In light of a recent Buzzfeed article criticizing Newark Mayor, Cory Booker, for an exchange over twitter he had with an exotic dancer, it seems that nowadays being a public figure apparently comes with the caveat that you can no longer expect privacy in your social interactions.
While it could be easily argued that political public figures – such as the President and members of congress — should have their private lives scrutinized to make sure they are adequately performing their duties to the citizens who elected them, they are still people. Minnesota Public Radio said in an on-air dialogue that “we don’t elect our leaders to be a moral authority; but a legislative one.”
Frankly, it really should not concern any “worried” citizen or constituent if their mayor wants to follow a stripper on Twitter, much less have an everyday conversation with her over a rapidly growing social networking site.
While it is important to consider infidelity and major crimes when scrutinizing a public figures private life, Newark Mayor Cory Booker is unmarried and young — Booker’s spokesman Kevin Griffis stated that “the mayor is well known for communicating with people from all walks of life,” in a testament to his twitter activity.
His actions don’t merit a public shaming, or even the questions that have been pitched at him in the wake of what’s being called “The Booker Exchange”.
It is an incredibly trying thing to be elected to public office – audits are done and financials are analyzed to the peak of scrutiny in order to make sure the officials are as squeaky clean as every publicist hopes they are. I truly believe, however, that a large majority of what gets brought up in political elections is obstructionist drivel.
I honestly could care less about what a candidate did in college, much less in high school. If they were an active member of a radicalist group, that’s one thing, but the fact they may have written an anti-war article for their college newspaper 25 years ago and have now become pro-war means nothing.
They aren’t a flip flopper, they aren’t lying to their constituents; they have just changed as people.
Public figures should be treated with the same level of privacy that private citizens have come to expect. Just because they were elected to serve doesn’t mean they were elected to let the public judge them for tweeting something funny or responding back to a post made by someone that is from a different part of society than them.