Politicians, let’s get real

By From page A6 | August 01, 2013

It is encouraging to see the Democratic Party of New York and one of their candidates for mayor of New York City starting to show the kind of transparency the public has been longing for these many years.

If the news reports are accurate, Anthony Weiner has shown the courage and leadership to openly display his feelings about women, sex and his thoughts regarding them. Clearly, he learned from his fellow New Yorker, Eliot Spitzer, who, had he been as forthcoming, might now be preparing a run for president of the United States rather than comptroller of New York state.

While some may wish to judge Weiner’s actions as unbecoming of a public official or one seeking public office, I would remind them that, to paraphrase an old adage, “Better the devil you know …” Or, to paraphrase another saying, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

I submit that we would be far better off as a country if all of our public officials would follow Weiner’s fine example and be honest with us as to their feelings about many of our concerns, i.e., sex, race, education, health care, the environment and — dare I say it — finance, spending and taxes.

Most would acknowledge that it is good for the soul to free the conscience from the weight of duplicity. Granted, if this were to become common practice, there would need to be a law passed to make our public officials immune from prosecution for conflicts of interest and malfeasance in office. Just check the paper on any day for the latest instances.

Transparency for a public official cannot be overrated. It is a keystone for the citizen’s understanding of the character of the person we are electing to represent us. After all, we are all flawed human beings. Repressing one’s feeling to create a better image is not only deceitful but burdens the conscience with outdated scruples.

Let’s get real and start to give the public the honest representation it deserves.

Jay Swift

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