We Americans are so naïve. Every time one of our respected public officials is revealed to be a man who played around, we are shocked and dismayed. The higher the office the more amazement and disbelief.
Not you, of course, I mean the average idealist in the street. It's a sure sign the country is going to the dogs. The accelerated moral degeneracy was made even clearer in the revelations about the two latest governors of New York this past week.
The problem dates back to the founding of the country.
We were always taught that George Washington was a god, the most virtuous moral man who ever lived, a paragon of rectitude. He was always portrayed as not a man of flesh and blood but a saint made of marble. The sanctity of his office made it inconceivable he would do anything disgusting, expect possibly when he was with the founding mother of the country.
Everybody knows that George Washington was first in war first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen. In researching my book, The Making of the President 1789, I discovered that he was also first with the ladies. I found at least nine women who could have said in all honesty George Washington slept here.
The founding girlfriends never got credit for their contribution to the winning of the revolution. Towards this goal, I not only name names of the true patriots, but also even include the pictures Gen. Washington may had in his foot locker during the eight years of the Revolutionary War (1775-1783).
There are two things you have to know about George Washington. He was a lusty fellow, as I discovered in my research, and he was a sexually frustrated man.
He chased girls as a young man in Virginia, kind of a twentysomething werewolf, hitting on teenyboppers in the Tidewater. A real dork, always asking rich young ladies to marry him, he was 0 for 9 when Martha finally accepted him.
Why would he suddenly change his spots on his coat when he became a soldier, a war hero, a man who any day could die in battle or be hung as a traitor, leading a traveling salesman life?
As I explain in the book, Gen. Washington was away from Mt. Vernon for eight years during the war. Martha came to the front on the average of one week a year. That left 51 weeks when, according to other historians, he had no sexual activity worth noting. Praying in the snow at Valley Forge only went so far.
It also was a lusty time. There was a population explosion going on in colonial America, an instrument of public policy. Americans were the jackrabbits of the British Empire. It was almost a patriotic duty to have sex often.
During the founding of the country, sex was on everybody's mind. Why else did they refer to their representatives as "members" of Congress, I ask you?
And yet historians want us to believe that George went the eight years of war never falling off the wagon, so to speak, except for the week sabbaticals with Martha. It would be like a rock star abstaining the years he is number one on the charts. The frustrated werewolf with the pick of the nation's belles -- the Washington party girls, as I call them - -had suddenly got a grip on himself!
Historians have several theories about the apparent absence of sex. 1. Washington had the sex drive of a turnip. 2. The country was founded by ascetics.
I know Washington idealized women, put them on a pedestal. But it was hard to believe he went eight years being on the road without a...uhhh... date. Yet I have read a thousand history books and there is not a single case of an unnatural act, that is, sleeping with somebody, not even Betsy Ross. Too bad the historians cheated him of credit where it might have been due. The man could have been the biggest stud in Virginia and the nation.
One of the great heroic activities along this line during the war involved the general and the wife of Gen. Nathanael Greene. Young, vivacious, a beauty who could banter and play the coquette, Kitty Greene was the first Washington groupie. Some said she was an airhead, but she knew French and loved to dance.
The general and Kitty Greene were reported by historians to have danced one night for three and a half-hours with each other without stopping during a party at Morristown. What kind of dancing was this, historians didn't explain. Was it horizontal or vertical? Especially noteworthy was Gen. Greene being sent that night on a secret mission to by some cricket bats or something behind the enemy lines in Philadelphia. It was so urgent, Gen. Washington said, he had to leave camp that night without even saying goodbye to Kitty.
Suffice it to say, the founding fathers knew what they were doing when they built that monument honoring the first president on the Mall.
And why didn't other historians note all of this? First of all sex was disguised in olden times. Words for having sex may have been different in letters and diaries. "Committee meeting"... "Drafting Constitution"... "Laying foundation for a new form of government" may have been among the euphemisms.
Secondly, the generation that wrote all the histories were Victorian prudes. They didn't think it was right to go into private lives. According to this school of historians the only one who had sex during the founding of the country was Benjamin Franklin. He must have done it with at least half the daughters of the American Revolution. Oh, and Alexander Hamilton was known to have done some, to use the technical term, mufkeying around.
The problem is historians are Victorian prudes. Good guys didn't have sex. The original George W was an early advocate of the modern Republican "Say no to sex" abstinence program.
There was no room for a Freudian interpretation of history. Why shouldn't he have had his share of sex during the war or after? Was he the first eunuch?
Other conquering heroes had what was long considered one of the privileges of office. Napoleon...Caesar ...did it. So did Ike and his Kay Summersby during World War II
As a matter of fact, doing it was almost presidential. Thomas Jefferson, they say, dated Sally Hemings, his contribution to early civil rights movement. Warren Harding had his Nan Britton in the closet with the umbrellas in the White House cloakroom... FDR loved Lucy... JFK with the Rockettes, the whole chorus line -- not to mention Marilyn Monroe. ...The big difference between Bill Clinton and Washington was he did not have sex with that woman in the corridor rather than the Oval Office.
Just about every president, it could be argued, did it. Well, maybe not Richard Nixon. Who would have wanted to mufkey around with him?
I don't want to unduly arouse anybody's prurient interest, but I call your attention to pages 254-273 of The Making of the President 1789 for more lurid details of committee meetings during the founding of the country. The other pages are pretty cool, too.
In conclusion, I want to assure you everything I have written here is the truth. As a Washington scholar, I cannot tell a lie.