Check out this little snippet about Congressman Anthony Weiner at Lorette Lavine`s blog. She posted an excerpt from Weiner`s own web-site promoting his participation in passing the “KIDS (Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators) Act of 2007, a bill to require sex offenders to register their e-mail and instant message addresses with the National Sex Offender Registry.” It’s a laudable act. It also shows the glaring disconnect between his public work and his private life. Lavine challenges Weiner to explain his recent actions to those closest to him.
The indiscretions of yet another politician are reason enough to be disgusted. But the ongoing debate over whether the indiscretions are sufficient reason to suggest his resignation shows the continued lowering of moral standards for our leaders. Do we have the right to judge the behaviour between two consenting adults? In an age of chat-rooms and twitter accounts Clinton’s famous line, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” takes on a life of its own. This line of defense is now used in evermore creative situations. And there is the argument that our society has changed and our leaders are only human. We should not expect them to live up to some ideal, unattainable standards.
It is imperative that we do not continue lowering our moral standards. To do so is to take away from the dignity of each human being. We can either believe that we are inherently good, yet struggle with evil. Or we can believe that we are inherently evil, struggling to be good. The former acknowledges that we are capable of living a life of integrity, despite our human weakness and failures. The latter believes that human weakness is the norm, therefore we shouldn’t expect too much from ourselves or others. This will result in the bar getting lower and lower. Eventually it will be poetically sitting in the dirt.
Is it too much to expect our leaders to live an honest and good life? Is it too much to expect from anyone?
I married a good man. He is obsessively honest in both his personal and professional life. The dental world is bombarded with marketing experts promoting strategies to convince patients that they need high-end treatments. He refuses to use his profession as a money making machine. He believes the only marketing needed in healthcare is prevention focused. He has never tried to defraud patients, insurance companies, or the government. (He will not even bring home a roll of paper towels from the office unless he replaces it.) He is a faithful and loving father and husband.
Why is he like this? His answer…at the end of the day, I have to be able to sleep at night.
Credibility must be earned. Our morals and ethics must form a seamless garment in all that we do – both publically and privately. There are many good and honest women and men in this world. Our leaders should be looking up to them for an example of how to live a life of integrity.