On June 16th’s Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered a question on whether people should care about the sex lives (and sex scandals) of politicians. My basic view was that sexual misconduct reveals a politician’s moral character, as well as poses security risks.
As for the first claim about moral character, if you’re unconvinced, just read this NY Times article and weep: For Women in Weiner Scandal, Indignity Lingers. The basic story is this:
Anthony D. Weiner’s improbable campaign for mayor of New York City is a wager that voters have made peace with his lewd online behavior, a subject he has largely left behind as he roils the race with his aggressive debating style and his attention-getting policy proposals.
But for the women who were on the other end of Mr. Weiner’s sexually explicit conversations and photographs, his candidacy is an unwanted reminder of a scandal that has upended their lives in ways big and small, cutting short careers, disrupting educations and damaging reputations.
The article then details the ongoing ordeals suffered by these women due to their sexual conversations with Anthony Weiner. Undoubtedly, these women exercised poor judgment. They deserve to suffer the ordinary consequences of that — such as broken or damaged romantic relationships. They do not deserve years of media intrusion, nor endless malevolent jokes.
In contrast, Anthony Weiner is taking the whole matter in stride:
On the campaign trail, though, he mixes contrition with wittiness. Not long ago he cracked a joke about his use of social media. “You know how much I trust Twitter,” he said at a candidate forum.
Ah yes, levity. That’s just perfect. (NOT!) Here’s more, including a good bit of moral insight from a porn star:
A number of the women remain angry with Mr. Weiner — arguing that, after taking advantage of his political devotees, he is now drawing them back into the spotlight.
Ginger Lee, a former star of adult films who communicated with Mr. Weiner online, has pleaded with him not to run for mayor. “Every new headline and news story about him reminds reporters and bloggers that we exist, and the cycle starts all over,” she said in a statement released by her lawyer. “There will be a new flare-up of jokes, inaccurate statements and hurtful remarks.”
Everything about this ongoing episode reveals important facts about Anthony Weiner’s character, most notably that he doesn’t give a damn who he hurts in his quest for political power. His contempt for women is glaringly obvious. He’s not a man fit for political office, whatever his political principles. No decent person should want anything to do with him.
Alas, too many people are willing to overlook all that because he’s on “their team.” *sigh*
P.S. If you’ve not heard that 16 June 2013 episode of Philosophy in Action Radio in which I talked about the sex scandals of politicians, you can listen to or download the relevant segment of the podcast here:
For more details, check out the question’s archive page. The full episode – where I answered questions on the meaning of life as the standard of value, broken relationships, the morality of an armed society, the sex scandals of politicians, and more – is available as a podcast too.