The latest political scandal, courtesy of New York city mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner presents an opportunity to re-think what matters most in our elected politicians and how best to engender a better society for all now and in the future.
Let me begin by saying that I'm a political independent more interested in maintaining an internally consistent and authentic, non-hypocritical worldview than worrying about towing a "Democratic" or "Republican" party line. Frankly, I don't think any of us should be loyal to a political party so much as to our own higher selves. I've known, taught, and learned from people across the political spectrum; I can state, for a fact, that both Republicans, Democrats, and non-political folk can all be equally spiritually aware or unaware. So the following isn't to be construed as a political position but rather a spiritual one.
No one who cares about integrity, democracy, or creating a better society should support Anthony Weiner's candidacy for New York City mayor -- or dogcatcher. Not because of his political views -- I don't know his specific positions on many issues and don't care -- and not because an unusual ( perhaps perverse) sex drive and predilections are wrong or bad in and of themselves. The issue here is the repeated lying to the public and the message it sends to politicians and bureaucrats if we reward those who engage in that behavior. Anthony Weiner has been caught lying again and again and again, including lying about his supposed "overcoming" of his cheating compulsions while he was in fact engaging in them.
I don't care if you're a hardcore Democrat and Anthony Weiner's political perfectly line up with yours. If we want to create a better society, we simply can't reward this kind of behavior. If we elect politicians of either party who have been caught purposefully and publicly lying to us then it is we who have perpetuated the breakdown of our society. We signal that honesty and integrity don't matter. That only naked ambition (no pun intended) and political maneuvering matter. What matters most in improving society is the consciousness of the people, ourselves and those we elect. The lower the consciousness, the more our society becomes debased. The higher the consciousness, the more likely our society will grow harmoniously and advance.
Here's the key point: the specific positions of a politician matter far less than their inner consciousness.
We would do far better as a society to stop electing those who will most ruthlessly enact our social and political preferences and instead focus on electing those who represent our highest aspirational qualities. The kinder, more compassionate, more harmonious, fair-minded, authentic, and visionary our politicians, the better our society will be. That's the real way to make lasting progress and positive change. Not through base, bare-knuckled immoral, lying, hypocritical, or hate-filled proponents of our pet causes.
Supporting ridiculous people who just so happen to agree with some specific agenda item of ours is a short-sighted and ultimately foolhardy way to make a better world. Politicians who don't respect the very people who elected them will ultimately fail us in our attempts to make a better world. They might make narrow progress in one or two pet areas of ours but that will always come with a tremendous big-picture and long-term negative cost. They will inject their dishonesty and sleazy behavior into our political and cultural system in myriad ways. In the end, such people will always end up doing more harm than good, if for no other reason they will continue to fracture and destabilize our society.
Right now, America seems on the brink of a total breakdown in civility and mutual respect between those who have differing opinions. Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, the right and the left, are hardly speaking to one another. We've started to reflexively hate anyone who doesn't share 100% of our worldview. This kind of narrow minded partisanship is anathema to not only a better world but also to our spiritual selves. The more we give in to our own baser instincts, support and reward hate-filled divisiveness, the more our own souls become blackened and besmirched.
Their is only one way out of this mess. We must renounce the reflexive political, social, and cultural hatred and dishonesty into which we so often fall. The more we come from and immerse ourselves in negative thoughts and emotions about those who don't agree with us, the more that becomes our own inner reality. We can't spend our days hating others, or living in fear, anger, or anxiety and not expect it to effect us on every level of our being. We must start electing politicians who embrace our highest, most positive aspirations, those who don't spread divisiveness and hate. At a bare minimum, we should look for representatives who are mostly honest, well-meaning, and seem driven by a higher-calling to help humanity and not those who merely seem drawn to politics for personal power, fame, and wealth.
Remember this: we, as a democratic republic, get exactly the politicians we deserve. A better world always begins inside ourselves.