double life

the governor of new york is now embroiled in a big scandal that could potentially end his political career. according to news reports, democrat governor eliot spitzer was caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a prostitute -- pretty shocking for someone whom the press had previously dubbed as "mr. clean" (for running after wall street companies in his previous stint as attorney general) and who campaigned as a "model of moral rectitude."

reminds me of bill clinton. but clinton survived the monica lewinsky controversy; i don't know if gov. spitzer will, despite his decision not to resign.

one article attempts to analyze this kind of behavior among "smart and successful" people. it quoted psychologists and political analysts comparing the situation to the chicken and egg dilemma: was this behavior present prior to their assuming public office? or is there something about being in power that causes this kind of behavior?

one psychoanalyst opined that there must be something about being in power that makes one feel exempted from the general rule. another analyst, however, thinks that politicians are humans, hence flawed, like the rest of us; it's just that they're subject to a higher ethical standard because of the position they occupy.

i agree. but the more interesting comment comes from chicago psychoanalyst mark smaller who believes that it might be a case of "splitting" of the personality: compartmentalizing risky, unethical or even illegal behavior to the point that the person no longer feels any sense of guilt or shame.

hmmm...pretty scary don't you think? does that mean we should send our politicians to the mental hospital?

i think that the higher the position you occupy, the more that you should ever be mindful of your actions, the greater the introspection that should come in. it's very limiting but i guess that's the price to pay for being in power, and that's the least you could do for your constituents.

i just pray i don't lead a double life. not to judge gov. spitzer, but i think we need leaders who practice what they preach.

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