“America has believed that in differentiation, not uniformity, lies the path of progress. It acted on this belief; it has advanced human happiness, and it has prospered.” (Louis Brandeis)
With the recent scandalous resignation of Congressman Anthony Weiner, many began to question what is wrong with our politicians: why is it that these men would be willing to sacrifice everything for a few hours of enjoyment? The question, I believe, is – why do they fall prey to this type of behavior in the first place?
Congressman Weiner’s situation was somewhat different then former president Clinton, but similar in the fact that they both lied to the American people. Yet, Clinton was able to stay in office while Weiner wasn’t. Congressmen Foley, DeLay, Kennedy, Gingrich and many others from both parties committed immoral behavior far greater then Weiner’s, yet, some stayed in office while others resigned or lost their seats in the next election. So why was Weiner treated differently?
The answer to that is simple: it’s an election year, and the Democratic Party will spare no one who is, or could be, an obstacle to the President’s bid for reelection. Unfortunately, Congressman Weiner became the victim of his own party’s cleaning crew.
The problem in politics today is that there is no moderate path or voice. Once upon a time Republicans were moderate, but the current growth of the Tea Party has pushed many Republicans and their agenda to the side, making room for the fanatical ideals of the far right. The Democratic Party produced monumental legislation such as the Civil Rights Act, Social Security and Medicare; the Republican Party ended the war in Vietnam, defeated communism and helped introduce America to new economic frontiers such as China. Nonetheless, today, neither party seems to be willing to take the necessary steps so that this country can continue to prosper. Democrats want to tax the rich and businesses without cutting any entitlements, while the Republicans want to provide tax cuts while not allowing any spending cuts to defense or other programs that should be obsolete. With both sides deadlocked, no one will suffer more than the average American – the average American who struggles to keep his job, pay his bills and send his children to a good school.
So what can we do about this? Well, that’s simple: we can learn from Congressman Weiner, a man who would not shy away from voicing his concerns and opinions. We as a people and nation have the ability to turn this nation around by electing individuals we feel will fight for us, by bringing this country back from oblivion. To many, Congressman Weiner was arrogant, vocal and liberal, but he never wavered or bowed to pressure from those around him. He stayed the course no matter how much it hurt him politically. That’s the type of leader we should be looking for to represent us in Washington.
Should Congressman Weiner have resigned, or should he have stayed in office? I believe he should have stayed in office. Yes, what he did was wrong, but who are we to judge his flaws and errors? Yes, we demand a higher code of conduct from our leaders, but why should he be any different from President Clinton, Ted Kennedy and others? This matter should have been a personal one between him and his wife. This is precisely why many good people stay away from politics, because they know that one misstep can ruin their personal lives.
So why do politicians commit these acts? Imagine yourself in a setting of people who should be focusing on the ills of our nation, but are too caught up in party politics. They indulge in drinking and other lewd behavior, with almost no one around to prevent any of it. This creates an atmosphere for scandal. The hope is that with unemployment at 8.5%, the debt reaching its limit and our financial rating facing reduction again, the American people and our elected officials will put their differences aside to unite and help restart the great American engine, which has for many years driven the world’s markets.
Just this week, GM and Ford began showing promising signs of growth, and recapturing their respective slots as the world’s top selling car companies; a true American comeback story.
“Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working.” (Author Unknown)