It’s all over the news. NY Governor, Eliot Spitzer, aka “client #9” has been caught with his pants down, so to speak. Mr. Spitzer was caught on a federal wiretap discussing payments and arranging to meet a prostitute in a Washington hotel room. According to the NY Times, Mr. Spitzer had used the service before, but it is not clear how many times.
“I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my, or any, sense of right or wrong,” the governor said. “I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public to whom I promised better.”
“I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family.”
So how should we loot at this? Is this a purely personal matter? Should this affect his post as the governor of NY State? Should we care at all?
Well, I have mixed feelings about this one. There are three facts that should be taken into consideration when considering this story:
1-He used prostitution services.
2-He did this while married.
3-He was involved in an illegal activity.
Now as far as #1 is concerned, I don’t see a problem with it. Frankly, I do not see why prostitution is illegal in the US. There are no logical reasons for it. It is simply a relic, a leftover piece of stupid legislation whose sole purpose is to legalize someone’s own moral tenets. There is no reason why sex for money should be illegal. That’s what 50% of relationships out there amount to (I just made up that statistic. I do not know the real number.). People use sex as a means for attaining all kinds of favors, money being only one of them. Some use it to advance in their jobs and careers. Others use it to attain power over others. Some use it for money. Why we have to outlaw this last activity beats me! Some say that legalized prostitution increases the number of STD infections. I say that a regulated profession decreases this by requiring use of condoms, and/or quick blood test of clients and workers, and enforcing such requirements. Some say it is dangerous for the women involved in the business. I say it is only dangerous while it is illegal. The prostitutes today have no protection, not from their employer not from the police. A regulated, legalized system would actually be much safer for the prostitutes than the system in place today. Others say it is immoral. I say it is none of their business. Morality cannot be legislated, and we don’t all share the same moral values anyway.
#2 is where we start getting in trouble. While it is not illegal to seek the services of a prostitute while married, it certainly is not an action that a trustworthy person will undertake. I personally find it immoral, even though I understand that someone else may not. At the end of the day it is a personal issue that Gov. Spitzer needs to work out with his own family. He certainly does not owe us an apology for it. What it does do for his public persona, however, is that it takes away the trust the public may have had in him. If he is not faithful to his own family, it kind of makes you wonder how faithful he will be to our interest, you know the job we elected him to do.
#3 is where things get bad. Even though, as I already said, I am against criminalizing prostitution, nevertheless it is the law of the land. He is the highest elected official in NY state. You cannot get any higher than Governor in NY State. He must set an example for the rest of us. He cannot go around breaking the law, or promoting illegal activities. If he does not like the law, then it is in his power to, if not change it, at least make a big effort to change it. Either way, as the governor, his behavior is inexcusable. He has lost all credibility, especially given how he came to power, as the tough prosecutor who was taking on the sort of behavior he now is exhibiting himself, i.e. drunk with power and thinking that he is above the law and the rules. That is why, I think he should resign. Not because he used prostitutes, not because he cheated on his wife, but because he engaged and promoted a clearly illegal activity. Bill Clinton cheated on his wife too, but he did not break any laws while doing it.
Mr. Spitzer, goodbye and good luck to you in your personal life. I truly hope you can in fact gain back the trust of your family. Please hand over your badge and gun and go take care of your personal issues. I no longer want you to be my governor.
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