In this country we seem to be obsessed with peoples personal lives. With General David Petraeus’ recent resignation due to an affair dominating some news cycles I feel like its time we talk about the role of sexual relationships in American politics.
Of course an affair is a terrible thing that happens in some relationships, but should we as a public concern ourselves with these peoples personal lives. Does what happen to them in their bedrooms affect the job they do? I understand the Generals resignation because under military law a CIA official cannot be involved in a secret affair due to the risk of black mailing. But there have been many occasions where a public officials have lost their jobs over sexual misconduct. Now when I say sexual misconduct I am not trying to protect criminals here, I am just trying to shed light on America’s attitude towards sex.
I’d like to this time to reflect on a great quote from a truly timeless movie, EuroTrip (2004). Here one character is trying to convince the protagonist to go on a crazy trip through Europe before they start college. Here is his justification: “You know America was founded by prudes. Prudes who left Europe because they hated all the kinky, steamy European sex that was going on. And now I, Cooper Harris, will return to the land of my perverted forefathers and claim my birthright… which is a series of erotic and sexually challenging adventures.”
In a lot of ways this Cooper Harris fellow is right. The values of this country deeply reflect the values of the puritans who founded this country and part of that was inheriting their rigid attitude on sexual edict. Personally, my favorite example of a young exciting politician, Anthony Weiner. I remember when I first saw this video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O_GRkMZJn4, I felt like, along with a lot of other liberals, we finally found a true politician. This man was doing what so many liberals failed to do, and that’s call out and fight the GOP’s antics. However a few months later Weiner messed up and sent some nudes on twitter. Highly embarrassing? Yes. Irresponsible? Yes. Funny? Yes. But is it enough to warrant a resignation?
I understand the way a person conducts themselves in the bedroom could reflect their character. A cheater could be a dishonest person, and an inconsiderate lover could be an inconsiderate person. But how much can we tell about a person through acts of courtship or passion? The amount of news attention given to trivial things like these reflects the worst parts about the American public. This is the reason why things like climate control are left out of the national discourse way to much, we are to focused on things like Joe Bidens amazing swag:
The fact that this young, genuine, politician had to resign because of a shirtless picture speaks volumes to this countries superficial nature.