Gov. Eliott Spitzer
Originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein
I had a conversation today with a colleague who is from India. We were discussing the developments with New York State Governor, Eliott Spitzer, and the fact that he was recently caught in an FBI prostitution sting.
My colleague's comment was "what did he really do wrong?" My first response was "ask your wife!" Then we discussed the issue a little further, from two cultural views of America and Americans.
He noted that we (Americans) seemed hypocritical in our indignation over Governor Spitzer's behavior. He said, "look around the plant at all the girlie pics (he works in maintenance) and listen to the way people talk. These are not moral people." I explained that while many people in our country do not always demonstrate their ideal behaviors, that we are subject to the frailties of our human existence, that does not keep us from expecting certain moral and correct behaviors from our governmental leaders. Most importantly, those who represent the laws of the land should not be caught breaking those laws
We look up to these people (okay, maybe not all of them, like Monica Lewinski's ex-Boyfriend's wife....) and admire them for their achievements and look to them to represent us, to exemplify the behaviors we aspire to.
My Indian friend admitted that the politics were the same all over, but then went on to extol the virtues of Monica Lewinski's ex-Boyfriend and how our economy was booming when he was in office. I pointed out that the impeached former President gutted our military strength and was not properly focused on our position as a world superpower, indirectly resulting in September 11th, 2001.
We agreed to disagree agreeably. This is typical of how most of my conversations with liberals end. The rest end with me being called names....grins....!
What did Spitzer do wrong? He spoke of himself as a crusader for truth and justice. He built a reputation as a hard-nosed opponent of crime and those associated with crime. The "Sheriff of Wall Street" is arrogant and condescending. And the cowardice he displays by not doing the right thing and resigning immediately speaks to all that is wrong with career politicians, so consumed with ambition and power that they have lost their morality and would sacrifice what little personal honor they may have left to keep that power.
Eliott Spitzer, I submit to you what someone much smarter than me pointed out: "What you do speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you say."