I had been trying to narrow down a topic for this week’s post and had narrowed it down to a few. One of the ones I had been leaning towards was a thought I had about what I think I want in a leader. Whether it be in management, politic, sports idols or whatever it is that requires someone to step up and be that beacon of guidance we all look for from time to time. But also, what it is that we do when someone we have entrusted with so much simply shows what he is: human. So yesterday’s revelation by New York Congressman Anthony Weiner is the reason I’ve decided on today’s post. While this may startle both side of the fence when it comes to those that tend to side with me and them that don’t, I feel that those rushing to judge the congressman and call for his outright resignation should take a moment and breath.
There is not a whole lot that I particularly like or enjoy about when it comes to Congressman Weiner. On the list of people I want to see in charge, he stenciled closer to the bottom than the top. So for all those that may think this is a dramatic shift in what I feel is right and good for our country, just wait a split second. That’s not what this is about. He annoys me to no end. Zero doubt about it. This is about how we view our leaders…..in my opinion. Weiner was wrong. Cut and dried. No way around it. He’s evoked the whole double standard debate that rages every time a politician gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar. And when he emulated the ever moral Billy Clinton, he only added to his problems. (Think index finger extended, making things clear routine) Though it was Mark Twain who wrote, “It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt”, it’s been my uncle who seems to remind me of that, more often than not, after a lively debate between to the two us. And that’s 100% what A to the T to the H to the ONY should have done after the news of his sexting and lewd photos surfaced. But, he didn’t and as he tried to scramble for cover, he only dug his hole even deeper….but not his grave. And he should refrain from resigning.
Weiner has been representing the 9th New York Congressional District since 1999. And while he has never been remotely approached by a Republican challenger (In 2006, he ran unopposed), he apparently has the backing of his constituents. I don’t agree with his policies or his staunch Democratic agenda. But, I respect the fact that he does not back down. He believes in what he believes in and rarely waivers. He is not afraid to fight for what he wants. I am an avid Fox News Channel watcher and I have seen him many, many times on taking barbs and jabs from everyone in the debate. He has every right, every single time to turn town their requests that he join a debate. He chooses not to. He’s loud, brash, obnoxious and a pit bull all at the same time. You have to have all viewpoints represented. So, like or despise him, that’s integrity. From a professional standpoint. I do tend to believe in the Republican way of thinking. At the same time, I don’t believe in a lack of checks and balances. I’ll admit a while after Bush first took office and there was a Republican Congress as well as a Conservative Court, I was uneasy. I don’t believe in absolute power. Absolute power corrupts…absolutely.
That being said, Weiner and his backers should take this as an opportunity. I think the bigger question is not when will he finally resign but how will he emerge from this. He can take this incident and the regret that he feels and harness it into an even stronger front for his policies and agenda. This is not condoning anything he’s done. But in a society full of options and temptations, who are we to judge?? The proof will be in how he forges forward tomorrow. I applaud him for not stepping down. Our country needs leaders that will not go with the grain and he is incessant on being the squeaky wheel. He represents the district in New York to which I have very close ties. And, I will tell you, it is very much a working class area. I have seen firsthand the hard work that goes into living in that area. They need an outspoken politician like Weiner. I just hope he is, in the end, who he says he is. I wish him luck.
Which brings me to the real meat of what I want to say. None of us are perfect. None. And if you say you are, you’re only lying to yourself. And when it comes to leaders, we should not cast stones. They are people just like us. Mistakes are inevitable. To me, it is how you approach everything after that blunder. And when it comes to someone to lead me into whatever, I want to know that he’s made mistakes. I need to be reassured that he has experience in defeat and regret. Not to justify mine but to see how they handle themselves after that miscue. One need look no further than football for what I’m trying to say. Brett Favre was one of the greatest quarterbacks that have played the game. Honest. He holds the record for most touchdowns in a career: 497. On the flip side, he also holds the record for most interceptions in a career: 317. To put that into perspective, Peyton Manning is third in TD passes lifetime with 366. If you didn’t know anything about football except that interceptions were bad, you pick Neil O’Donnell (second lifetime in lowest interception percentage) over Brett Favre. (Ask any Steeler fan how much they enjoyed his time at Three Rivers.) But, in truth, you’d pick Favre. He failed…a lot. But, as you can see, he trotted back out onto the field after that turnover with a renewed sense of resolve to make up for that mistake. He’s a proven winner. That’s who I want to see in my corner.
Infidelity, corruption, they’re not good. In fact, they’re appalling. But, they happen. Those things aren’t isolated to the Democratic side of the aisle, either. And I don’t want my congressman or president chasing every intern that smiles and laughs at their jokes. But, if it does happen, we have to realize that if we continue to hold those to a standard we ourselves may have a tough time with that we may pass on a great leader once the dust clears. We have to see how they hold themselves and walk amongst those screaming for their demise once they wake the next day. See if they can rise above the lack of sane judgment that has befallen them. Surge forward with a new sense of purpose. Throughout the ages, we’ve endured scandals beyond our belief. We cannot be that naïve. There’s no denying it. But it doesn’t change the fact the majority of those in power will continue to strive for what’s best for those they represent. If we want our leaders to be citizens among citizens, then we have to offer forgiveness and a chance at redemption. Anthony Weiner was, by anyone’s account, wrong. There’s no other way to dice it. And I wouldn’t lose a lick of sleep if he doesn’t get re-elected next time around. But for his policy making. For the hard working citizens that believe in him, he deserves a second chance. Here’s to him making the most of it….
Until next time…….