Anthony Weiner's death wish

No Holds Barred: The disgraced congressman needs help to overcome self-destructive tendencies that will consume him if he ignores them

anthony weiner 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
anthony weiner 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Anthony Weiner should resign, but not for the reasons you think. True, he has disgraced his office and broken the people’s trust. And yet we’re well aware of how many public servants have out-of-control libidos, yet do a lot of good. Just because a man is a terrible husband doesn’t mean he can’t be a good public servant.
JFK was arguably the worst husband in the history of the US presidency, claiming virtually any woman with a pulse as mistress. Yet he is still missed by the American people and rated highly as a president.
Added to being a lousy husband is the fact that Weiner is a liar. But not telling the truth is what we expect from politicians. We’ve all heard the joke about knowing a politician is lying because his lips are moving.
Rather, Weiner should resign for personal reasons. He needs help.
Not sexual help, as this was never about sex. He had sex with none of these women. Less so was this about pornographic titillation – something Weiner could have easily gotten from countless websites.
No, Weiner needs help to overcome self-destructive tendencies that will consume him if he ignores them. Any elected official who tweets his swollen male appendage to a complete stranger and takes pictures of himself virtually naked in the congressional gym is throwing his life and career in the air with no idea of where they will land. This is the behavior of someone with a subliminal desire for total self-annihilation. And no doubt it is his self-destructive tendency that is giving his wife pause about staying with him, much more than any bizarre sexual fetish.
Bill Clinton exhibited the same inclination to self-immolation when he had sex in the Oval Office – the single most watched and guarded place on Earth. He knew full well what his staff and Secret Service must have thought when a young intern – with no official business with the president – went in repeatedly to claim so much of his time. But Clinton didn’t care. He shared the same self-destructive tendencies demonstrated by Arnold Schwarzenegger in having sex with a woman who was around his wife day and night, even keeping her on staff for a dozen years after she had his child. These are the marks of men who have become so deeply cynical about life that the only adrenaline rush that satisfies is one where they throw their lives off a cliff. These are all men with an unending craving for love and an incessant need for attention, forever proving themselves, and therefore despising their very existence, which involves an eternal feeling of inadequacy and unworthiness.
Men who hate themselves this much and strive eternally for the validation of others harbor a secret wish that, in one way or another, the inner torment will cease. That’s why they play Russian Roulette.
Anything to dull the pain.
TO SAY Weiner has a death wish sounds serious, but it’s actually quite common to the Broken American Male.
They are looking for anything that will deaden the neverending inner ache. That’s where numbing agents like alcohol, workaholism and drugs come in, with casual sex being the drug of choice. Sexual climax brings a feeling of detachment and numbness which quiets the anxiety, however briefly. Here is also why sex becomes so deeply addictive, as it’s pursued for the instant “hit” it delivers.
But since it involves no deep connection to another human being, it is insubstantial in nature, and thus the habit can only be sustained with ever-increasing doses.
Anthony Weiner will not resign. They’ll have to pry his cold hands from the door of his congressional office. In his mind, this seat is all he has. It defines him. Without the bells and whistles of success, Weiner sees himself as non-existent. No doubt he fears that his wife will leave him as well, convinced as he is that she only married him because of his office.
I am of a serious mind to run against Weiner to highlight the broken state of American manhood, and how we must finally address it rather than watch more decent men combust. A run against Weiner might just provide the platform to extol the values void in America. America is in desperate need of new ideals, especially as they pertain to men in the public arena. Mark my words: There will be an increase in sexual scandals until we finally address the depressing state of the American male – how he has been reduced to an automaton in blind pursuit of power, money or fame, with scant emphasis on the cultivation of his humanity. We will continue to witness men acting out, doing anything they can to salve their macerated egos.
The solution is a new set of values that defines success first as behaving like a gentleman, and declaring as failures all those who may have conquered the world but who have broken the hearts of those closest to them. It is the man who cheats on his wife who is a failure, even if he has a hedge fund. The man who has no time for his children is a loser, even if he’s a senator. And the man who degrades women by treating them as the walking fulfillment of his libido is a disappointment, even as he jets around in his Gulfstream V.
A female friend of mine told me that while she agrees with my theory of the Broken American Male, she discovered – in discussing it with her boyfriend – that the idea is not popular among men. I disagree. It is not popular among boys who masquerade as men. But there are still a few of us who, recognizing our inner brokenness and permanent feeling of inadequacy, want to stop being hunter-gatherers – impressing the world with our flashy possessions – and instead light up the world with the luminescence of our souls.
The writer is the founder of This World: The Values Network, and will shortly publish Ten Conversations You Need to Have with Yourself. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.