The world of celebrities is full of glamour. It is no wonder that celebrities are considered role models. However, behind the appearance of wealth, authority, and charm, there has been often a struggle between public and private life, ethical behavior or appropriate conduct. Being in the public eye means constant scrutiny, Do’s and Don’ts, that often define the public relation, the career path, and even the private life of celebrities.
We see it all too often, scandals, gossips, even in the political arena. Politicians amongst all the celebrities are even more accountable as representative leaders. Nevertheless, they are sometimes involved in actions that ruin their political career. The sex gate is notorious amongst politicians. Bill Clinton and Silvio Berlusconi can be mentioned for such scandals.
Even if they survived politically, there are some actions that really did ruin the career of some politicians. Here are some politicians who fumbled with their political careers.
1. The Sex Scandals, Matt Gaetz
Having an affair, well watch out for the paparazzi. Matt Gaetz is the most recent American politician involved in allegations of the sex gate. The Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida’s 1st district in 2019 and republican closely tied with former President Donald Trump is known for many different scandals. Claims of extortion, driving under the influence, cheating, but the most recent allegations involve sex trafficking.
According to POLITICUSUSA (Jason Easley, Apr 1st, 2021), the career of Matthew Louis Gaetz is quickly going down the drain. It has been reported that the Department of Justice is investigating claims that Mr. Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17 –year-old girl in 2019. It is alleged that Mr. Gaetz paid with campaign money for relationships, travel expenses to coerced girls, and escorts.
The investigation is running deep and uncovering new claims of foul play. It seems unlikely that Mr. Gaetz will survive the latest scandal even though he continues to deny the claims.
2. Was that ethical, Richard Nixon
Unethical political practice includes tax evasion, bribery, blackmail, corruption, espionage, looting the public fund, the list is not exhaustive. In recent US history Richard Nixon, the 37th president of the United State had to resign for what was dubbed the Watergate scandal.
Politics is a messy business, and sometimes difficult to draw the line between friends and foes. Behind the curtain many different types of dirty tricks are played – oh! Is that what they’re doing, how can we stay ahead. The Watergate scandal of June 1972 that brought down President Nixon involved illegal espionage by the then Nixon administration.
Following a break-in to the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, DC, arrests and the investigations that followed directly linked the president with wiretapping phones and stealing documents. The controversy unraveled showing further foul plays, which, despite having won the presidential elections with a landslide majority, forced the then President Nixon to resign.
3. Social media, Anthony Weiner
Hashtag for that tweet. Social media has transformed public relations. Well used, it allows politicians to connect with the public on everyday issues, share moments that resonate, and portrays a more simplistic, likable side.
It promotes their image, and mostly it’s an effective tool for a political agenda. However, it can also bring controversy and even ruin careers which some politicians found out the hard way for what they thought as being benign acts of expression.
When Anthony Weiner was making sexting tweets he might not have imagined that it could hurt his political career. Anthony Weiner represented the New York 9th congressional district until his resignation and conviction as a sex offender. The scandal was revealed after a 15-year-old girl admitted exchanging explicit sexual content with Weiner through social media.
4. Political scandals, the Keating Five
The Keating Five is a scandal that involved 5 American senators, Alan Cranston of California, Dennis DeConcini of Arizona, John Glenn of Ohio, Donald Riegle of Michigan and John McCain of Arizona. Some continued their political career like John McCain, who ran unsuccessfully for the US presidency. But others (Alan Cranston, Dennis Deconcini, Donald Riegle), the scandal resulted in them choosing not to run for re-election and some served terms.
The Keating Five bribe of $1.3 million of campaign contribution offered to the senators by Charles Keating, the chairman of Lincoln Savings and Loan Association came to light when Keating Jr., accused the FHLBB and its former head Edwin J. Gray of conspiring against him. The latter revealed the involvement of the five senators asking him to back off on the Lincoln investigation.
5. Private life, Patricia Minaldi
Political scandals do not only revolve around allegations of sex or corruption. Personal demons can also affect the career path of people and more so of political actors. Patricia Head Miralda was the nominated United States District Judge for the US District Court of Western Louisiana by former president George W Bush Jr.
She was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. Judge Minaldi was arrested for driving in the wrong direction on an interstate. Even if the judge was released with a fine, she voluntarily signed off her political career, admitting alcohol abuse, and asked for medical leave.
But there’s more…..
Scandals in the political arena are plentiful. Throughout history and in every administration several scandals often result in the downfall of political actors. During the Donald Trump administration, the president himself was impeached for various allegations. Michael Finns was forced to resign over the conversation he had with Russian officials.
Barrack Obama’s administration saw Katherine Archuleta, Director of the Office of Personnel Management, resign for allowing cyber intrusion into her department that resulted in the theft of data concerning 22 million people. Chaka Fattah, the representative for the Pennsylvania 2nd district was found guilty and charged for fraud, racketeering, and money laundering.
Annette Bosworth, candidate for the US Senate was arrested for 6 counts of filing false documents and sentences for 3 years’ probation and community service.
Sex, greed, and self-worth often fuel many of the political scandals known throughout history, whether in the United State or elsewhere. During the past few decades, the advancement in technology and communication methods resulted in the increased coverage of political scandals. Whether intentional or not, these scandals at worst meant the end of some political careers.