Monday, June 6, 2011

A Culture of Arrogance

Anthony Weiner, New York congressman, came forward to announce that the charges leveled against him in the last several days that he tweeted lewd images of himself to several young women were, indeed, true.  For days, the fiery liberal congressman has denied that he did any such thing.  He went so far as to say that he was a victim in all this having been victimized by some unnamed hacker.  Weiner, while admitting his guilt in this, also said that he was not resigning his post because he had a lot of work to do.  In the course of the statement he did apologize to his wife for causing her so much pain but never once did he apologize to his constituency or the congress itself.

It would be very easy to be smug about all this but I find myself feeling sad and angry.  It is sad that one of our leaders such as Weiner, has become so arrogant that he feels he can get away with nearly everything.  His arrogance led him to bad judgment and reprehensible behavior.  I am angered that men who find themselves in positions of power such as a United States congressman can think of himself as one who can do what he wants no matter what that may be.  Here Weiner, a supposed champion of women's rights, abused women with unsolicited, unwanted obscene photos of himself to women half his age.  And he refuses to resign?

Of course, in all the arguments in the aftermath of his admission, discussion of what he did was wrong but it wasn't illegal seems to have flourished.  In other words, as long as what someone has done is not against the law, even though it is wrong in every way imaginable, that behavior is OK and there should be no consequences for those actions.

The sad thing, of course, is that Weiner is far from being alone in his actions and responses.  His actions are a symptom of politicians in general.

We live in an age of arrogance.  This was demonstrated over the weekend by Sarah Palin, someone who is the exact opposite in political philosophy from Anthony Weiner.  Ms. Palin said that Paul Revere road his famous gallop through the countryside to not only alert the colonists to the impending British invasion, but to warn the British not to do it.  What?  Really, Sarah?  History does not bare this out.  To compound the problem further, when given the opportunity to straighten her statement out, rather than admitting she was wrong, she stood her ground, insisting that Revere's famous ride was, indeed, meant to warn the British of the American resolve.  Once again, a politician has exhibited an arrogance that defies common sense.

This arrogance must stop.  The time for politicians treating their constituencies as though they didn't have any greater than a second grade education must come to an end.  It is sad that we have reached this point.  Do you really trust a man to make crucial decisions about defense questions or health care questions who would be so stupid to send these kinds of pictures to young women over the Internet?  Do you really want to give the keys to the Oval Office to a woman who refuses to admit she was wrong about a rather insignificant historical fact?

We the people...need to begin to take seriously our role in American political life.  We need to become more astute in tracking what our elected representatives are doing.  It is time for the ordinary citizen to take his or her role as the most important part of political life in America seriously.  We get what we deserve and in Anthony Weiner and Sarah Palin we certainly do not have the best!