The Anthony Weiner Test


Why would anybody seriously consider voting for Anthony Weiner for a position of serious responsibility like Mayor of New York City?  Weiner had to leave Congress under a cloud a couple of years ago because it came out that he had tweeted obscene photos of himself to various women.  In an attempted political comeback he decided to run for Mayor of New York City this year, and was actually taken seriously by some voters.  Now, in the latest twist in his very tangled story, it turns out that he continued the same kind of gutter behavior that cost him his seat in Congress even after he had to resign.  At present he intends to stay in the mayoral race, which raises again the question with which I began: why would anybody consider voting for him?

In an attempt to clarify this question, I offer the following multiple choice test.  Try to answer honestly.


1. If your sister announced to the family that she was going to marry Anthony Weiner, would you:

A. Sincerely wish her all the happiness?

B. Think she is crazy, but keep quiet for the sake of (temporary) family peace?

C.  Tell her openly that she is crazy.

2. If Anthony Weiner applied for a job for which you were responsible for hiring, would you:

A. Hire him with no hesitation?

B. Weigh his merits against those of the other candidates?

C. Drop his application in the trash?

3. If you were at a party and noticed that Anthony Weiner was there, too, would you:

A. Go up and talk to him, because you think he would be an interesting a fun character?

B. Hope that you would not have to meet him, but try to be polite if you do?

C. Do everything in your power to avoid him?

4. If you answered C to all of the questions above, but would still consider voting for Anthony Weiner for mayor, is it because:

A. The office of mayor of a large city is not as responsible a position as wife of your sister, employee at your firm, or party-goer?

B. You think a person can be very irresponsible in his personal life and still be a good public servant?

C. The public good is not as important as the good of your family, your business, or yourself?

5. If you answered A to all of the questions above, and would happily vote for Anthony Weiner for mayor, is it because:

A. You don’t think a person’s sexual conduct bears any relationship to whether he is a good person?

B. You don’t want to impose your values on Anthony Weiner, your sister, your business, or your political community?

C. You are totally invested in the ideology of sexual liberation, so that you cannot tolerate any negative judgment on Weiner, which would in turn reflect unfavorably on yourself?


The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author

Carson Holloway is a political scientist and the author of The Way of Life: John Paul II and the Challenge of Liberal Modernity (Baylor University Press), The Right Darwin? Evolution, Religion, and the Future of Democracy (Spence Publishing), and All Shook Up: Music, Passion and Politics (Spence Publishing), and the editor of a collection of essays entitled Magnanimity and Statesmanship (Lexington Books). His articles have appeared in the Review of Politics, Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy, Perspectives on Political Science, and First Things. He is a regular contributor to the online journal The Public Discourse. Holloway was a 2005-06 William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in Religion and Public Life in the James Madison Program at Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Northern Illinois University in 1998.

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