Weiner, Spitzer, Clinton, Schwarzenegger, Gingrich, Edwards, … The list goes on and on and the interest grows. I just don’t get it. Truly, really, honestly this is all mind-boggling to me. I want so much to hear a woman’s voice about these “scandals”. I want to hear many women and I also want to hear different male viewpoints. Honestly, I want to just stop hearing about them this way. I want the twists and turns from sex scandal and overworked “modern” manhood to make its way back so that we can focus on what I believe is the one issue at hand: the inability to accept accountability, or simply put, to be honest. I want political leaders to be honest. Perhaps that is too large a reach. They, we all, are human, with failings and flaws. Human, with wants and needs. Human, with weaknesses and insecurities and false beliefs, thoughts of grandeur, and sad desperation. Humans, with hope and intellect and a great many other defects and qualities.
I imagine some people are outraged by the sex drive of these modern men. I don’t particularly care what other people do or don’t do in their bedrooms, hotel rooms, oval offices, cellphones, laptops, internet et al. I do care about the way we get the news slanted and diverted. I can't quite understand why we are so quick to defend and compartmentalize. I do think being deceitful does interfere with the ability to lead. But really- has any one of these guys or others just stopped and said “Oops, you caught me with my pants down and my shirt up, I am screwed, caught, sorry, quite modern, human, horny…? What would happen if they did?
Alec Balwin recently commented on Weiner’s actions in the Huffington Post. He made several remarks that interest me. This is sex for many people now. Meaning? Sneaky, dishonest, self-destructive, and detached? Perhaps that’s what was meant. It still distracts from the issue of understanding what honesty is, now, later, before. He added, "No time for Mateus and cheap spaghetti. No time for slowly moving toward one another with a combination of hope and caution, lust and integrity."
Weiner is so busy, he forgot the important rule that everyone you interact with on this plane becomes a co-conspirator. You rely on them to remain confidential. He forgot? Really? C’mon Mr. Baldwin, Weiner seemed to be pretty busy pulling his shirt up and his pants down to excite those co-conspirators. Perhaps to delude himself into imagining his interested “friends” represent some level of popularity. The use of this plane in this manner is exciting and interesting because it offers the illusion of being potentially anonymous while offering a known risky thrill. It also allows the opportunity for sharing and flirting with someone you may already have a true level of confidentiality with, that’s a bit modern and also risky but not quite so damaging. Certainly he could have and maybe he did, send similar posts to his wife. I somehow doubt it. Sadly, as Mr Baldwin is familiar with, and I myself, in these modern times of push button impulsive internet sharing, those we were once married to or in relationships with and felt a strong sense of trust with, can and do turn on us and expose our weaknesses and slander us and hurt our children and families, quickly and cruelly. Risks we take when we love and trust. Relying on people is a risky business. Sometimes it works and sometimes not so much.
Internet sexting can be perceived as three dimensional by adding the component of "feel", regardless of how cheap and unearned those feelings are. That person on the screen is doing whatever they're doing... just for you. Of course Weiner was doing what he was doing just for her, and her, and her and her, not for her that he is married to, but most of all for him. Baldwin discusses the perceived purpose, The affirmation that comes when someone lets you know they want to sleep with you. Or even cyber-sleep with you… Again, can we call a spade a spade? This has little to do with wanting to know someone wants to sleep with you. Sending pictures of your manhood, modern or otherwise to more than a few is purely self-serving and momentarily thrilling. Weiner married a woman with a powerful, meaningful career. I don’t begin to imagine I have any insight into whether she wanted to sleep with him or not, I imagine making the decision to marry Weiner and the fact that she is currently pregnant could be indicative that sleeping with him was part of the deal.
Let's just stop pretending these issues arise because these so called high-functioning men are too busy or modern with human flaws. If we don’t believe the vows of marriage need to be upheld, lets change them. If we don’t really expect leaders to be honest or trusting, lets stop focusing on these virtues in such a way that we force the leaders into these compromising and embarrassing situations because the expectations are impossible. If one political party or party member needs to expose, lets expect they are not simultaneously engaging in similar activities. Either redefine what it means to be married and a leader or lets expect modern leaders to lead.
Mr. Baldwin quotes "Let he who is without sin....." I would like to add:
"and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." Additionally, once we all know the truth, please stop holding on to the lies. Surrender.
I am looking forward to sitting at a red checkered table with a bottle of Mateus and cheap spaghetti, send and receive a few flirtatious texts from time to time, perhaps exchange a visual or two with an honest modern man, knowing there are no promises, but much hope. I wish Mr. Baldwin luck on his mayoral campaign and an understanding that honesty is the best policy.