The private life of a politician and its impact on public interest is not a simple black and white question. On the one hand people believe that a public figure that takes bribes and cheats on his wife is not worth of peoples trust. On the other hand every human makes mistakes and politician are not exception. One man could have some problems in his private life and the same one could be simultaneously a great leader of a country. Every situation has its own exposure and, I feel, it depends on how they act in public and what they say. It also depends on whether a person is as honestly as he or she is projecting him- or herself to be.
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To start with, the vast majority of people are interested in public figures’ private life. If a politician is caught on cheating, people tend to take spontaneous judgments. For example, how someone behaves in private is who he or she really is. If a public man or woman who represents official power cannot be trusted by his/her spouse, it could also not be trusted by ordinary people. An appropriate comparison could be the following one: a politician is not a technician. The latter could a professional with excellent expertise in his sphere, but, at the same time, it could be a very bad person. In real life you never know!
The private lives of our celebrities and politicians are also very interesting as we identify ourselves with the most popular and powerful people with their every day struggle. So, if a politician or a star loses his or her credibility, we lose at the same time a small part of ourselves. However, private struggles should not cause the break of a candidate. People have to take into account that the population of a particular country does not elect politicians to follow morality, but to follow legislation. We should recognize that we all are human and we often are mistaken. But still it is better to have one of the most effective leaders with marital issues than to get a dangerous fascist with the perfect family.
Furthermore, politics presumes the interaction between a number of candidates and the electorate. I guess the representatives from the people are those who rule interaction in politics. So, in my viewpoint, public figures guide us on our path of reaching consensus and decision making. In case politicians lie or make something bad and not appropriate to their high status, they lose their credibility and this, finally, harms the ability to mediate interaction and consensus in the right way. If the task of combining the community is delegated to the wrong person, he or she just cannot succeed with this mission since they lack two crucial characteristics of eligible representatives. These are the abilities to empathize and sympathize.
As I have already mentioned, people often overestimate the role of a particular mistake of their leader. Media is the main factor which adversely affects the perception of a person. It is really very popular to divert attention from real issues. Media addicted consumers enjoy how public figures fail. They can criticize without being materially affected. In general, I believe that the private life of every person is untouchable and it is nobody’s business whom political leaders sleep with. Moreover, the revealing of the private life of public people hurts innocent others.
Nevertheless, one exception could be mentioned. I refer to the situations when politicians contradict their public stands. The people have no need in hearing the details of cheating, but citizens do need to know when a public figure is dishonest with his or her spouse and how she or he is going to deal with the truth. It truly does matter whether a politician is really a penitent or he or she just upset because the fact they are caught. I, personal, establish my feelings about people on such characteristics as honesty and ability to take blame when it is mandatory.
People are who they are. If a person is a liar and cheat his family in his or her private life, why should anyone wait for different behavior from this person on his or her work? The citizens wish their trusted their candidates. Here the saying is topical “actions speak louder than words”. Private life that a politician is going to hide from public is relevant when it doesn’t support promises made publically.
I, personally, do not care about politician’s sexual orientation. Most of people care though. But I care about the extent of lie of people with the aim of hiding their extramarital affairs. Take for instance Clinton’s initial lie about the Monica Lewinski. Generally speaking, if the behavior affects performance in the public role, it is the business of all of people. In Bill Clinton’s case there is really no need in his cheating on her wife. Probably the worst thing in this case is that he cheated Hilary with an intern. Truly, it was like sexual harassment with the only difference that Monika claimed that she was willing to these relations. Otherwise, Bill Clinton could follow presidential campaign of his wife Hilary behind bars (Henneberger).
Another good example refers to Senator John Edward’s scandal, which took place in 2008. John Edwards aimed to get some public preferences for spending his time by wife and supporting her during her illness. Such his activity was also ruled by the wish to get the price of recognition as a good husband. Unfortunately, he also lived with “secret” life. So, he was messing around on his dear wife while she particularly needed him. Furthermore, Senator Edwards not only lied to both his ill wife and people, but also he tried to find the person who will take the fall for his girlfriend’s pregnancy. This indicates an unacceptable level of egoism (Lewis). My point is people everywhere do not need public figures that say right things and do the opposite.
A very simple truth is that people just cannot divide their lives into little elements and run them separately. All of the people, political figures from the recent past, who were mentioned above suffered from the wish to make the public think one thing in relation to them while they implemented reverse policy in their private lives. The experience of these people informs us of inconsistencies in their speeches, their actions as an elected officials and their personal behavior. As a result, Bill Clinton and John Edwards make the public believe that their moralities, their capacity to make valid public policy as well as their willingness to live according to some standards of marriage are questionable.
In conclusion, public figures refuse from their private lives as soon as they win elections. Since then they and their families are exposed to various attacks. If they cannot stand, they have to find work behind the scenes. If a politician damaged his or her reputation, he or she has to come clean, which means to explain and apologize. If they cannot be trusty in relation to their families, friends and citizens, they are obliged to leave politics and allow others to work. At the same time, some public figures continue to be good leaders despite of difficulties they experienced.
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