Wednesday, September 3, 2008

If you are in the public eye, what is your right to privacy?

There is a trend, not a new trend by any means, but a trend to scrutinize the private lives of politicians. While some of this is because they bring it on themselves by say, campaigning and creating laws against the very thing they are doing (why hello ex-Governor Spitzer, how are you?), others are scrutinized simply for being a politician. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, are examples of pretty normal human beings who haven't done much in the way of scandalous behavior. Then there are Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden who have some semi-scandals out in the public discourse, but nothing that you don't see with any normal business persons. Even Sarah Palin and John McCain, while their scandals are a bit more salacious (fake baby-bearing and wife-maltreatment, respectively) should they really be open for public scrutiny?

If you opened your life to the media, wouldn't they find out some things that you would rather not lay bare to the world? I know I would, and I haven't even done anything that salacious. The point is, when looking at how these candidates would run the country, does their personal life really matter? Or is it just fodder for the easily-bored masses?

Please discuss in the comments!


TMC said...

I'm a bit torn on this issue. Whether it should or shouldn't, it does matter to me whether the people I elect to represent me in "my" government are people of good character and judgement. They should be honest and they should expect their careers and lives to be scrutinized because 'politician' isn't a job you get by skills alone. If elected, you're a representative of your community and (presumably) your lifestyle and values should reflect that. Why else would you want to represent that community? By extension, if your long-held views are clearly not meshing with what your constituency wants, you can expect to be doubted and ultimately let go. Similarly, and just as a random example, if you're a proponent of abstinence education whose teen daughter ends up pregnant, your position looks weak and is absolutely open to criticism. But which is worse... standing firm on your ineffective and irresponsible view that you've held for years, or "flip-flopping" and admiting the old ideas aren't working and trying something new?
Whew! I didn't realize I'd gone on so long. Sorry 'bout that. I'm sure you can tell that ultimately I don't know what I'm talking about.

The Domina said...

Thanks for commenting! I agree with you on the "stay the course" mentality, drives me insane. I'd rather someone admit their mistake and move on than continue to make it. I guess I'm kind of uncomfortable with the probing into Bristol Palin's life too, b/c while you are free to use her pregnancy to say, 'hey abstinence only education obviously doesn't work out so well' I don't know if we're right to dig quite so deep as we do.