Weiner's Twitter Gaffe Provides Lessons in Social Intelligence
If there are lessons to be learned from the Anthony Weiner Twitter fiasco, they have so far been lost on the media and the general public, in favor of jokes that most people would reprimand their five-year-old for telling.
It's understandable. We like to see our leaders fall, especially if they do something that seems smug and self-congratulatory, and the New York representative's (apparently) multiple X-rated exchanges with young women seem to fall within that domain.
People understand that power can inflate the ego. (And other things.) And when some guys get “inflated,” they must have a simultaneous loss of blood flow to the brain. This particular affliction seems to affect politicians especially. After all, it's one thing to say to yourself “The ladies all want a piece of me,” and another to think “I think I'll just send her one.” (or a photograph of the same.)
This really comes down to Weiner's apparent social intelligence, which social scientist Ross Honeywell defines as "an aggregated measure of self and social awareness, evolved social beliefs and attitudes, and a capacity and appetite to manage complex social change." Weiner seems to have a good view of himself, a stunning lack of social awareness, and one can only wonder what social beliefs and attitudes caused him to believe that taking the photo and sending it was a good idea. His capacity to manage complex social change seems debatable at this point, too.
Though Weiner apologized to his family, his supporters and even conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who broke the story, he refused to step down over the incident, virtually assuring that his downfall will be drawn out for sometime, as representatives of both parties begin posturing and calling for hearings.Continued on the next page