I could care less about what Anthony Weiner chooses to do in his personal life. His behavior does enter my sphere of opinion though when his raunchy behavior invades his role as an elected, public servant. The gamut of accepted behavior can be deemed acceptable if the parties involved agree and keep it private. “Lewd” acts have no boundaries between two consenting adults. It is only when these acts represent a betrayal to those people to whom loyalty is an issue (ya’ know, like a wife) and when the need to publicize these endeavors in a showy way that they demand judgement from others. Weiner is guilty on both counts. So here I go.
When I first heard about the allegations of Weiner’s tweets, I disgustedly said that these guys, and both political parties have their share of them, must have a death wish. Their self-loathing must be so deep that they cannot help but push the moral envelope until they are right upon the edge of the abyss, until many, if not all, of them are destroyed by the exposure. As if their career-oriented press time is not satisfying enough, they take their own questionable personal behavior and use it to elevate still their time in the limelight. The risk-taking is so tempting that it overcomes all reason and standards of accepted behavior. The thrill of risk overtakes all semblance of appropriate behavior.
In Weiner’s case, many pundits are calling his behavior a compulsion. What pushed him over the edge? Was it that his wife is pregnant with their first child and that caused him to “rebel?” None of the pundits are psychiatrists or therapists, as I am not also. Yet the pathology is so obvious, so purposeful, that something clearly has driven Weiner to self-destruct. I do not buy the argument that males are driven above all by the primeval drive to hunt and procreate, thus cancelling out any moral considerations. Likewise, the argument that these people are mentally ill also does not hold much water for me. Sorry. I believe that human beings differentiate themselves from other living things precisely because of their ability to reason and aspire to certain moral standards. No argument for evolutionary excuses or mental illness explains the exhibitionist needs of these public figures. Total narcissism. Period.
Maureen Dowd has written on the Weiner incident much more eloquently than I ever could. However, I am never shy about my opinions. If I were a voter in Weiner’s district, would I vote for him? He has been a good Democrat. Nonetheless, I would not vote for him. I would abstain. It is high time to take a stand on our public politicians to hold fast to professional and personal standards of ethics. There is not much leeway between personal morals and professional guidelines.
Weiner has schnitzled himself but good.