View Poll Results: Should a politicians personal life be taken into account?

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39. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, a politician's personal life reveals important things about their ability to lead

    13 33.33%
  • Yes, but it should only be weighed as one of many factors

    18 46.15%
  • It depends entirely on the individual transgression

    15 38.46%
  • No, those things might say something about the man, but not necessarily how effective he is.

    7 17.95%
  • No, what matters are results

    4 10.26%
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Thread: Should Personal Lives Matter?

  1. #31
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    Re: Should Personal Lives Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Americans have weird hangups about sex. That's why sex scandals captivate our attention so much. They don't matter at all. Nobody has ever suggested that JFK was a worse president because of his sexual escapades. Nobody has ever suggested that Thomas Jefferson was a worse president because of his tendency to rape his slaves. Nobody has eve suggested that George Washington was a worse president for his numerous infidelities.

    It's clear that our elected officials' sexual proclivities have nothing to do with their ability to govern, and using that as a yardstick to judge anyone is going to lead us to make bad decisions. We need to get over our scandalous love affair with... well... scandalous love affairs.
    In JFK's time, the press kept a "respectful distance." Ordinary people had no idea about his philanderings, and I really doubt that most ordinary people knew about Washington or Jefferson's sexual activities either.

  2. #32
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    Re: Should Personal Lives Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    Can you think of a good example where this has proved to be the case? Can you think of a politician who behaved badly in his private life and then behaved similarly poorly in his (it's usually male) professional life? I'm sure such examples must exist, I just can't think of one.
    I said "can indicate", not "indicates".

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    Re: Should Personal Lives Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by nota bene View Post
    In JFK's time, the press kept a "respectful distance." Ordinary people had no idea about his philanderings, and I really doubt that most ordinary people knew about Washington or Jefferson's sexual activities either.
    And do you think that those activities made them worse at their jobs? Do you think that we should have forgone having them as presidents because of their sexual actions? I think it's silly that we care, and insane that we make decisions about who our leaders should be based on their sex lives. Clearly the philanderings of those three didn't disqualify them for the offices they held. So why should we oust anyone else for it?
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  4. #34
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    Re: Should Personal Lives Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by phildozer9121 View Post
    I was listening to NPR today at work and an interview came on that I thought was very interesting.

    Here's what's going on:


    The gist of it is, this guy, Narendra Modi, is running for prime minister in India with the persuasive platform that because he is living the bachelor life, he will have more time and ability to devote himself to the job. It turns out he actually still has a wife, although he contends that the marriage was loveless and purely a business relationship, which based on the limited evidence presented, seems reasonably likely to be true. What really got me thinking was when the interviewer was speaking with a supporter of Modi, and asking her about how this recent revelation might affect his chances or anyone's opinion of him.

    I can't find the transcript of the interview, but basically she was saying, 'why would his personal life matter when we have so many other problems at hand?' The interviewer countered with something like, 'well, shouldn't it matter?'

    And that's the question, should it matter?

    It seems to me that when these politicians get busted in the US, your anthony weiners, your john edwardssss, your kissing congressmen etc. they aren't kicked out because they're bad politicians (partisan feelings aside) but simply because of a misstep in their personal lives. I'd also point out that there are probably plenty of politicians, good and bad, that probably did these things and got away with it. Look at Thomas Jefferson and all his slave babies.
    And, I think with the advent of social media these kinds of things will only become more prevalent when the younger people start getting into office and the things they put on facebook/twitter/DP fourms ten years ago will come back to haunt them.

    Bill Clinton was president during one of the most prosperous times in US history, and he was almost removed from office for getting a BJ. The current president of France, Francois Hollande is in the middle of some serious soap opera business right now as well, yet few french consider that something revealing about his effectiveness. Do Americans put too much stock into it, assuming that it is some non-criminal aspect of their personal lives?
    I think this is a huge reason our politics are the way they are. It seems like a great idea to only elect the squeaky clean moral poster boy for American values, but the people that actually have those values by and large don't want the political life. So what you end up getting is the people who can LIE about being the squeaky clean moral poster boy and can LIE about it right to your face without flinching for a second. This is the same kind of guy who will do or say anything to further his own interests and the only thing he's really interested in is himself. This is why our politicians on both sides of the isle have no problem intentionally misleading the public to keep themselves in power.

    I'd much rather have the guys who are gay or bisexual, or have open relationships with their wives, or liked to smoke a little weed on their time off when they were younger, or visit a high class hooker every now and then, but has enough integrity to not be able to intentionally deceive his constituents for his own gain. Those are the guys that I can trust because I know they are interested in things outside of themselves.

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    Re: Should Personal Lives Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by phildozer9121 View Post
    I was listening to NPR today at work and an interview came on that I thought was very interesting.

