George Dvorsky has been thinking about the Elliot Spitzer scandal, and while he’s quite certain that Spitzer transgressed the law and deserves to be punished as such, he thinks we’re overstating the strangeness of the transgression itself:
“Why did Spitzer go to a prostitute in the first place? Well, it’s not because he’s corrupt or evil; those are labels applied to his actions after the fact. Rather, it stems from a deeply hardwired desire to get some action on the side, for sexual fulfillment outside of marriage.
Simply put, he was being a typical guy.”
Just to reiterate, Dvorsky isn’t trying to let Spitzer off the hook here, but he is trying to point out that Spitzer is a flawed human being, just like the rest of us. If democracy has a future, I think it depends on us waking up to the idea that people in positions of power are just ordinary people – which, at the same that it removes them from their pedestals, should also remind us that we’re more than capable of falling from grace ourselves.