Just a few weeks ago, New York Representative Anthony Weiner resigned from his congressional seat due to a Twitter induced sex scandal. The nation, particularly right wing talk show hosts, was in a frenzy. “Weiner” jokes, the nation was wrapped up with Weiner’s weiner. However, how big of a deal was it?
All Sides are Guilty
If you think that members of congress, governors, mayors, and other politicians do not cheat on their spouses all of the time, you are blindly ignorant to the facts in Washington and state capitals around the country. While the vast majority of our elected officials are well behaved, upstanding people, not all are.
I could spout out a list of cheaters. These range from the recent Governator scandal (Republican) to the most famous case of all, when President Clinton (Democrat) had an affair with Monica Lewinsky. Also, not too long in our past Senator Larry Craig (Republican) was arrested for soliciting gay sex in an airport restroom.
Sex scandals involving female elected officials are harder to find, but they exist too. For example, in 1998 Idaho Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth (Republican) admitted to a long term affair with a married man.
I personally do not care about an official’s performance in the bathroom; I care about his or her performance in the professional world. These are not members of the clergy, they are generally business and legal professionals who took the jump to politics.
If my Congressman has an affair, I don’t really care as long as the job is being done. As long as my district’s interests are well represented and my representative is working toward an effective and efficient government, why does it matter what he does in his personal life.
If my Rabbi were in an affair, I would demand that he be fired. I do not hold politicians to the same standard.
As Chris Rock famously said, “he ain’t Pastor Clinton.” He is just a man. He is a man with a job to do. Should politicians be held to a higher moral standard when the divorce rate in the United States is 50%?
No. That is ridiculous.
What Do You Think?
Should our politicians be held to a higher moral standard than the rest of us? Should they have to resign if they are caught in an affair? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Photo by David Boyle.