In It For Health

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Archive for March 27th, 2008

Too much info about politicians

Posted by Dr. Susan on March 27, 2008

Following the latest Spitzer then Paterson scandals, a tongue in cheek article in New York Magazine asks how much sordid info on our politicians is too much? It’s a question that I’m asked all the time. Not withstanding the ha-ha value of the New York Magazine piece, this is actually an important issue.

The media has incredibly sophisticated abilities to not only pry into the minutiae of politicians’ lives with intensity and drive and then broadcast within seconds across the globe in a way that can legitimately wipe out a politician’s career. In some cases they should be wiped out…Spitzer I think is a good example of this. 

But, I wonder…are there talented, competent individuals who refuse to even run for office at high levels because they are afraid that issues in their background–having nothing to do with their current morality or competence–will be dragged out and thrown in their faces? Take Paterson. Do we care that he used drugs as a teen or young adult? Or even about his marital problems? Will it impact on his ability to do his job now. Not that teens should use drugs of course! And guess what a huge percentage of married people have affairs.

But perhaps the Republicans are stuck with a 71-year old McCain (not that he’s a bad choice, just that he’s really old!) because so few others had the guts to open up their private lives to the media that needs to be constantly fed. It’s unlikely that politicians 20 years ago were anymore moral or ethical than they are now. We just didn’t know what was going on. Maybe it was better that way. It’s possible to be good at some parts of your life–say running a country, but not as good at others–like running your own life. I see this with the people who come to me for help every day. I’m not sure that we should be narrowing our pool of competent politicians based on the media’s need to dig for dirt.

Your life is private, why shouldn’t theirs be too?

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