Morality Among Politicians: Sexting
When it comes out that congressmen are sexting, people act surprised. I have to ask, do these surprised people send their friends their own pictures of their heads up their ass?
People sext. It’s been going on since the dawn of time. Well, since the dawn of cameras in phones and Multimedia Messaging. I think it was fifteen years ago when my father told me the future of electronics was in cellular phones, they’d be adding things like cameras and email to phones. I admit I had to wonder why anyone would want a phone that did more than make phone calls. Nowadays I get the shakes and start to sweat if my Iphone is out of reach.
I haven’t personally taken advantage of my Iphone for the purpose of sexting. I’m not just saying that because my kids read this blog. Honestly, they’re probably disturbed that I even write about it. They know they’re forbidden from exchanging explicit images on their phones. I know teenagers have been charged with crimes for taking self portraits that extended too far below the neckline and then sending said self-portraits to their significant others. I don’t know if the prosecution was successful. I know kids have been found guilty of crimes for forwarding pictures of their significant others to their friends.
And there are not any Morality rules for Congressmen relating to interpersonal relationships outside of the workplace. It’s a waste of government time and money to investigate, or even discuss personal indiscretions. Though some states and localities still have laws on the books regarding personal indiscretion by married folks, these laws are not enforced and probably not enforceable.
How is sending pictures of one’s birthday suit bad in comparison to say, having sexual relations with an intern?
I in no way condone this behavior. I just accept that not only does it happen; it’s being done by more than one in 500+ elected officials. The difference among them is probably the mutual activity of the parties involved on the other cases. I mean, people don’t share when they are willingly participating.
I should mention that there are standards of personal behavior for congressmen. They exist in the minds of their constituents. The only people that should have a say in whether a politician loses his or her job over personal activities are the people who can vote in the territories they represent. Representatives have to answer for their actions every two years, Senators every six and Presidents every four.
There are, of course, ways that personal behavior becomes public concern. Just because one involved party wants to make it public is not really one of them, but the media will almost always side with that party.
Public awareness should not automatically result in public concern. However, if indiscretions used government resources, say, a government owned computer, there might be issues. Still, the first offense for such things in the private sector is not usually termination, but a very stern slap on the wrist. This is all assuming no actual crime was committed. No, congressmen are not immune to the law, but they tend to be very good at creating a virtual Teflon coating. In layman’s terms, politicians tend to have sycophants willing to be thrown under the bus if deemed a necessity. When all else fails, grab the nearest person and shove as the bus drives by.
It’s hard to blame a scapegoat, however, when there are pictures. Even folks who are barely cognizant of the difference between hands and feet know not to photograph themselves performing illicit activities. It’s just problematic on so many levels when the pictures themselves are the illicit activity. However, success in politics, if history is proof, is not directly related to intelligence. Again I feel compelled to quote Twain: “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
The most recent case of this resulted in the congressman’s resignation. I have to assume Weiner made the choice after weighing the options. I’m a little annoyed that there was so much pressure on him from his peers. “Let he who is without sin…” and all. I’m firmly in the belief that most politicians live in glass houses. As with every case of denigration, the purpose of it is to elevate the denigrator. These people speaking out are not doing so because they care what Weiner did, they see it as a stepping stone to augment their own perceived morality.
Politics, by nature, is amoral. I’m not sure if we punish our politicians for being amoral or for their lack of ability to keep their amoral nature hidden. We all know our politicians are, at some level, corrupt. We just turn a blind eye to the corruption, knowing that as governments go, ours is among the least corrupt.
So what have we learned?
1) Don’t send pictures of your birthday suit to anyone. If you do, make sure that particular anyone is not someone who will now or in the future, feel the need or desire to forward said images.
2) As a politician, don’t put yourself in a position to be the one thrown under the bus. Your peers will not even consider reaching out to pull you back from the curb. It’s Newton’s Law in relation to politics: Throwing someone else under a bus throws us farther from the bus.