    Here's what's going on:


    The gist of it is, this guy, Narendra Modi, is running for prime minister in India with the persuasive platform that because he is living the bachelor life, he will have more time and ability to devote himself to the job. It turns out he actually still has a wife, although he contends that the marriage was loveless and purely a business relationship, which based on the limited evidence presented, seems reasonably likely to be true. What really got me thinking was when the interviewer was speaking with a supporter of Modi, and asking her about how this recent revelation might affect his chances or anyone's opinion of him.

    I can't find the transcript of the interview, but basically she was saying, 'why would his personal life matter when we have so many other problems at hand?' The interviewer countered with something like, 'well, shouldn't it matter?'

    And that's the question, should it matter?

    It seems to me that when these politicians get busted in the US, your anthony weiners, your john edwardssss, your kissing congressmen etc. they aren't kicked out because they're bad politicians (partisan feelings aside) but simply because of a misstep in their personal lives. I'd also point out that there are probably plenty of politicians, good and bad, that probably did these things and got away with it. Look at Thomas Jefferson and all his slave babies.
    And, I think with the advent of social media these kinds of things will only become more prevalent when the younger people start getting into office and the things they put on facebook/twitter/DP fourms ten years ago will come back to haunt them.

    Bill Clinton was president during one of the most prosperous times in US history, and he was almost removed from office for getting a BJ. The current president of France, Francois Hollande is in the middle of some serious soap opera business right now as well, yet few french consider that something revealing about his effectiveness. Do Americans put too much stock into it, assuming that it is some non-criminal aspect of their personal lives?
    Only when it is relevant to the performance of the job.
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    Re: Should Personal Lives Matter?

    I don't care what goes on in a politicians personal life unless they are hypocritical about it. If they put themselves out there like Jerry Falwell but secretly live like Hugh Hefner, then I think it matters because of the blatant hypocrisy of it. Otherwise its between them and their wife.
    "You're the only person that decides how far you'll go and what you're capable of." - Ben Saunders (Explorer and Endurance Athlete)

  7. #37
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    Re: Should Personal Lives Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    A person who cannot conduct their personal life in an honorable and ethical manner, cannot be trusted with political power.
    Depends on what we consider honorable and ethical with such matters. In American politics, sex is certainly scandalous, and often career-ending. However, throughout history, leadership was often less than honorable underneath the sheets, but brilliant otherwise. Sometimes I prefer hypocrisy to purity. I find it acceptable if there are those in the know who are aware of such transgressions, but are able to keep a public face nevertheless. Celebrating debauchery in public, on the other hand, I'm not so fond of.

    Hypocrisy has its own virtues.
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 04-12-14 at 06:25 PM.
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    Re: Should Personal Lives Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by nota bene View Post
    In JFK's time, the press kept a "respectful distance." Ordinary people had no idea about his philanderings, and I really doubt that most ordinary people knew about Washington or Jefferson's sexual activities either.
    Jefferson's alleged transgressions were made for public display through the efforts of James Callender, who was previously in Jefferson's employ.
    Michael J Petrilli-"Is School Choice Enough?"-A response to the recent timidity of American conservatives toward education reform. https://nationalaffairs.com/publicat...-choice-enough

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    Re: Should Personal Lives Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by nota bene View Post
    Why would you trust someone to be trustworthy in the service of others when he or she can't be trusted to keep a promise to his or her life-partner? Honor and virtue, like charity, begin at home.
    Because they may actually be great at politics and governance or ruling, otherwise. It's happened frequently enough in the past.
    Michael J Petrilli-"Is School Choice Enough?"-A response to the recent timidity of American conservatives toward education reform. https://nationalaffairs.com/publicat...-choice-enough

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    Re: Should Personal Lives Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Americans have weird hangups about sex. That's why sex scandals captivate our attention so much. They don't matter at all. Nobody has ever suggested that JFK was a worse president because of his sexual escapades. Nobody has ever suggested that Thomas Jefferson was a worse president because of his tendency to rape his slaves. Nobody has eve suggested that George Washington was a worse president for his numerous infidelities.

    It's clear that our elected officials' sexual proclivities have nothing to do with their ability to govern, and using that as a yardstick to judge anyone is going to lead us to make bad decisions. We need to get over our scandalous love affair with... well... scandalous love affairs.
    It's because we care that makes it a hindrance. So long as a leader can hide their affairs, the better for them. Once it explodes on the public scene, it then starts to impact ability to govern or rule (if the public cares enough, that is).
    Michael J Petrilli-"Is School Choice Enough?"-A response to the recent timidity of American conservatives toward education reform. https://nationalaffairs.com/publicat...-choice-enough

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