Your smartphone breaks.  You take it to the shop.  Do you care if the guy who fixes it has an addiction to lesbian porn as long as he fixes your phone?  You have the flu and go to the doctor.  Do you care if your doctor is having an affair on their spouse as long as they get you the appropriate treatment within the proper safety protocols?  I’m sure some of you will say you care, but I’d bet most of the people you say they would get upset about that actually would.  Think about it, if someone came up to you and said, “The guy who fixed your iPhone has gigabytes of woman-on-woman action on his home computer.”  The vast majority of people are going to say, “ummm … so?”

In that same way, I really don’t care that Anthony Weiner had inappropriate contact with women online.  I do care that he lied about it, though.  Had he come clean from the start, said that he used the internet for strange sexual purposes, he probably would have been ok.  I’m sure there would have been some outcry from Republicans.  We all know how they’re the moral bastions of politics – heck, they like marriage so much that the most prominent righties often do it two or three times. I think he’s a good politician, he seems to genuinely have the interests of his constituents in mind (being from NYC, he represents a large number of lower and lower-middle class folks), but at this point I just can’t get past that lying part.

When did America become the uptight prude of Western nations, anyway?  Was it the founding by the puritans?  Europeans laugh at us every time we make a huge deal over some political sex scandal, they practically EXPECT their leaders to have an affair or two while in office.  Heck, the leaders of France and Russia are married to supermodel class women, as far as looks go, and as far as I can tell are more popular for it.  Holding our leaders to some sort of moral standard that hasn’t evolved since slavery, smoking, bloodletting, and World Wars was in vogue just seems dumb.  We all have our unique perversions, even if we don’t admit it to ourselves or talk about it with others.  I honestly don’t care that Bill Clinton likes creative cigar use, he gave us some amazing years of prosperity and knocked a huge chunk off the country’s debt.

So … back to the lying thing.  Why is it ok for politicians to outright lie, but they have to be the modern equivalent of Beaver Cleaver’s parents when it comes to “adult” issues?  Ronald Reagan was involved with and lied about a secret deal that sent weapons to Iran (yes, THAT Iran) in return for money that was used to fund drug-selling rebels in South America.  We have politicians giving no-bid contracts to questionable companies and we care more about Anthony Weiner doing what at least 50% of all men have done.

Maybe a lot of people out there want to care about sex and personal lives, but that seems to be a lot more like the way they live in Afghanistan and Iran than here.  Well, we sold weapons to Iran to fund people that sell drugs to our youth, so maybe we do want a harder line on morals.

 

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Zarberg is a member of The Political Observers, a sub-group of our writers who are devoted to topics that are political in nature. Zarberg provides a liberal viewpoint in his articles.

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