Wednesday, March 30, 2011

When the Other Man Is a Population of 13,276,517

There are so many divorces in the world, but really, not that many grounds for the divorce.  Infidelity:  that’s a popular reason.  Abuse:  almost no one argues against that.  Latent homosexuality:  a fabulous reason.  Bankruptcy protection, mismatched sexual appetites,  designated hitter debates.  All reasonable and understandable bases for ending your marriage.

Here’s one you didn’t think of:  by-passing presidential eligibility laws.

The Constitution of Guatemala states that family members of current presidents are ineligible to succeed their relative in the office.  A control mechanism against the risk of familial dynasty that Americans seem to have employed without specifically codifying.  Imagine if the likes of George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, Franklin D. Roosevelt, or John Quincy Adams had not waited a decent interval before publicizing their pursuit of sovereign succession.

So that’s what President Alvaro Colom and First Lady Sandra Torres are doing:  divorcing so she can run for president.  They refer to it as a “noble sacrifice.”

I call bullshit.

If you’re not prepared to trash your ex in public, re-write the history of your courtship, fight over who gets the lawnmower, and bore your friends to death by going on about how you tried for so long but just have nothing left to give, well, then it’s just not a real divorce.  Taking advantage of the special status of marriage as the only legally soluble familial relationship is a cynical exploitation of the system.  Amend the constitution if it means that much to you.  Or, here’s an idea:  Don’t set out to succeed your husband in the first place!  For Christ’s sake, Guatemalans chose a one-term presidency for a reason.  Who are you to try to work around that?

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