There is a fantastic Onion news story: Report: Every 2040 Presidential Candidate Already Unelectable Due to Facebook.
Like the best Onion articles, this one is funny for its accuracy. It’s also a premonition that is starting to come true: photographs have emerged of Stewart Mills, Republican Congressional Candidate in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District, that are, shall we say, less than flattering. Two pictures in particular jump out. The first shows Mills hitting a beer bong:
And the second shows Mills licking the lips of a woman who is not his wife:
The pics were found on a publicly available Facebook page by the City Pages blog. It notes that the pictures were found on Mills’ wife’s Facebook page and uploaded in 2009, though they were deleted around the time Mills’ campaign began.
In a statement, Mills didn’t apologize for the pictures:
It’s no secret that in the past I’ve let my hair down to have fun with family and friends. My wife and I have had many lighthearted moments in our lives but right now I am focused on my Congressional campaign and the disastrous effects of our overreaching government and sky high unemployment in the north eastern Minnesota [sic].
Could just be me, but the non-apology nature of his statement, combined with his admission that he had previously “let his hair down” leads me to believe that we’ll be seeing more pictures shortly – and you can certainly bet that the incumbent Congressman, Rick Nolan, is looking for those pictures.
This is just another example of politicians getting caught on Facebook in compromising positions, and there will be plenty, plenty more to come as time goes on. My personal belief? At some point in the not so distant future, this country (or at least most of it) will hit a point where these pictures stop phasing people. I cannot imagine that there are many in the United States who have never done something that would have preferred to have not been photographed, and the simple truth is that we are living in a digital, egotistical generation that seeks to record every moment. As such, it’s only natural that these moments should arise. I doubt that this will hit Mill’s campaign very hard – though embarrassing, there is no criminal behavior on display here.
However, Mill’s escapades prove a point, particularly for those who are just starting to enter the work force: for the love of God, be careful. There are cameras everywhere now, and these pictures can and will come back to haunt you.