Mar 11, 2008

The Sordid Story of Governor Elliot Spitzer: Being a Moral Crusader Can be Hazardous...(to the public and to themselves)

Clean shaven but not as clean as he presented himself in the past. The governor saying he was sorry for being untrustworthy [3/11/08].

When political leaders we support make serious mistakes, we have to ask for accountability. I supported Eliot Spitzer for governor of New York. He was a progressive and much, much better than the alternatives presented to us--when he ran as state Attorney General and later for governor. But, he betrayed the public trust by putting himself into a compromising position. He exposed himself to what he had previously described as "organized crime," money launderers, and human traffickers who could--who knows--demand special favors from him.

He also may have broken the law by using campaign funds to pay for sex. The so-called Mann Act [a century-old law regarding ..transporting women for immoral purposes; this was before women got the right to vote] could be invoked in this case against him. His moral failure and his betrayal of his wife is something he has to deal with in private, and it shouldn't be of public concern, except that it affects all of us. I understand human frailties, but when you ask for the public to entrust you with lots of power, you have an added responsibility to be clean.

People enter in all sorts of private arrangements and relations with spouces and friends. I'm not judging that and I don't really care about it. But, Mr. Spitzer also happens to be my governor, an elected public official who should be an example of a good public servant. He has failed on this account. We don't deserve this. His private actions were utterly reckless for a chief executive of a great state.

Yet again, I'm always rather suspicious with anyone who self-describes himself as a moral crusader. It bothers me when they want to appear as "holier than thou." Often they have something to hide as well. It was just a short time ago when Spitzer was going after prostitution rings and part of his rhetoric was how women were being exploited by their bosses and rich customers! How ironic.

It shows great arrogance to be on a public crusade while he was privately violating the very ideals, principles,and possibly laws, he was promoting in public! It takes a big hypocrite to do that.

If I believed in divine justice, I'd say he had this coming, but it serves him right to fall on his own sword. When a politician (or any leader) is telling us a story, he better have his facts straight and that he's not hiding anything in the closet.

You can take this as a free political advice. If you're trying to tell a story of how ethical or moral person you are, make sure you are indeed! Otherwise, campaign on competency, the "economy, stupid," charisma, vision for the future, etc. Don't carry the Bible in public while partying with the devil in private! The devil leaks the story, eventually...