Judging Anthony Weiner

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Next week’s New Yorker cover; yeah, it’s a great one

I started this blog because I wanted somewhere to write about, primarily, Toronto, the city I call home. So I find it a bit odd that my first post with any substance is going to be about New York City. Sorry Toronto, but even on some tiny, just-born blog, you’re reduced to the Big Apple’s shadow.

But I have a good reason to be writing about New York City and not Toronto: I need to share with the world my thoughts on New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s dick pic scandal. I’m writing about him because I’m amazed at the number of people who are saying that the whole dick-photo scandal isn’t the public’s business and that if you express outrage over this story you’re a prude. I don’t agree with either thoughts and here’s why.

Politicians routinely make decisions that impact people’s private lives. That’s not a bad thing; that’s just how governing works. But because politicians have that kind of power over people, I do believe they should totally expect their private lives to be exposed for the world to see.  After all, that look into their actual lives is going to be what tells us who these people really are, and whether or not they are the right people to be making the decisions that impact our lives.

In Weiner’s case, the dick-photo scandal has made it very clear that the man has poor judgment skills and possibly poor impulse control skills. The former is one of the most important qualities to have as a politician and the fact this man so obvious lacks it makes me wonder why anyone could consider him for mayor.

I mean… I think even children know that sharing photos of their privates online is a bad idea. I get that for some people, that there’s thing but to do it with virtual strangers when you’re in public office… How could he think that was an okay idea?! No, it’s not about being a prude; it’s about using common sense and making good choices. It makes you think, if he can’t figure out that sharing dick pics with near strangers, especially after doing that has already cost him one job, is bad idea, what other bad ideas is he going to give the thumbs up to?

His actions also show that he’s either an ass or a coward. If he did actually promise his wife that he wouldn’t share photos of his dick with random women, then he’s an ass for breaking his word as well as hurting and humiliating her and her rest of their family.

Now, Weiner and his wife might have an arrangement in which she’s fine with his behavior. If that’s the case, then he’s not an ass. But he is a coward for not coming out and being honest about his lifestyle and who he is. Would doing so kill his election chances? Maybe. But then so should presenting himself as something that he’s not.

Regardless of which scenario is correct, they both come to the same conclusion: Weiner isn’t a particularly honest guy. I know, I know, he’s running for office, an honest politician… throw in some kind of joke here.  But just like with the whole poor-judgment thing, it’s so obvious that again, I wonder how people can make a case for him for mayor.

Then there’s the whole, for lack of a better term, Weiner-with-women aspect of this scandal.  Yes, some of the sexts were sent to women who were into whatever was going on between them and Weiner them but that wasn’t always the case. Even if Weiner wasn’t married, wasn’t running for public office, wasn’t anyone other than some guy on the street, the whole situation would still be icky (seriously, read the New York Times article that I just linked to; if you’re okay with Weiner now you probably won’t be after you read it).

Finally, I think this scandal is the public’s business, and something they should be concerned about, because you know it’s going to keep happening.  And why is that bad thing? After all, he’s not hurting anyone (other than possibly his family) with his dick pics.  Well, it’s bad because it’s a distraction. New York City has thousands of legitimate issues facing it. But, as we’ve seen here in Toronto with Crackgate, many of those issues go ignored when there’s a scandal happening.

Speaking of Crackgate, Weiner becoming mayor of New York could make Rob Ford North America’s second most embarrassing mayor. But while I’m generally for anything that makes my city less embarrassing, I can’t wish Weiner on New York City, even if it could benefit Toronto.

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