So by now, you've probably heard. Weiner did in fact take pictures of his wiener and send them out on Twitter. He wasn't hacked... he was just stupid. Really stupid. Should we care? You might be surprised by my answer, but I think we should care... a lot.
In the past I've generally been pretty hard on Republicans who have issues keeping it in their pants, especially when it's with other men. After all, if they want to use the power of government to restrict people's ability to marry who they want, and want to demonize people's sexual choices when running for office, then I think their extra-marital affairs are fair game. But what about someone like Weiner? Democrats generally don't demonize people's bedroom behavior, so doesn't he deserve a pass? Had you asked me a couple years ago, I would have probably said yes, but no longer. In fact, I think no member of government should have their private lives free from public scrutiny, whether Republican or Democrat.
In the last several years, we've seen an incredible increase in the amount of intrusion the government makes into our lives. Most of it is done with the belief that those who are elected into office know better than we do how our lives should be run. From how our finances work, to our insurance, how much salt and fat we eat, smoking, child care... the list is almost endless. So as we put more and more responsibility for our lives in the hands of those who govern, doesn't that give us a right to know whether they are actually... responsible? And let's face it, putting pictures of your junk on Twitter is not something a responsible adult does... it's something a stupid teenager does. Do I really want a teenager running my life?
How many other stupid teenagers are there in government? Frankly, I want to know. Members of government (both elected and employees) should be required to give open access to both their personal and work emails, Facebook, bank accounts, etc. to anyone who wants it. After all, with the recent renewal of the Patriot Act (by Autopen I might add), the government has almost unlimited access to our personal bank records, email, etc. with no need for a warrant. So why should we allow people to have that kind of awesome power without having to prove themselves worthy? Some might argue that winning an election is enough... but clearly... if Sarah Palin can be elected to be the chief executive of a state, and someone like Rep. Weiner can win an election in New York, then elections just aren't cutting it.
If those in government want this kind of awesome control over our lives, then they must prove themselves worthy. You want more and more of my money? You want more and more control over my life? Then you better have a spotless record, and make impeccable decisions in every aspect of your life, both public and private, and be willing to prove it on an ongoing basis.
Now I'm sure there are those who would argue that if we had that kind of scrutiny of our public officials, then nobody would be willing to serve in government. Frankly, I see that as a feature, not a bug. It's high time that members of government felt what it was like to be under the microscope. After all, right now they think they don't even have to go through a TSA checkpoint to fly on a plane.
Maybe if we made the expectation of no-privacy known, those in power would rethink their current attitudes. And if they don't, then at least we can all look forward to a few more laughs as we pry into the private lives of some stupid teenagers... or at least adults that are acting like teenagers.
The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent
my employer's view in anyway.