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Politics and Sex

Posted on: March 24, 2008

spitzer.jpgThis time, the so-called victim is New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer. On March 10 The New York Times reported that Spitzer had been involved in a prostitution ring. This news finally turned Spitzer into a joke in the American politics.

The Governor had nothing much to say. He tried to look strong and confident but his eyes could not hide his sorrowful emotion and with his wife Silda on his right side he said, “I am deeply sorry that I did not live up to what was expected of me. To every New Yorker and to all those who believed in what I tried to stand for, I sincerely apologize.”

Spitzer, who was once known as Mr. Clean for his efforts to fight against corruption in Wall Street while serving as the New York Attorney General, ended his bright political career. The person who had been projected to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2012 ended his political career with shame.

Interestingly, David Paterson who took over Spitzer’s position last Monday has admitted that he had extramarital affairs with several different women from 1999 until 2001. His wife has also admitted that she had an affair in the past.

As you know it, Eliot Spitzer is not the first public humiliation in American politics. The most famous political sex scandal in American politics is no doubt the former president Bill Clinton’s affair with his intern Monica Lewinsky. The scandal almost threw Bill Clinton out of the White House.

Several days after the news about his sexual relations broke Bill Clinton gave a famous press conference denying his sexual relations with Lewinsky. He said, “Now, I have to go back to work on my State of the Union speech. And I worked on it until pretty late last night. But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time, never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people. Thank you.”

But, later we found out Bill Clinton actually had done it.

Another famous American political sex scandal is Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey who proudly said, “I’m a gay American.” McGreevey resigned three months later after committing that he had sexual relations with his aide and driver, Teddy Pederson.

What were those guys thinking?

Leon Hoffman, former chairman of the American Psychoanalytic Association’s public information committee, said that politicians are human too just like us. But then Hoffman explained, “There’s the psychology of the exception. People in power sometimes feel they can do things that us, mere mortals, are forbidden to do. There’s a sense, as with adolescents, that ‘I won’t get caught.”‘

Politicians are indeed human too just like us who can make stupid decisions. But the difference is that ordinary people don’t have power while high-ranking politicians do have power and that power tends to make them feel more immune than others. The feeling of having power sometimes causes them to have an I-can-catch-you-but-you-can’t-catch-me mindset.

Lord Acton once famously said, “Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Because of that reason, Eliot Spitzer was caught using e-mails, text messages, and phone calls to arrange sex with a prostitute. The same electronic devices Spitzer had used to catch the bad guys when he was the New York Attorney General.

What about Indonesian politicians? Aren’t they human too?

Surprisingly, we don’t really witness sex scandals in the Indonesian politics. The latest sex scandal in Indonesian politics that I can remember was the sex video of an Indonesian parliament member in 2006. But, that was not really a sex scandal since his wife claimed that he was a victim of guna-guna.

In a country like America a transparent political system is a must and its news media are working hard to make sure that every political hypocrite can be caught and turned into a headline. On the other hand, a transparent political system is something that Indonesian public is not able to enjoy. I believe it is the duty of every newspaper, magazine, or TV station to make our political system work: Where the politicians do what they say they do.

Picture was taken from here.

15 Responses to "Politics and Sex"

And, what are you thinking, I wonder.

Yeah, this Spitzer guy is abominable. A nauseating hypocrite.

But what really is astonishing to me is the easy moral indignation about issues that have no essential relation with the skills and acts of these prominent Americans in their capacity as either a politician or as an administrator.

If a friend of mine was an adulterer, I of course would disapprove, tell him in private to mend his ways and maybe even stop the friendship. But if my boss did the same but it had no influence on his work, i would not worry or quit. If the mayor of my town would visit prostitutes it should ( and fortunately would) be no public issue.

What is this American obsession with sex, for heavens sake.

Should not the financial crisis, the national debt, the war, the poverty, the health care ,be the only kind of issues on the priority list?

A personal affair, such as having sex affairs, should be separated from professional ‘performance’. Thus, it should not lead to one’s dismissal from his current position. However, if his affair does affect performance at work, it becomes performance issue.

That said, if engaging an activity with prostitute is illegal, it must be treated as other offenses, or misconducts. Perhaps like drug usage.

colson, you said, “If a friend of mine was an adulterer, I of course would disapprove, tell him in private to mend his ways and maybe even stop the friendship. ” And I agree. I think this is indeed the best of ways.

But as for politicians, the issue lies in our expectations of the person’s moral characters. In the private/commercial sector, the bosses choose the workers. In the public, the leaders are chosen by the people. We, the people set the criteria. And more often than not, this criteria includes integrity and honesty.

With that, I agree with Tasa on the role of the media in making the political system work.

