I’m Rubber, You’re Glue

Oh, secrets

Oh, secrets

Remember that playground ditty?

I’ve been thinking about something I saw on the news the other night. Patricia Todd, a legislator from Alabama, has threatened to “out” colleagues who campaign on a platform of and preach about family values and vote against marriage equality while having extra-marital and/or gay affairs.

My first thought was woo hoo!  Do eeet!  Then I read many statements and opinions of those who believe she’s wrong for threatening this.  People who support marriage equality, but don’t believe in these tactics. Some strong and thoughtful points were made.  For instance: would these outings be based on rumors? as a political tactic, the ethics of this are questionable, it would potentially hurt not just the politicians but their families as well, private lives should be private, and of course, it does sound an awful lot like extortion.

So I thought some more.  And I’ve decided I’m ok with being immature and reactionary here, and support her doing this provided these potential “outings” were based on verifiable facts, not whispers in the schoolyard, and limited to the politicians themselves, not potential affairs of spouses, children, etc, and not using affairs conducted well before the person decided to run for office.  People make their own choices for many reasons we know nothing about, and we the public may or may not be able to understand–it isn’t our business. If she knows any of her colleagues are gay but not out, or having extra-marital sex, and these colleagues are not trumpeting “family values” they should be left alone regardless of whether they’re Democrat, Republican, or Independent.

As far as I can tell, these threats were made only to those politicians who stand on their narrowly defined platform of family values.  Well, if you decide to stand on a pin, you may fall off when the wind kicks up.  I agree, private lives should be private. But these politicians have made it their business to say others aren’t entitled to dignity and equal rights, their (yanno, them–as opposed to us) private lives don’t deserve respect, because somehow equal rights are a threat to the security of  glass houses. When someone decides to run for office in today’s world, like it or not they’re opening their doors and forfeiting privacy for themselves and their spouses.

For all I know Joanie (or Joe) Congressman may be riding the bologna pony with her assistant while her spouse gives the blessing–and videotapes it.  I don’t care. I don’t believe this has a thing to do with their ability to make decisions and legislate.  I don’t care if my accountant has a foot fetish, my doctor is gay, my senator is asexual, or my train conductor is polyamorous.  But. If you are in a position of power, elected by the people based on your beliefs and telling others the “right” way to live, you should be living those beliefs, not limiting and stripping the rights of others because they want to live their lives with open intent, while you engage in your “alternative lifestyle” behind a smokescreen of moral indignation.

Is this truly a good idea, a smart way to conduct politics?  I don’t know. Maybe there are longterm ramifications and repercussions I don’t see. I’m not a politician, wouldn’t want to be. But here you have it. Proof that Mrs Fringe is every bit as immature as you always suspected.

18 comments

  1. I don’t know mrs f, if that is immature or not. I know when someone perches themself on a high horse and lays down the law, so to speak, I call them out when they don’t line up with their professed values. Usually privately though…. ❤
    Diana xo

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  2. First of all, who is that guy?

    🙂

    I had to think about your post, mrs fringe, and even then, I wasn’t sure I could respond in a rational way; main reason being, I abhor right wing conservatives, esp. those holding public office, who legislate ‘morality’ on the public’s behalf. What public? Tell you right now, they don’t speak for me.

    And when those same same idiots privately do the very things they rail against publically, I want to bitchslap ’em upside the head. How dare they?

    Having said that, I harbor a general mistrust for all politicians, regardless of where they fall on the conservative/liberal spectrum. I suspect most have a personal agenda, including Patricia Todd. I know now she’s backed off on her threat so as to not run the risk of committing slander, but I have to wonder what proof she actually had, and what revealing that proof may have actually accomplished. Conservative Politician X has an extramarital affair? Tea Party member Politician Y is a closet gay? What else is new? All you have to do is look at the stats. That crap happens all the time.

    Nobody is perfect. And maybe Pat Todd simply wanted to take some hypocrites to task. But I can’t help but feel kind of guilty, sitting back while she takes the fall for speaking her mind. She’s had death threats now, which is far more alarming to me than anything Politician Z may have done behind closed doors. We’re the ones who elected these people and now they speak out and we threaten their lives? Patricia Todd shouldn’t have to speak out. Our votes did the talking. What the hell did we expect?

    :p

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    1. Death threats. I suppose they are the true embodiment of family values, eh? 😦 Yes, there have been many instances of conservative, family-value-spouting-politicos caught with their pants down. And yet, somehow it always seems to become an opportunity to blah blah about how extra speshul they are, fighting the good fight within themselves for God and country, and of course they aren’t saying they believe in anything other than party lines. So would Todd’s approach have resulted in anything different? Unlikely. But damned if the thought of some few voters changing their minds about who and what they support, seeing the rampant hypocrisy, isn’t appealing.

      That said, I have no illusions that any one party is purely selfless and ideal, they all seem to speak out of both sides of their mouths. But doing so while hurting others under the pretext of morals? No, thank you.

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      1. “. . .they all seem to speak out of both sides of their mouths. But doing so while hurting others under the pretext of morals? No, thank you.”

        Who are you referring to, mrs fringe? The argument could be made that Patricia Todd was as guilty of doing that–almost doing that, I should say–as those who allegedly did the dirty doin’.

        (I’m feeling frisky. Blame it on lack of sleep.)

        xoxo kk

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        1. Fringeland is a good place to be frisky. 😀 But no, I don’t think Patricia Todd is equally guilty. Yes, if she had acted on impulse and began leaking gossip (no proof and substantiated facts, just gossip), she’d be equally guilty. But she didn’t. We read/heard half of a partially formed idea, and this post is my thoughts on how that idea could, potentially happen in a way that isn’t rumor mongering. 🙂

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          1. She did not go down that road, didn’t leak gossip, didn’t spread rumors that could hurt innocent people, you are right about that, mrs fringe. That’s a good thing, we have too much of that.

            But the why of it still bugs me a little. Quoting The Washington Times https://www.google.com/#q=patricia+Todd+backs+off : “I was advised by my attorney not to say things I don’t have proof that it’s true, because then I could be sued for slander.”

            So maybe her conscience wasn’t the only thing that stopped her. Or maybe this whole thing was a calculated risk on her part. She didn’t act, but stirred the pot. Got the conversation going in a big way. Smart lady.

            Reminds me of somebody else I know.

            🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          2. The why doesn’t bother me at all. Not why she wanted to (makes her human) and not why she didn’t (yup, makes her smart enough to follow the advice of someone thinking with a cooler head). Stirring the pot isn’t always a bad thing. *hides spoon* 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I cannot agree more with you, Ms. Fringe. My home country gets pretty fierce when it comes to privacy and I appreciated more transparency in the US. Do we need to know each and every detail of everyone’s private lives? No, unless people run for public office and start to preach a lifestyle they don’t live themselves. Ideally, however, we should be able to vote based on people’s skills and dedication to their platform and not on what’s going on at home, because it always puts children and more vulnerable people into the spotlight.

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