Brownell: On moral leaders and successful adulterers


A timely primer on how to become moral leaders and successful adulterers at the same time. The first rule: Spend your own money.

By Jess Brownell

(Jess Brownell, the Voice of the Midwest, operates out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as a freelance writer.)

Friend of mine dropped by, said he was out walking the other day and happened to pass a local hotel. Noticed a number of well-dressed men, most with a touch of grey at the temples, not all exactly good-looking, entering. Asked the doorman what was up, and was told a highly regarded motivational speaker was appearing in the ballroom. Being a fellow always in need of motivation, he slipped in and lingered in the shadows. If the recording device he carries with him is to be believed, this is what he heard:

Welcome, gentlemen, and thank you for coming. Our time today is short, and I’m going to get right to business. No beating around the bush. Ha, ha.

Yes, in an ideal world, moral leadership and adultery would not be mutually exclusive. We acknowledge that. But we don’t live in that world. In the real world, people have funny ideas – some of which we’ve helped them to develop – and those people, sad to say, are often inclined to vote. Keep them in mind as we continue.

I’m assuming you’re all planning to have affairs. Otherwise why would you be here? If you’re not so planning, well, maybe you have a friend who is. Ha, ha. Anyway, my job today is to help you become both successful adulterers and moral leaders at the same time. It’s not as hard as it sounds, and when it works it can be a hell of a lot of fun.

Let’s talk e-mail first, because you’re going to be tempted, especially if you’re screwing somebody on your staff. Be careful! Theoretically you can work out a code in which “Have my car ready at three,” say, actually means “Be naked in your apartment at three,” but you both have to be able to remember the code without writing it down. If you wind up naked in your car at three, even in you’re alone, somebody’s going to wonder. And none of that “those lips, those eyes” business, either, not to mention any references to what goes on in your or her pants at the very thought of you or her. Nobody wants to read that.

(That’s a joke, for God’s sake. Everybody wants to read it, that’s why you can’t write it.)

Don’t pay any attention to those so-called experts from the national party, either, no matter how much radio and TV time they get. Multiple marriages are not evidence of successful adultery, just the opposite. We’re here to talk about success, okay?

There are some things you can do before the advent of actual amorousness to smooth the way. You might express some doubt about the wisdom of the death penalty, for example, or suggest that perhaps occasionally a little government regulation might be useful. Yes, political fall-out will result, but you can finesse it if you’re any good at all, and it will be well worth it to get off the top of the liberal watch-list.

Now we come to the one hard and fast rule. I know this is going to be a deal-breaker for some of you, but it can’t be helped. Here it is:


That’s right. Spend your own money on your own mistress. Drive your own car with your own gas in the tank. Pay for the flowers out of your own pocket. The state is not getting laid. Your campaign committee is not getting its rocks off. You’re the one having the fun, so pick up the check. It’s one of the keys to successful adultery. Plus, do that – pay your own way for a while -- and guess what? You’ll start to feel like your own man again. Remember that?

I’m afraid our time is about up for today. There are hand-outs at the non-registration desk for those who didn’t take notes. I want to thank you for your attention.

What did you ask? Oh, the moral leadership thing? No problem, pal. Any idiot can do that part.