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.