To no one’s surprise Anthony Weiner lost in the New York City Democratic mayoral primary. But just before his defeat he was a guest on liberal Lawrence O’Donnell’s TV talk show and the interview—a cage match, really—was as revealing about Weiner’s lusts as were the sexting pictures he sent to random bimbos.
O’Donnell had just one question: “What is wrong with you that you cannot seem to imagine a life without elective office?” O’Donnell characterized Weiner’s desire as an “absolute desperate need.”
Weiner, as is customary, defended his career as noble public service. He started as a Capitol Hill staffer, won a seat on the New York City Council, and then went on to win seven terms in the House of Representatives, before resigning in 2011 for tweeting photos of his junk and lying brazenly about it.
Weiner has lost his bid at an electoral comeback due to his physical lust. But he should have lost it for his power-lust. O’Donnell stumbled toward a deeper truth that all citizens should keep in mind concerning those who purport to serve us as elected officials: many really want to rule us.
There are power-hungry politicians of both parties, to be sure. But directing the lives of others is at the core of the Democrats' leftist ideology. But for some, like Weiner, it goes beyond the particulars of their agenda.
We humans need to control the world around us and to work through mutual consent with our fellows in order to secure ourselves materially as well as spiritually. And with productive efforts and success come feelings of efficacy and the self-esteem of achievement, the satisfaction of psychological needs.
But some people—politicians especially—direct their efforts not at controlling the material world, in cooperation with their fellows but, rather, at controlling their fellows. This desire to rule can take the form of an out-of-control psychological urge. It’s like an uncontrolled, misdirected, insatiable sex drive that takes perverse forms, which might give momentary pleasure but in the end is torture, never yielding deep satisfaction.
The essence of Weiner’s ideology is that he and elites like him must control our lives, supposedly for our own good. But what O’Donnell and most Americans saw in Weiner was a power drive that mixed in an ugly synergy with his policy agenda. Weiner seemed to be an individual who could only get a sense of self-worth—a false and warped one—in the political arena. He seemed oblivious to the fact that he was a national joke and that he’d get whacked at the polls! Because of his character flaw he couldn’t resist the lust for power.
Americans should appreciate that it is this lust for power rather than erotic proclivities that make all politicians potential dangers to our freedom. The checks and balances in the Constitution were meant to protect us from just such lusts in our elected officials.
Hudgins is director of advocacy and a senior scholar at The Atlas Society.
For further information:
*William Thomas, “ Freedom, Achievement, Individualism, Reason: Objectivism. ” December 2004.
*William Thomas, “ What Is The Objectivist Position In Morality (Ethics)? ”
*Edward Hudgins, “ The Servile Citizen .”
*David Kelley, “ Obama's Era of Responsibility. ” Summer 2009.
Edward Hudgins is research director at the Heartland Institute and former director of advocacy and senior scholar at The Atlas Society.