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Does society have a right to know of the private life of its public figures?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/5/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 379 times Debate No: 67861
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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1) A leader would not be able to focus on leading their society if they have to worry about keeping their private life under wraps
2) No one is perfect. So why would we hold our leader to the unattainable goal that we can't hold ourselves to.
3) Many great leaders have been brought down by nothing but their private life. e.g Bill Clinton.


1. If someone's private life is something they feel the need to hide, it is unlikely that it is something the public would approve of (by extension of the need to hide it form them in the first place).

2. If it is something the public wouldn't approve of, it is unlikely that the personality and mentality of the individual carrying out this publicly disapproved private life id one which the public would want to be voting for in the first place.

3. The best way to ensure that the public votes for someone who they genuinely approve of as a person, rather than as an artificially constructed reputation, is to invade the person's privacy and make it public.

4. If someone doesn't want to be analyzed so avidly by public eyes, they should not try and succeed at a career path requiring constant public interaction. It is their decision to pursue this career and they should not be lying to get the job in the first place, neither to themselves nor to the public.

Regarding your points:

1. If the leader has nothing to hide, they'd fully be able to focus on their work, if they have something they don't want people to know about, then my set of contentions explain why this ought to be outed to the public.

2. Who said they had to be perfect? they just have to be acceptable to the public and true to their reputation.

3. No president was particularly amazing or bad, it was the people working under them and the general consensus of the party at the time that was either golden or trash. bill Clinton happened to be fortunate enough to be leading the Democrats at a time where they were in a strong position and thinking clearly, his words were 99% written for him, so stop accrediting him to be some fantastic individual. the issue was that he was a public figurehead, the embodiment of all that nation stood for and his people did not approve of adultery. He doesn't deserve the privilege of that role if he can't live up to his responsibility to be a good idol and representative of USA's core values.
Debate Round No. 1


1) Does it entirely matter if the public approves of their leader's actions? A leader's job is to effectively run a group of people, not to please the public.
2) For this, I point to yet another president, Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson had an affair with a slave of his that resulted in a child. Despite this, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, acquired land from France that doubled America's size, and helped develop America into the country it is today. His private life had its shortcomings, but he is a prominent figure in American history and is a model president.
3) Again does it really matter if we approve of a leader as a person? Is it not a leader's job to benefit the country and not to be the heart-throb of the nation?
4) This does not answer the question. The question is not should a leader divulge his constituents in his private life. It is does the public have the RIGHT to know. The reality of the situation (at least in the modern day) is that no one is able to keep their private life private. This being said, it is my belief that society has no right to know a leader's personal life.
5) (not countering one of your points here, just posing an argument) Put yourself in a position of leadership. Personally, would you willingly allow the public to watch and scrutinize your every move in your private life? I realize you hopefully and probably have nothing to hide, but it is inevitable in today's day and age, that any piece of information will be warped to grab the headlines and paint a complete lie about yourself.

Countering your counter points
1) Regardless of whether a figure has something to hide or not, any piece of information will be skewed and misinterpreted. This issue would be entirely avoided if society did not have the information in the first place.
2) Without doubt the slightest shortcoming will be spread like wildfire and the figure will be heavily scrutinized. If Obama is found to smoke cigarettes (the least of his problems right now), media would spread this and criticize him for his unhealthy habits, despite the fact that this is perfectly legal and used by millions of people across the world.
3) I agree that Bill Clinton was not the perfect president, but he must be given credit for being the last president to balance the budget. He had shortcomings in his private life, but his private life did not matter. What I care about are the accomplishments made under his administration, which were the best accomplishments of the modern presidents.


LayersofLols forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


BorioleBirdman forfeited this round.


LayersofLols forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by DarthMummy 1 year ago
Why should it matter whether the public approves of the private life of a politician? LayersofLols says that the president is supposed to represent America's core values, yet they can't enjoy the freedom that other Americans do? I don't care what the president does on his spare time, as long as it's not illegal and it doesn't interfere with his duties.
Posted by basils 1 year ago
I agree with Birdman here. Look at Bill Clinton, people ignore the fact he gave a balanced budget something no other modern president has done and now people only cared about the fact that he got his dick sucked
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