Spitzer has fallen. A tyrant in the making will have no political future. Good riddance!
Still, I cannot help but following the story of Governor Spitizer’s tragic fall without feeling a deep sense of pity and even empathy.
Here are my scattered thoughts on the events:
1. Like Robespierre, Spitzer created a public reputation as an incorruptible opponent of vice, crime, corruption. He showed little humility or grace when acting as New York’s Attorney General. He destroyed lives with his highly visible, dramatic arrests. The effect was to destroy lives and reputations long before a court proclaimed guilt. When he became Governor, he declared himself a “f*&#ing steamroller” and tried to govern like an Emperor. He will now be judged by the same merciless standard with which he judged.
There is a lesson here, one that Christians should be wired (re-wired) to understand. Playing the part of The Incorruptible opponent of sin is never pretty. If we judge by the law we will be judged by it. Surely, the role of a District Attorney is to judge according to the law, but a strong dose of humility, respect goes far. Total depravity is not a doctrine that applies only to the other guy.
2. When members of the Christian Right play the part of legalistic blowhards, we should be just as disgusted. Public policy must always generously take account of the fallibility of the individual.
3. It was heartbreaking to watch his poor wife suffer the humiliation of a press conference. He should of protected her but instead took advantage of her.
4. Governor Spitzer betrayed his wife. Better to betray with a whore than a girlfriend. A whore provides the opportunity for a physical betrayal but a girlfriend provides the opportunity for both physical and emotional betrayal. The emotional betrayal is the most devastating.
5. You have to find the story of “Kristin” to be heartbreaking. Only a really sad story can be the prelude to how such a beautiful and talented young lady became a high priced call girl.
6. The world of prostitution is a dark shadowy world of organized crime. Reports suggest that the international sex slave industry is involved. It is hard to imagine such things exist. They do. This is a dangerous world.
7. They say that prostitution is the worlds oldest profession. It is a utopian fantasy to think that the sex trade can be eliminated. Augustine and Aquinas both considered the trade a “necessary evil.” Only after the Protestant Reformation did the all encompassing nation state begin to try to unsuccessfully stamp it out.
Would it be better if we legalized prostitution? Regulated it? Taxed it? Brought it out of the shadows of organized crime? Take away the underground economy upon which the international sexual slave trade thrives? I tend to think so. Anyone else?