Why Anthony Weiner Matters.

Today I’m writing about responsibility.

You’ve heard about Representative Anthony Weiner.  He took pictures of himself and sent them to people that, probably, wanted him to do such a thing.  He is a Representative of the people of his district.  He was voted into office.  Most likely, he’ll be voted out of office.  Some of you say you don’t care but you actually do care. Some of you actually do care and some of you don’t care. And some of you haven’t read a book since High School.  Me? I’m writing about this becomes it brings up the idea of personal responsibility in our hyper-social age. We are inter-connected.  And with the joy of that connection comes responsibilities. But let’s do some  work here.

Bob works at a grocery store.  He also takes pictures of his private parts and sends them to people.  So does Joe that works at the bank down the street.  So does Jill the bus driver.  I’m guessing, and this is just a guess, that none of us can throw a stone because we are all guilty of something.  Lord knows I am.

So, then, why does Bob not get accosted by the media?  Or Joe?  Or Jill?  There are several reasons.

The first is that controversy sales.  People buy magazines, watch television shows, listen to radio shows and buy newspaper to read controversial stuff. Joe the banker is not interesting.  You know Joe the banker and Joe the banker isn’t special.  Representative Anthony Weiner, however, is special.  He was elected into office.  You can see him on television!  He is one of the 2% or 3% of the population that is more than us.  Watching him fall from grace is interesting and we will all watch him do it.  Once he has fallen, however, he will no longer be interesting and he will no longer sale newspapers.  God look after the person that the media is interested in.  That person doesn’t have long to live. And, yes.  What I’m saying is that, if your controversy can’t sell a newspaper, it isn’t a controversy.  And, yes, that is sad.  I’m glad you realize that.

Second, well, I mean, he’s supposed to be better than that.  The people who decide that they want to lead our lives should have, and hopefully do have, better things to do with their time than to take pictures of their private parts and put them on the Internet.  And, no matter how you look at it, being a Representative in Congress, being in the Senate, being President of the United States, is a twenty-four hour job.  Joe the banker can take pictures of himself and send them to girls who want to see them all he wants to, just as long as he is doing it in his free time and not while he’s working.  As long as everyone is of legal age, and as long as no one is being hurt or doing anything against their will, you are allowed to take pictures of your private parts and send them to other people.  Is it moral?  That is subjective.  Is it ethical?  Also subjective.  Will you burn in hell for it?  Again, subjective.  My personal rule is that, as long as everyone is of age and isn’t getting hurt or taken advantage of, have fun.

A Representative of the House has better things to do.  And they should know better.  The rules don’t apply to people who spend all day making rules.  They have a higher bar and they can’t go below it.  Feel sorry for elected officials. They are not allowed to take pictures of their privates and send them to people.

And, speaking personally, there are lines I can’t cross.  I am not allowed to date anyone that goes to college.  Anywhere.  This is an unspoken rule.  I just can’t.  My authority in a class room would be destroyed if people found out I viewed the class room as a dating pool.  I know this and I accept it.  It isn’t written in a book that I can’t date anyone who goes to college, at least on an undergrad level.  Masters degree?  Maybe I can.  Upper Masters?  Probably.  My age going to school?  More flexible.  But part of being in a leader ship role means you have to use common sense and good judgment.  Anthony Weiner knew this and he failed.  But, instead of spending hours of the day writing and talking about it, we should turn our backs, sigh a deep sigh, hope he’s learned lessons and move on.  We, the public, we know better, too.  And we have better things to do.