So, according to Newsweek and The Washington Monthly, while William Bennett was excoriating Bill Clinton for his off-and-on dalliance with Monica, Bennett himselfwas having pricey affairs with a series of one-armed girlfriends. ("I've been a 'machine person' [slot machines and video poker]. When I go to the tables, people talk--and they want to talk about politics. I don't want that. I do this for three hours to relax"), once losing $625,000 in one casino trip. Guess he's a gambling addict. Poor guy.
But ... but wait! Didn't Bennett's fellow conservative John Stossel tell us on ABC a couple of weeks ago that what most people refer to as "addictions" are really choices?
In Canada, some lawyers are suing the government, saying it is responsible for getting people addicted to video slot machines.
Jean Brochu says he was unable to resist the slot machines — that he was "sick." He says the government made him sick, and his sickness led him to embezzle $50,000. Now, he's suing the government to restore his dignity and pay his therapy bills.
Psychologist Jeff Schaler, author of Addiction Is a Choice, argues that people have more control over their behavior than they think.
"Addiction is a behavior and all behaviors are choices," Schaler says. "What's next, are we going to blame fast-food restaurants for the foods that they sell based on the marketing, because the person got addicted to hamburgers and french fries?"
As the Newsweek article points out, Bennett himself wrote in The Book of Virtues, “We should know that too much of anything, even a good thing, may prove to be our undoing … [We] need to set definite boundaries on our appetites.”
If we should do that, and excessive gambling is a choice, as Stossel says, isn't Bennett merely choosing immoral self-indulgence? Won't he burn in hell for that?
What will we tell the children?