Prostitutes are sooo last year.

By Katharine Miller

I am from New York.  I am also a Democrat.  My love of politics really began as a little girl, listening to my parents talk at the dinner table.  But I really fell in love in the summer of 2006.  I had just turned seventeen; Eliot Spitzer was running for governor of New York.  My burgeoning political sensibilities had already led to a profound dislike of then-governor George Pataki, and the thought of a Democrat running the state thrilled me.  My sisters and I collected pins, bumper stickers, and lawn signs from our local Democratic representatives, proudly distributing and displaying them throughout our tiny Upstate village.  I plastered the walls of my room with signs extolling the Spitzer/Paterson ticket, which proclaimed “Day One, Everything Changes.”  Starry blue and red Spitzer pens adorned my backpack, my coat, my duffel bag.  I even covered my laundry basket in Spitzer bumper stickers.

Almost a year after Mr. Spitzer’s appointment, Senator Larry Craig found himself the most recent Washington politico to become embroiled in sexual scandal.  I wrote an article for The Villanova Times–my first ever– examining the incident, as well as sexual scandals in politics throughout our nation’s history.

Now, a semester later, I am stunned and disappointed that I (and all Americans) have been forced to turn away from yet another politician because of sexual misdeeds.  And not just any politician– my politician.

As a little girl, I could not understand why the nation was so outraged by President Clinton’s infidelity.  So many men and women cheat on their spouses:  why was his individual transgression such a crime?  But now, having experienced the feelings of betrayal that such duplicitous actions bring, I understand the national outcry.  I am far from cynical– I refuse to allow a politician to make me so– however, I am somewhat disillusioned.  I believed in Governor Spitzer; I was enthusiastic about his governorship, his innovative ideas.  That all changed yesterday.

Today, a friend walked into my room and started laughing hysterically.  I asked her why, and she pointed to my laundry basket, still painted blue with Spitzer stickers.  I hadn’t realized how much the governor’s misdeed had hurt me– until that moment.  In that second of speechlessness, the effects of Mr. Spitzer’s actions upon all who had believed in him were driven home.  And it hurt.

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5 responses to “Prostitutes are sooo last year.

  1. Surprisingly, this is one place where I depart from my conservative counterparts.

    Seriously, why the fuck does anyone care? The politician himself is not the policy. People LOVE to get upset, and this just gives them another reason.

    Let’s take Finnish Foreign Minister. He got in some trouble sending dirty texts to an erotic dancer, and now it turns up she also took part in some crazy Finnish death metal porno. Have you guys ever heard this story? No? Because the rest of the world DOES NOT CARE ABOUT SHIT LIKE THIS.

    This is the same kind of crap that is actually persuading people to vote for Barack Obama. “Oh, he’s a nice guy! He wants change and happiness and all that good stuff!” Everyone looks at PERSONALITY and not POLICY.

    Spitzer’s dick does not write legislation. It does not tax me, it does not affect my right to bear arms or to wield my pen. Spitzer’s dick does not affect my life.

    Everyone needs to stop their celebrity fetishes and media circlejerks. Focus on policy. If the man makes poor policy, we can take him down (and, I’m partially for this route). But really, the whole idea that his personal life MUST DEFINITELY AFFECT HIS POLICY!!! is just plain stupid.

  2. On the other hand, it should be mentioned that those who supported Spitzer because of his policy are, and should certainly be, upset because of this. He is now no longer in a position to continue to enact policy, so supporters are unable to continue to experience what they perceive to be socially relevant contributions made on his behalf. His personal life DID affect his policy – it put an end to it.
    And while I would agree that the tendency to invent personal relationships with distant public figures is a misguided and irrational one, I would also add that it is an inevitable product of our fundamental need to be inspired by the people whose policies shape our lives. Yes, Obama is lacking in political substance, but his ability to make people believe they can effect change (whether such a belief is legitimate or not) should not be understated. The trick, for citizens, is to feel a connection to politicians because of their ability to both rhetorically AND tangibly inspire some desired change. Policy is crucial for obvious reasons, but the non-concrete, non-definable attributes of a political figure are significant as well, and should in no way be trivialized.

  3. I just wanted to note first that I was not personally attacking Katherine’s post – I don’t think she was guilty of all the stuff I railed against, I was more using it as a jumpoff point to rant about some things that piss me off about how this is handled.

    Secondly, Max, I do agree with you, but I think you are getting in to some semantics. Yes, it did end his ability to end policy, but is that REALLY his fault? If this were not the American culture (God, I feel like a heartless liberal America-hater now), would this have been a problem? I agree, it is injurious to him to act this way, knowing the potential fallout, but really, I think we are the ones to blame.

    For added fun, check around the internets for pics of the girls he lost his job for – it’s fairly amusing. Richest guy in England got pulled down in the same ring as well.

  4. Larry Craig, Jim McGreevy, Clinton, Mark Foley and Spitzer. Some resigned, some did not. Some are Democrat, some are Republican. Clinton’s only crime, although his secual encounter with Monica was clearly wrong and immoral, was perjury. Thus, without going into all the details, if someone did not push into Clinton’s private life, he would never had the chance to commit perjury, and instead, his cheating would have been resolved between him and Hil behind closed doors. Just like the steroid hearings which Max wrote about, the entire Clinton mess interfered with and damaged the effectiveness of his presidency.
    On the other hand, all the others have resigned or have gotten in trouble as a result of the threat of criminal charges. Is resigning because of immoral or criminal actions which are not related to government policy wrong? Of course, because no one should be above the law in this great democracy. It is a shame that a possibly great politician and governor got himself into trouble, like so many others before him.
    Secondly, the reason I am pointing all of this out is because it should be clear that no one; democrat or republican, is perfect; and some are more unethical and immoral than others. Politicians should not be trusted, but I also want to point out that numerous other important people or politicians may have committed crimes; been involved in prostitution or have other dark secrets that have not been uncovered. Just like Nixon was only one of the dirty politicians who was caught, Spitzer was sadly likely only one of numerous dirty powerful men who have used prostitutes.
    A girl in my class the other day said “At least it was a good prostitute.”

  5. Unfortunately, the business of politics is just that: its a business. And with all businesses, there is a product that must be sold. In politics, the product is a person. And in order for this product to be “bought” by the most customers, it must be attractive to them in the places that appeal to the customers.

    For instance, it is known that most ordinary people will (more often than not) vote for an attractive candidate over a non-attractive one (Step 1 for success: get pretty). “Getting pretty” also means having a great personality that appeals to the voting population.

    In essence, a politician sells himself. Though there are flaws with this product (policy), there are also positives (personality) that help the voters feel connected with the person they’re voting for. Especially after President Bush’s reign over the country for the last 7 years, I think the American people feel disconnected from their president.

    So I have two main points:
    1) If you don’t like someone’s policy DON’T FREAKIN VOTE FOR HIM/HER AND STOP COMPLAINING. You have every right not to vote for the person who you don’t feel is fit for the job.

    2) Excuse the American people for trying to get in touch with their government again. I feel like the voters are looking for something that we haven’t seen in the last two years: A president who cares about the country, and not about special interests. I don’t feel as though we get this from our dear Dubbayah, which is why I believe the population is looking for someone completely opposite of him.

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