A surprising consensus has developed among the nation's media about the most important question of our time. It is not what I would have guessed. It is not how to control the spread of nuclear weapons, create jobs, grow the economy, lower the deficit or boost prospects for better life, improve health or facilitate greater happiness. Rather, it is whether Anthony Weiner should resign from Congress for sleazy acts, lies and dorkiness.
Which raises another question: Is there a REAL wellness take on this matter?
Yes, there is and what's more, I'm willing to express it. Here. Now.
First, about a wellness take. A wellness take or interpretation consistent with such a mindset is a point of view that is informed and based on common decencies, and consistent with the public interest. It is never based on religious dogma or any form of superstition. "God would approve" is not a sensible basis for supporting or opposing a person, a policy, an action or anything else. We cannot know if there is a god (though we can recognize that there is no evidence for one) or what such an incomprehensible entity would favors or oppose if it did exist.
Stephen Hawking was recently asked, "How should we live to fulfill our potential on Earth and make good use of our lives?" He replied, "We should seek the greatest value of our action." (Source: The Guardian, Stephen Hawking: "There Is No Heaven - It's A Fairy Tale," May 15, 2011.)
That works for me - while generously broad, it is consistent with the criteria for a wellness that I just sketched.
So then, what about Weiner. What action in the matter of Weinergate will give the American people the greatest value? Specifically, his resignation - or not?
Well, it depends, really. It depends on whether one interprets value from a moderate to progressive point of view, or a Right Wing Republican Christian (RWRC) point of view. These are the two Americas that we have today - there is little question but that what is seen as greatest value is totally different, one side from the other. By comparison, the divide in 1860 between the northern and southern states was less wide and deep. Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln were more cordial to each other than are such leading RWRC characters as Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachman or Mike Huckabee toward Barack Obama.
Sex scandal of all kinds has prurient appeal for sexually repressed Americans. The RWRC wants Weiner's head, that is, his resignation from Congress, for multiple reasons. Among them are because he sent suggestive racy messages and photos of his manhood to multiple women online, because he lied repeatedly about his actions, because he brought dishonor on the House of Representatives and because it would be cool if they could elect a Republican in his place.
Sending the photos was lame and dorky and unbelievably stupid. It seems 100 percent impossible that a famous person, a politician with countless enemies, could not understand that he would get caught and be disgraced. Since he's clearly not stupid, he must be crazy in some sense of the term. Not dangerously crazy but frustrated sexually.
It was lame to do what he did and simply awful, no - dreadful, to lie about it consistently and inartfully as he did. But, consider that an adult probably has a right to send photos and racy messages to other consenting adults - at least in America, so far. You can't do it in Iran, Saudi Arabia or most other countries. But, we still have freedoms, including many most of us do not care to exercise. What Weiner did might still be among them, even if he is a public figure.
At least he is not a family values hypocrite. He did not get elected as a moral scold and he has not advised others how they should or should refrain from expressing their own sexuality. He has not broken any laws, the public trust was not compromised and no evidence has been offered that his weird behavior kept him from doing his job.
Weiner is guilty of awful judgement, not following conventional social mores and lying. Not so good, but not fatal. He should keep his job.
That's my wellness take on the matter. What do you think about the idea of a wellness take on anything and/or my wellness take Weinergate in particular?
Donald B. Ardell is the Well Infidel...