I think Indonesian press enjoy a high level of ‘freedom’ compared to most other South East Asian countries. Yet, dissapointingly, it also has one of the worst corruption level. I think more investigative journalism should be carried out.

In Indonesia? I would say not yet. Indonesian politicians used to do some character massacre. Perhaps, they will use sex issue in next couple years😀

jadi inget Pak Bill dan mbak Monica

“God gave men both a penis and a brain, but unfortunately not enough blood supply to run both at the same time.” – Robin Williams, commenting on the Clinton/Lewinsky affair

tapi kalo dibandingin ma kasus Yahya Zaini dan Maria Eva, masih lebih mending pak Elliot karena dia langsung minta maaf kepada publik tanpa menyertakan alasan2 yang bikin orang antipati. untuk sikap legowo dan sportifnya saya salut ma beliau.

selanjutnya, saya gak tau ma kehidupan politik amrik🙂

menggenapkan jumlah hattrick saja, peace lahir batin:mrgreen:

emang udah rusak banget politikus zaman skrg…

First I would like to know how Gov. Eliot Spitzer had time to entertain Prostitues..Governors job is not 8 to 5 and have fun at free time..Yes, your right I had read in many magazines and he was asked directly by media whether he is 2012 presidental candidate..Hold on..Hold on… His wife will the candidate,take my word..SHe will become a senator and stand for president in 2012 and Gov.Spitzer will campaign for her… There will an article from you supporting her-heeee…. Just kidding Buddy..

i think politic is only the vehicle. politic is used to gain the power. so, the power become the target of the politic. and that is what is happening nowadays.
when people in power, they tend to corrupt. I agree with this. because they can use their power to protect themselves from other people. in this point, the power should be controlled by strong and independent mass media.
politician is human too. he or she is not free from faults and error. but the good politician is the one who admit his/her error and try to reform his/her self in the right and better track .
the politician should be honest not only to his public, but also to his wife, his children etc. his/her integrity should be examine.
i think, that is all what i can write here.
thanks.
ahmad

yonna:

kutipannya :

“God gave men both a penis and a brain, but unfortunately not enough blood supply to run both at the same time.” – Robin Williams

bener banget!!!!! hahahhahahhahahahah!!!!

mau gue ketik ulang, bikin bagus trus pajang di ruangan gue ah….. hehhehehehehe….
thanks yonn!!

@mas ary
sami-sami mas:mrgreen:

salam.
Bung Tasa, waw..it is great that you can write something about American government while you are staying there. the freedom is really blessing for the people. so that, you can even criticize how they run the country. compared to my situation here, your situation is better. you have freedom to write what you want to write.
when i stay here in Saudi Arabia, i am so scared to write about government here since no freedom here. but, i just write about our people’ life (TKW and TKI) here. it seems that their situation here is not very lucky. the awareness on respect toward the labor in particular domestic labor is still poor.
our people here need such freedom and also protection, but i feel it is still very expensive stuff, and i think it can be accessible only to those who has the power.
thanks

Colson: Actually it does have an essential relation. It would’ve been different if he had had a sexual relation with another woman, not a prostitute. I mean he was a politician who was supposed to be a moral exampler for people. And, prostitution is illegal in the state of New York, correct me if I’m wrong.

I guess the Netherlands has a different moral standard.

Bleu: I totally agree with that point of view!

Yunir: That’s correct. Totally true, politicians are chosen by the people and if the people decide that their leaders shouldn’t be messing around with prostitutes then they’ll just have to follow.

Hedi: Yeah, we need a couple of more years.

Yonna: That’s really a good one, hahaha. Where the hell did you get it from?

Toshihiko: Well, politisi kan juga manusia biasa🙂

Zulfi: Haha, yeah.

Ary: Dikasih pigura sekalian. Hahaha.

Ahmad: That’s how a political system should work where its people can critize easily and without fear. But I guess Indonesia is having a great improvement in politics. We’re still learning but I think we’re still on the right track.

Knp sih kl politikus yg having sex kita ributin ? mereka kan juga manusia kayak kita…punya nafsu,punya hasrat ato whateverlah namanya…selama nggak ganggu kita terserahlah mrk mo bikin apa..toh kita juga pasti punya ‘koleksi banyak2’ andaikan hukum dan agama nggak melarang…jadi yang harusnya diamati bukan politikusnya…tapi pada sisi ‘hasrat kelelakiannya dong’…yang salah kan karena mrk jadi laki, jadinya punya penis yg suka2 bs nunjuk sana sini kl ada yg diinginkan…c’mon lah guess, berhentilah sok suci…

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guebukanmonyet is Tasa Nugraza Barley. He's a free man with unique thoughts and dreams. He sees his life and this world differently from anyone else. That's because he knows what he wants; and for that reason he doesn't want to be the same. Read why he blogs, here.

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