The Sad Death Of Mark Mayfield

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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As Alex Pappas noted earlier, Mark Mayfield, a Mississippi Tea Party leader who was allegedly involved in the scheme to photograph Sen. Thad Cochran’s wife in a nursing home, is dead of an apparent suicide. This is tragic.

It’s impossible to know what prompted this apparent suicide, but one could speculate the timing might have something to do with McDaniel’s defeat on Tuesday. Had it not been for the nursing home scandal, after all, McDaniel might have won the primary outright, meaning the run-off wouldn’t have even happened. Is it possible that, coupled with what he was already going through, Mayfield might have felt that he was partly responsible for the defeat?

Political losses are, I think, underrated in terms of their impact. About a decade ago, I knew a guy who seemed to have it all. He had money and a pretty wife and a nice life. He was respected in his community, as well. And then he ran for Congress. And he lost. Within a year, he lost his home and his wife, and then, he committed suicide.

They ought to send in grief counselors after political losses.

Regardless of what brought about this sad end in Mississippi, the whole thing should serve as a warning to us all about the dangers of politics. A while back, I wrote about the temptations involved — about how even a normally good person could be swept-up and seduced into being a part of something sleazy like the nursing home break in. As I wrote: “Ambitious activists, operatives, and even journalists are all susceptible to the same delusions of grandeur, and are under the same amount of stress and sleep deprivation.”

I wrote it as a warning to young journalists and political operatives. But come to think of it, maybe age isn’t even a factor…