Badge of Dishonor

May 23, 2013

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It struck me today as I watched an ad by Anthony Weiner for his run as Mayor of NYC, that he seems almost proud of the fact that he’s making his “comeback” from scandal.   His youtube video was like his *badge* of dishonor.  His quote “Look, I’ve made a lot of big mistakes and I’ve let a lot of people down… but,” … made me think about all the scandals that run rampant through our government and these elected representative politicians.  When did we start allowing such behavior, much less considering it to be acceptable?  It used to be that once a scandal hit the public’s ears and eyes you were done!  Toast!  You went into the land of irrelevance and obscurity after anything more than just the hint or “whiff” of a scandal.

I think the cultural turn was during the Clinton era.  I remember a lot of people starting to differentiate politician’s scandalous acts separate from the politician them self.  “Well, that’s his private life.  It’s got nothing to do with how he does his job!” is something I often heard.  But does it really?  Does a person’s poor choices in their private life effect how they do their job representing the American people?  By electing these people into office, we are handing them power to rule over us.  We seriously need to ask ourselves “Do a person’s character and integrity have any bearing on their role as a leader?”  The answer should be that  it does!

Their misleading speeches on how sorry they are and how they have learned their lessons reminds me of children trying to get what they want regardless of the fact that they do not need or deserve it.  Weiner in particular is using his own child and wife in his video to try and rebuild his image.  It seems to say “Well, if she can give me a second chance then why can’t the public?”   I choose not to fall for that line of reasoning.  His wife has her own reasons for staying with him.  Nobody knows for certain what her reasons and motives are, but that does not mean that we the public have any obligation to give him a second chance.  These people have a sense of entitlement that goes beyond the pale.  We need to stop lowering the bar on expectations for the people we elect into power.  Scandal will always exist because it’s a part of human nature but why should we lower the expectations and requirements for integrity and character amongst our leaders?

There is a direct correlation between how people conduct themselves in their private lives to how they conduct themselves in their public lives.  You cannot separate the two.  Morality is an issue, an important issue.  We need to remember these people who break public trust are not owed anything.  If they are truly sorry and want to make amends then great, put your repentant efforts where it can do real good.  They can join a charity, go on mission trips, etc… but they, just like children, need to know that there are consequences to poor choices and bad behavior and power is not going to be put back into their hands.

The Clintons are a classic example of this.  Hillary Clinton was fired from the Watergate investigation.  Now flash forward to her role in Bill’s cheating and lying as President and now her subsequent role in Benghazi.   Public servants need to be held to a higher level of integrity and good character.  If we don’t, the consequences can and will continue to be extremely costly.

When I look at people like Bill Clinton, (D), Anthony Weiner (D), and Mark Sanford (R) words like “narcissist” and “sociopath” come to mind.  A narcissist is someone who is a person who is overly self-involved, and often vain and selfish.  The definition of a sociopath is a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is often antisocial and criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.  These men have exhibited such behavior.  We the People need to have better criteria for public servants.  We owe these people nothing.  When they come back around asking for a second chance it is time the American people stop and really think about the qualities we want in the people serving and representing us.  We do not need career politicians.  Career politicians often have these traits.  There are many good people running for office and many with great qualities like honor, integrity, humility, and strong moral compasses.

Those are the people who we should be electing.

 By:  Maria Solorzano

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