Tuesday, March 11, 2008

When private demon are made public concerns.

Once again some prostitute has degraded herself by selling her services to a cheap, sleazy politician.

New York’s Democratic governor, Eliot Spitzer, has admitted that he was using a call-girl service. Allegedly Governor Spitzer, a former prosecutor who jailed prostitutes (when he wasn’t bonking them) hired a prostitute who lived in New York. She was to travel to D.C., at his expense to meet him there. He would cover the cost of her travel time, her hotel room, any room service she ordered, etc. In addition he supposedly paid extra to establish credit for future visits. All in all, he supposedly paid $4,300.

Now Spitzer, like so many politicians before him, has been caught with his pants around his ankles. He did his public weepy apology with his stoic wife by his side. He said he betrayed his family and needed time to repair that relationship. In other words he was telling the press that he was going into seclusion until this blows over.

One day here is what I’d like to see when a mess like this is exposed yet again -- and it will be.

I’d like the politician in question to issue one statement:

“I recently purchased the services of a prostitute. That action is my business and hers. It is not the concern of the media, the legislature or the public. My private life is my private life and it ought to stay that way. My action violated the rights of no one and ought not be the concern of busybody moralists or the state legislature.

In the process of this transaction I violated the trust my wife put in me. That is her concern and my concern. She is the only one to whom I own an explanation or an apology. And that too is a private matter and not for public consumption. Mind your own business and I will mind mine.”

On the other hand that presupposes a politician who respects rights

Spitzer’s real crime is not hiring a hooker and lying to his wife. His crime is something more important. It is the hypocrisy of American politics. It is the moralism of the busybodies who claim the right to control the lives of others but never assume that the laws they pass apply to themselves. It is found in the moralistic, fundamentalist politician caught in a toilet having sex with another man. It is found in the moral pronouncements of the Catholic church while it covers up the crimes of its clergy. It is found in the conservative moralist who has a gambling problem, or a drug addiction.

All of these private demons ought to be private. But the moralists, on the Right in particular, but not exclusively, have made them matters of public policy. They have invaded the sanctity of the home and pushed the most private areas of human existence into the public arena. None of this ought to be subject to legal sanction. The State has no business enforcing such private, moral decisions. Those are matters for the individuals directly concerned and not for politicians, bureaucrats, or the police.

What these politicians have done is take a matter which is truly a private, family matter and make it political and public. Yet, these selfsame moralists complain that the State is tampering with the family. Sure it is. And they started it. They started it when they made marriage a matter of state. They started it when they made the bedroom a place controlled by the regulations and rules of politicians. They started it when they gave the police the power to arrest people for violating their oath of fidelity to their spouse.

Conservatives and progressives alike are guilty. Each side thrusts the government into some new aspect of human existence. Then they whine when the other side gets control and uses this precedent for purposes they don’t like. Progressives decided that government should teach kids about sex and then got upset the Bush regime taught abstinence and lied about birth control. Conservatives don’t want government “redefining” marriage yet were happy when government defined marriage in the first place. Conservatives demanded that government engage in censoring offensive sexual material. Then they get upset if the same precedent is used to regulate hate speech.

It is time that the private life of individuals be returned to their control and made off limits to the politicians. Until the politicians do that then they shouldn’t demand privacy when they themselves are caught violating the rules they set.

Illustration: That is a quote from Gov. Spitzer which sums up his view of politics. He deserves anything he gets here.

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