Since when have high moral standards or flawless personal lives been indicators of success in office? Anthony Weiner may not be a an embodiment of family values, but constituents should not see their congressmen like this in the first place. When it comes to judging the merit of our elected officials, morals should play a very small part. Sex scandals are emotional and the public feels as if they have been betrayed. Let's be honest: Political success is not completely based on honesty or virtue. It’s based on getting things done in order to improve this country and its citizens. Let's look at Eliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton, and of course, Weiner; three of the best, most successful politicians who fought for and brought great change to improve the lives of American citizens.

Spitzer won a reputation as the "Sheriff of Wall Street" and was a New York's Attorney General. He fought banking corruption, enforced environment law and won rights for underpaid workers. When he became Governor of New York in 2006, most New York Democrats believed in him and he seemed to be bound for greatness. Instead he left office in disgrace three years ago when his encounters with high-end prostitutes flooded the news. Rarely in American politics was a fall from grace so bewildering. He was totally disgraced due to a self-inflicted human flaw.

In retrospect, many have speculated that Spitzer was the one man that could have stopped Wall Street and the 2008 Financial Crash, by enforcing regulations and exposing Wall Street fraud in detail before it was too late. Many have investigated the powerful financial, business and political interests who benefited from his defeat. It seems there was a great deal of plotting and deception behind the scenes by those that Spitzer had targeted: the big banks and insurance companies engaged in fraud, the exploitative big business and the corrupt Republicans.

Most of us remember Bill Clinton's famous statement: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." Did he lie under oath? It depends on your definition of "sexual relations," but Clinton's definition did not include blow jobs. At any rate, Clinton is a hero today for Democrats and one of the most accomplished presidents in our history. Let's look at Clinton's presidency:

• By the end of his term he had almost entirely eliminated the national debt
• The deficit moved from a record low to a record high surplus
• Unemployment was the lowest in over three decades
• Government spending was the lowest since 1974
• The lowest number of people were on welfare since 1969
• Minimum wage increased

Clinton's policies resulted in enormous progress for our nation, and strengthened the U.S. as a world superpower. These were the good old days that lasted until George W. Bush came along and ran our successful country into the ground. Clinton's two-term presidency is widely viewed as one of the most successful of the 20th Century, despite his explosive sex scandal. He remains one of the most powerful and famous Democrats in the world.

Today, people know more about Anthony Weiner than they do about the economy. Scandals like these can make us forget what is really necessary in a member of the House: the ability to give a voice to one’s constituents in the U.S. Congress. Weiner has done this extremely well for seven terms. As an outspoken proponent of social and economic reforms, Weiner has been a key figure in the Democratic Party, and a hero to many that viewed him as a reformer for legislative justice. His constituents know this as well as anyone and sexting does not impair his ability to fight for them and give them the voice they deserve. These are the things that really matter. Weiner’s constituents may not trust him to represent their moral values, but they knew they could trust him to represent their political values on Capitol Hill.

In a period of time when things look grim for America, a period of economic uncertainty, a decreasing middle class, wars no one is really sure why we are fighting anymore, and massive budget cuts, the Weinergate scandal allowed people to focus elsewhere and laugh at someone else’s expense.


  • GabrielaTilevitz
    GabrielaTilevitz on

    I agree. A politician's personal transgressions should not affect their place in office if they're doing a good job. What Anthony Weiner did was just plain stupid and could have been avoided, but what Bill Clinton did was much worse and everyone still loves him.

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