Adequacy front page
Stories Diaries Polls Users

Home About Topics Rejects Abortions
This is an archive site only. It is no longer maintained. You can not post comments. You can not make an account. Your email will not be read. Please read this page if you have questions.
SpaceGhoti is
Off his rocker again. 9%
Making a valid point. 18%
Smoking something good. 18%
Unfit for public office. 18%
Going to get "edited" again. 36%

Votes: 11

 Public Life

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Mar 06, 2002

I just finished reading a book that entertained me thoroughly. While the book itself was not terribly political (unless you consider the drive to develop new technologies a political maneuver), it made a statement that comes back to me. It is not terribly sporting to harrass the President.

At first, it seems that this statement is true. The President of the United States or any politician nominally at the head of a country is in the hot seat. Why make the job harder for them?

Then I realized why we should.


More diaries by SpaceGhoti
Where'd it go?
Hey, osm
I am now truly amused
Hilarity Ensues
Environmental Doomsday Clock stutters?
Jakarta News
Theological musings

It's long been said that anyone who seeks power should not receive it. It is often the lust for power that creates problems rather than the power itself. Absolute power corrupts absolutely because there is so much potential for abuse. I submit that it's humanly possible to exercise power without becoming corrupted by it, provided the wielder doesn't want it to begin with.

There is scarsely a nation on this earth that hasn't had its political woes. The ancient Egyptians were beset with internal strife by nobles, bureaucrats and pharoahs alike who couldn't handle the privilege and responsibility laid on them. Modern society is no better, with political scandals topping the news almost weekly. You have to pity anyone who accepts authority just for the pure harrassment they're going to receive regardless of the quality of their work.

I submit that this is a Good Thing. Make it hard. Make them uncomfortable. Remind them of who they are and what they're there for. It isn't to titillate or aggrandize anyone, it's so the decisions that must be made get made. Personal considerations must be secondary to the common good. A job in politics ought to be a dead-end career.

At the same time, being in the hotseat should have a mitigating effect on the people who place their rulers in power. Rather than call for impeachment for personal quirks, the governed should exercise some temperance and consideration for the harrassment of their leaders. Senator So-And-So was caught in a marital infidelity. How does he handle this scandal? Carpet-sweeping and ass-covering should be punished at least with an end to his term in the next election. Does the Senator face the music and forge on? You've got a winner. After all, how many of the Senator's constituents can honestly say they've never been unfaithful? How many can honestly say they've never been tempted?

Ultimately, I believe entering politics ought to intensify the search for skeletons in a person's closets. If the candidate in question hasn't the wit to hide them properly, or more importantly the courage to suffer the consequences when they come to light, the candidate should step down.

We don't need rapists and murders in office, but the "moral" scandals should serve to humanize our leaders. We should judge them less by their misdeeds than their strength of character in admitting them.


You do realise, of course, (5.00 / 1) (#1)
by because it isnt on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 05:43:57 AM PST
that when politicians talk down rumours and demand not be criticised by the media, they are in fact just doing their jobs? -- because it isn't

How so? (none / 0) (#2)
by SpaceGhoti on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 01:11:14 PM PST
My diary musings aside, how is it the job of politicians to tell the media to get off their backs?

A troll's true colors.

Because (5.00 / 2) (#4)
by because it isnt on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 05:26:56 AM PST
it says "represent constituents" in their job description. Not "pander to media".

The Media has managed to carve itself a niche in reporting the goings-on in politics, but congress/parliament/etc doesn't owe it a living. -- because it isn't

Fair enough (none / 0) (#6)
by SpaceGhoti on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 11:31:27 PM PST
But the Media is composed of constituents who have taken upon themselves to report the doings of government. If private, non-profit citizens were to perform the same job, would government officials still be justified in tell them to "bugger off?"

Media has become the unwritten Fourth branch of government. This is a mixed blessing at best. However, government is by nature a very public thing. People want to know that the people they trust to protect them are doing their jobs correctly. The fact that the scandal-mongers get more attention than the actual fact-finders is an unfortunate statement about human nature.

All the same, I think my original premise stands. We have rumor-mongers, and their business is morally questionable. Why not make the best of a bad deal? I have no wish to provide government officials with an all-inclusive screen of privacy in their official dealings, and it becomes difficult to know when to draw the line between dirt-digging and investigative reporting. So let's combine them. Make anyone who wants to be part of government suffer the scrutiny of microscopic intensity. If they want the perks, they have to take the lumps.

A troll's true colors.

American obsession with 'redemption' (none / 0) (#3)
by dmg on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 04:38:05 AM PST
We don't need rapists and murders in office, but the "moral" scandals should serve to humanize our leaders. We should judge them less by their misdeeds than their strength of character in admitting them.

One of our problems as a nation is our obsession with redemption. It seems that one can commit any number of atrocities and offenses against human decency, but provided one is prepared to appear on 'Oprah' with a suitably humble and repentant manner, the American people will forgive you.

We Amercians need to learn to be a bit less forgiving.

Give them an inch and they will take a mile.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

For once we are in agreement... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
by Chocolate Milkshake on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 11:30:20 PM PST
The constant scrutiny of the "private" lives of public figures in thoroughly in the interest of democracy and the public good. One fine example of this is the Clinton/Lewinsky sex scandal and related media feeding frenzy / impeachment hearings. This entertaining event represened probably the high point of Second Gilded Age inanity, in which the sexual peculiarities of a respected public figure, the leader of the world's greatest superpower, were exposed in pornographic detail. Yet the end result was positive for nearly all the involved parties: Clinton emerged with his highest approval ratings ever, his porcine paramour gained international fame and a lifetime of easy living as a second-rate celebrity / sideshow attraction, America had a whopping good laugh over the whole thing, and those who would abuse the power of the Special Prosecutor were exposed as a gang of hapless, if sinister, pumblechooks.

So it can be seen that the intrusive prying of the media has positive results. The much-mailnged "tabloid press" actually serves a constructive purpose in society, providing entertainment for the masses, economic enrichment for the publishing and broadcast industries, and useful information about the character of our elected politicians; although as Ken Starr, to this day a walking punchline, can tell you, the shorthairs that get singed by the flames of scandal are not necessarily those of the poor bastard tied to the stake.

This logic also applies to public figures other than politicians: I leave it as an exercise for the interested reader to demonstrate how Richard Gere's triumph in the 1989 hit film Pretty Woman was a direct result of the rumors about him shoving gerbils up his ass.


All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest ® 2001, 2002, 2003 The name, logo, symbol, and taglines "News for Grown-Ups", "Most Controversial Site on the Internet", "Linux Zealot", and "He just loves Open Source Software", and the RGB color value: D7D7D7 are trademarks of No part of this site may be republished or reproduced in whatever form without prior written permission by and, if and when applicable, prior written permission by the contributing author(s), artist(s), or user(s). Any inquiries are directed to