The Element of Eliot Spitzer in Some of Us

by SOC Okenwa

America is a sophisticated rich country that loves and celebrates scandals. It is a modern society that craves for anything odd and strange. Americans like to hear what they have not heard before or see what they have not been opportune to see before. Breaking news could therefore be a sex scandal, rape, narcotics running, African tales of woe, global phenomena of war and terrorism.

If for example it is reported that a man is diagnosed and confirmed to be pregnant it would attract instant wild interest than a new developed AIDS drug! Or that the Pope was caught smoking or fiddling a little girl it would be the front news item! Or the news of an African living in an evil forest among monkeys in a tree top!

The recent celebrated call-girl scandal involving the resigned New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer has expectedly thrown the American sophisticated powerful media into frenzy. Even before any Jury has found him culpable Mr Spitzer has been ‘lynched’ by the media Americana. The NY ex-Governor had resigned from his plum job after a sex scandal trailed his trip to Washington DC.

Spitzer was ‘caught’ in a prostitution racket run by “Emperors Club VIP” in which he was alleged to have transported a 22-year old prostitute “Kristen” (Ashley Dupre) from NY to Washington DC. Known in the prostitution ring as “Client 9” Spitzer reportedly spent about $80, 000 on prostitutes in a period of eight years! He told his aides that his use of prostitutes began eight months ago and didn’t involve campaign funds or public money.

Watching Spitzer announced his resignation intention flanked by his dejected wife Slida instantly drew some sympathy from some mortals who recognised the human weakness and the deception of the flesh. To him I express my compassion even though his conduct was disgusting and fell far below the expectation of many of his admirers far and near. The ‘Kristen’ scandal has almost destroyed him politically; Spitzer simply elected willfully or otherwise to commit political suicide in an American system imbued with high standards albeit with hypocritical dimensions.

The American society makes and breaks; it discovers and destroys; it uplifts and downgrades. It is a society in constant search of heroes and villains alike, bad boys and girls and their very opposite. Like dog it eats its own sometimes. And like a demented giant, a global super-power policeman it protects its interests at great cost whether reason dictates otherwise or not.

Mr Spitzer’s sin is not in isolation; he did what many before him, in history, had done. Even from time immemorial the ultimate leveller has posed a serious challenge to man. Biblically we can read the sexual exploits of great men like David, Solomon, Samson etc. And in the political world many men have had their power base neutralized by the consequences of ‘swimming’ in ‘bottom power’. The anatomical power of women cannot be over-emphasized; those who understand this natural power has used it to maximum advantage. And the oldest profession has taken many six feet below! And many more are bound to follow suit!!

Spitzer owned up to his misdeed and on time too. During the Monica Lewinsky Clintonian presidential sex scandal the accused “post-modern” President committed perjury by denying ever having anything to do with the pretty young woman: “I did not have anything with that woman”. President Bill Clinton in his charismatic self failed to wriggle himself out of the scandal as the Grand Jury indicted him. But Spitzer was smart enough not to play Clinton. Responsibility and leadership demanded otherwise and he rightly said: “I cannot allow my private failings to disrupt the public’s work… 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”.

What the fallen ‘Big Apple’ Governor did was reprehensible enough and deserved his disengagement from his executive position. So his timely resignation was what was called for. However I hold that there is the element of Eliot Spitzer in some of us! Some of us now condemning Mr Spitzer are worse than him in terms of morality. Some of those criticising him now are hypocrites like him who do not practise whatever they preached. Like him they took a position in the morning and at night they did exactly the opposite.

Beyond his misdemeanor I think the issue of marriage and its limits and usefulness comes to the fore. Marriage as an institution is unravelling itself and this generation, our generation, is finding it difficult to come to terms with the one man/one wife generally-agreed marriage mantra. If the wife of the ex-Governor satisfied him in bed or if there were true love according to the marriage vows I wonder why and how he could have been searching or looking for a younger girl whose anatomical elements were fresher and sweeter when explored!

The truth is that many men no longer believe in the love fidelity vow; to hell with ‘for better for worse anthem’; they want to ‘taste’ new ‘thing’ outside, sometimes fed up with the ‘property’ at home. I find it sometimes tiresome having to contemplate living with a certain woman called wife for years on end and expected to be loyal at all times. That’s why sometimes I contemplate becoming a polygamist in the future if my resources could support same.

The resigned Governor Spitzer was a hard-liner on crime. Before becoming NY elected Governor Spitzer made name for himself as an action Attorney General who cut the image of an enemy of prostitutes and prostitution by fighting the oldest profession and its practitioners. The oldest profession has taken its own pound of flesh as it were! He is now replaced as Governor by a technically-blind Blackman David A. Paterson. And like Moniker Lewinsky Miss Ashley Dupre has become the ultimate beneficiary of Spitzer’s thunderous fall. The tryst has become the making of a whore named Ashley Dupre and I believe Hollywood and Nollywood greats are all ears!

If Eliot Spitzer were to be found in Nigeria a Nigerian Governor then his predicament would not have made any sense; it would have been tantamount to a storm in a tea cup! What Spitzer did which cost him his top job and integrity (with a mortal credibility blow to his immediate family in consequence) is nothing to ‘spill blood over’ or waste precious energy investigating were it to be in Nigeria. It is in order for a state Chief Executive of his ilk to be shielded from prosecution by the constitution or an illiterate godfather thus seen in the eyes of the law as a sacred cow who does no wrong.

The ‘Wazobian’ Spitzer of a Governor can marry as many wives as possible (a la Murtala Nyako) or have chains of mistresses from Miami to Hawaii as he pleases. He can kill at will, loot the treasury executively with criminal connivance of the legislature. He can of course engage in oil bunkering or gun running if he were from the oil-rich Niger Delta region. He may even be a cultist or user of cultists for electoral gains!

Failure is said to be an ‘orphan’ much like ethical or moral lapses. And success is celebrated and around it is found true and false friends. If in doubt ask Samuel ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ Peter, the World Heavyweight boxing Champion. When the fallen crime-burs

ting hero was doing his best in his beat in New York as a successful Attorney General everyone was tipping him to become eventually an American President. But now that the ultimate leveller has somewhat ‘levelled’ him professionally people of every hue are lambasting him and distancing themselves from him.

What a hypocritical world! There is an element of Eliot Spitzer in some of us and we rarely accept or acknowledge this fact for fear of repercussions. Spitzer is only human; he has only gone the way of many greats ‘levelled’ by the ultimate leveller.

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