Over the past several weeks, a number of my friends and I have discussed the moral bankruptcy which seems to abound in the America of 2013. It doesn’t matter whether we turn to movie stars, professional athletes or politicians, it’s pretty much the same theme.
The good news is that I can (and do) ignore the movie stars and pro athletes who believe that they are God’s gift to mankind and refuse to patronize them by boycotting their product. Let them carry on as they will – but they will not see a single cent of mine to support them by attending their films or going to or watching their games on television. They are essentially irrelevant to me.
Now when it comes to politicians that is a horse of a different color – or in Mr. Spitzer’s case a whore of a different color. This is not a statement of malevolence directed at those ladies of the evening – although one could certainly question their taste. No this is directed personally toward Mr. Spitzer.
The genesis for this was a comment that I heard this evening at the dog park. It was not specifically about Mr. Spitzer – in fact the conversation centered around a Hip Hop “artist” who had recently been arrested for a DUI. But the principle is the same.
The commentator said, “Well, I still like his music. I don’t care what he does in his personal life. We shouldn’t worry about that because it’s none of our business.” What a load of tripe!
I am going to ignore that in this case the fact that we have an impaired driver navigating a vehicle which causes about thirty-five thousand deaths each year in this country is or at least should be a concern for all of us – particularly for those who are in his vicinity.
And I am going to ignore the question of the morality of Mr. Spitzer’s hiring call girls. I do not want to be part of the tribunal that determines standards of morality and tries to impose them on everyone else. So my repulsion toward Mr. Spitzer strictly is a function of my view of his disregard for his office.
Whether or not prostitution is moral; whether or not it should be legalized; it is in virtually all jurisdictions currently illegal. That’s the fact – plain and simple.
Because of my libertarian view, I might well be willing to sign a petition to change the status of that business. But no one has yet presented me with one – so I believe that I will eschew the company of “escorts” (of either sex) and perhaps re-evaluate my position at a later date.
How a person could make the statement, as did the chap at the dog park, that “what a person does in his personal life is no one’s business” is beyond me, when the person in question happens to be a public servant. And most especially, when that public servant happens to be the chief law enforcement officer of a state – as was Mr. Spitzer when he served as New York’s Attorney General.
It would be a remarkable thing if some of today’s total martial arts fighters left the ring and, to supplement their income until their next bout, taught a morning class in Origami and then spent their afternoons giving seminars in sensitivity training. I don’t think that’s going to be happening anytime soon.
Over the years I have had the privilege of knowing several people in the business of politics who were men of great personal character and dignity and who took those qualities with them to work, representing their constituents in the most conscientious and ethical manner. I would have expected no less from them.
It was, in fact, knowing them personally which convinced me that the same positive attributes they displayed as friends and neighbors would be the way in which they would discharge the positions to which the public had entrusted them. I was not disappointed with my assessment in any of their cases.
Good character is hard to find. If I could make one contribution to mankind it would be to invent a potion which, if taken regularly, would enable a person to acquire it. If I were clever enough to invent such a tonic, I can think of several politicians including Mr. Spitzer to whom I would ship a free lifetime supply.
I only wonder if any of them would dare to try it.