger Woods has been made a secular god and he is now a fallen idol. And what lies behind such worship is not the desire for morals but greed and the love of money thanks to a multi-million dollar system of contracts and commercial deals with “morality clauses”, the 24-hour news-and-entertainment media , the tabloids that have an appetite for sex scandal and finally the people who buy and watch them.
Tiger Woods is probably the greatest golfers of all time and we can revere him for that (as well for breaking another racial barrier) but as for the rest, it is his own business and he should not be expected perfection. As far as I can see, he has behaved in a dignified manner and simply refused to play the role expected of him.
It is about time that people should stop making moral judgment on people they have never met, and Americans should stop enjoying the sick pleasure of the public humiliation and torment of others.