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Weiner, Schwarzenegger and Company Taking a Blowtorch to Trust

Congressman Anthony Weiner (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

I guess it’s a sense of entitlement and a headrush of power that makes the politicians about which we’ve heard far too much recently feel so invincible that they can just about get away with anything. The big and obvious problem is, however, that Americans trusted these people enough to put them into office. So when one scandal after another unfolds–and they are doing so on top each other, these days–we all have to wonder, “Who’s next?”

How unfortunate that we cannot answer that question?  Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and New York Congressman Anthony Weiner are just two of too many who have passed before our TV screens the past several (I almost said “few” mainly because of wishful thinking) years tearfully (or not) explaining, if not describing, lurid transgressions to America and their constituents.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images For The Consulate General of Israel)

And, yes, it’s all good fodder for the late night talk shows and comedians everywhere. And it will be for many years to come; David Letterman still tosses in a Bill Clinton joke every now and then. And before you begin to think my rants and raves are politically based, let me stop you. BOTH sides of the political fence have been guilty. Look, these are people we thought could be trusted to uphold an office with integrity. Instead, for some, the biggest stories of their political careers tend to revolve around scandals stemming from salacious behavior. Nothing is so very private anymore in the Internet and 24-hour news cycle age! Why can’t these presumably intelligent men understand that. I could not honestly care less what goes on in their private lives, but this stuff doesn’t stay private. And yes, we have to admit it, it’s good for a few jokes for a while. But I guess it was this piece of news I saw about Congressman Weiner taking a leave of absence to seek treatment that was the last straw. First of all, if he is sincere, more power to him. I hope he gets everything worked out that needs working out. But I can’t help believing that if he hadn’t been caught, he would never be seeking said treatment, because he likely wouldn’t believe there was any kind of problem at all. And, see, there ‘s an example of my growing cynicism that only grows because of how often these supposedly capable leaders publicly fail. Who doesn’t want to trust their elected officials? And, then again, who thinks they really can?

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