Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Solution: Elect a Bachelor Playboy!

This current controversy over New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer getting caught in a prostitution sting really makes me shake my head in wonder. To be honest, I'm not particularly troubled by Gov. Spitzer being caught in an extramarital tryst with a prostitute - that's a matter that should be solely between he and his wife, and I don't think it's fair for we the public to pass judgment. The only relevant aspect to this situation, as far as I'm concerned, is that Gov. Spitzer had set himself up as a crusader against corruption, which included trying to wipe out prostitution from the state of New York. But in a way, who can blame the guy for hypocritically creating this image of himself as a staunch defender of "Family Values" by fighting that which is perceived to threaten those values? I believe that the root of this problem really is the overriding conservative and puritanical mindset that still has a stronghold on the majority of Americans, and that they must shoulder some of the blame for this whole sad downfall of Eliot Spitzer.

You see, it occurs to me that Americans have always insisted that their elected officials at both the state and federal level must meet such silly conditions of electability as being both married and having children. This is especially true of the office of President of the United States. Perhaps there have been one or more single Presidents throughout history, but in my lifetime this pre-set condition of married men with families has been a rule without exception. It seems to me that you Americans would never allow a single man (or woman) to attain that office, though perhaps you should. Because, by insisting that Presidents and Governors always be good, loyal family men, you hold them to such high moral standards that you are often blind to the legitimate work they do in running their governments.

Which brings me to our much different situation here in Canada. Back in 1968 we elected Liberal leader, Pierre Trudeau as our Prime Minister. I think most Canadians, whether they loved him or hated him, would agree that he was our most famous and perhaps most notable Prime Minister. I can say from having lived through those years of "Trudeaumania", that it was indeed an exciting time to be a Canadian, as Trudeau, more than any other PM before or since, really put us on the world map. Pierre Trudeau was a unique man: He was a single and swinging bachelor when first elected, who would date the likes of Barbra Streisand in his first several years as PM. With his fashion sense, wearing mod ascots and with an often present rose in his suit lapel, he was a stylish and dashing fellow who also was very much his own man politically, never kowtowing to other political leaders. Nixon hated him apparently, and when Trudeau was informed that Nixon had referred to him as "That asshole", Trudeau merely shrugged and replied, "I've been called worse things by better people".

Though Trudeau did marry eventually, it was to Margaret Sinclair, a 22 year old "Flower child" who was thirty years younger than him. The marriage produced three sons, two of whom were born on successive Christmas Days no less. The marriage didn't last, however, and the two separated and divorced after Margaret went off to famously party with The Rolling Stones in New York! So we once again had a single Prime Minister, but I guess we liked the job he was doing for Canada because we kept him in office from 1968 to 1984, with just a brief retirement in 1979, having been voted out then re-elected after a disappointing Conservative Government under Joe Clark that lasted only nine months. In the years following his divorce, our Trudeau was seen on the town with the likes of classical guitarist Liona Boyd, Margot Kidder, and even a then twentysomething Kim Cattrall. So you see, we Canadians rather liked the rakish, swinging playboy we'd elected, and were not going to hold him to some impossibly high moral standard. As Trudeau himself famously said as Justice Minister before being elected PM, in regard to Canada's wise decision to decriminalize homosexuality in the mid-60's, "We take the position that there is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation."

And so it should be in America too. So long as you maintain that puritanical mindset and obsession with all your elected officials remaining icons of "Family Values", then you are going to continue to see these tragic downfalls of otherwise competent political leaders. As for Canadian politics, I'd gladly take another swinging single playboy Prime Minister like Trudeau anyday!

12 comments:

Paul Rivoche said...
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Paul Rivoche said...

Haha! Best political-satire post I've read in...er...um...wait a sec!!

Wait..y-you...(pauses to reconsider) you..actually MEAN this, don't you, Pete! You think Swinging Playboy Bachelors so beloved by Cartoon Cavemen everywhere, should be in such a powerful position, affecting the lives of millions, instead of those mean terrible moralistic dreadful FAMILY PEOPLE with their dreaded FAMILY VALUES??

What is this, the Cartoon Caveman-The-World-Should-Be-A-Frank-Sinatra-Or-James Bond-Movie-view of politics??

Whew, some issues here...

You forgot to mention any of the eminently sensible reasons why all those Terrible Americans (including many Democrats obviously) would oppose having such a moron for a governor...(not to mention Canadians, there are good number of Canadians who see more clearly than you, how the fool Trudeau and his socialist policies did many things to accelerate Canada's onging deterioration).

Hmm. Let's try hard to think of some good reasons why a man who frequents prostitutes is not fit to be governor. Well...blackmail for one thing, and wife getting sexually transmitted diseases for another, those are two good reasons not to do what he was up to, apparently for a good long Swinging Non-Bachelor time, too. If you try you'll think of a lot more good reasons...

But I guess apart from the boilerplate disclaimer, you think we should really admire such fine men, and boy it's too bad all those nasty Moralistic Family Values hold such sway over people and ended up hounding such a fine man from office.

Wow...

*reposted to edit typos

The Jerk said...

i supposes our "obsession with all your elected officials remaining icons of 'Family Values'" stems from the fact that the majority of americans are part of a family, however fractured that family may be. it may in fact be that the electorate seeks elected officials who reflect their own values, regardless of how well we personally keep those values. it is somewhat alienating to us to conceive of a person holding such a high office who has little ability to commiserate with the problems an everyday family man deals with, like education problems, financial problems, work problems... knowing that the man in office has experienced similar problems personally is assuring to voters, making them more confident that he will be able to relate to the people he is representing.

Pete Emslie said...

Sorry Paul, but you're misinterpreting a lot of what I've said. I maintain that, so long as American voters insist on electing ONLY those they perceive to be good family men, they're setting themselves up for a few disappointments along the way. Why not a bachelor (or bachelorette)? We may disagree on Trudeau's performance as Prime Minister, but the fact that he was a bachelor when first elected is a moot point, as that in no way affected his ability to govern the country.

I'm not knocking family men at all as elected leaders, but America puts far too much emphasis on them having their wife and 2.5 children when what they should be looking at is their policies only. Yes, there have been many terrific Presidents with loving families who were able to walk the straight and narrow. However, I personally find it reprehensible that family man George W. Bush is allowed to lie about Iraq's supposed "Weapons of Mass Destruction" (that were found not to exist by diligent and impartial UN inspectors) in order to take America into war under false pretenses resulting in the deaths of thousands of American soldiers as well as countless deaths of innocent Iraqis, while Bill Clinton was IMPEACHED for lying under oath about receiving oral sex! Again, I'm not condoning Clinton's sexual indiscretions, but that's a matter between him and Hillary only, and it didn't affect his capabilities as President, regardless of how you feel about him personally as a leader. (And I know we disagree on that, Paul.)

Family values are important, yes, but only within families. Frankly, I'd rather have known womanizers like Clinton or JFK at the helm of the most powerful nation in the world, rather than that good husband and father, George W. Bush, anyday.

Paul Rivoche said...
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Paul Rivoche said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Rivoche said...

Problems editing..where's the edit button for typos?

Anyway I thought it over carefully, Pete, and I decided you're completely right, of course, in everything you say. e'd be far better off if ruled over by immature maroon child-men.

Pete Emslie said...

For every politician who is caught red-faced in some sex scandal, I suspect there are many others who have just been more successful (or lucky) in keeping a lid on their dalliances. From what I gather, George Bush Sr. is reputed to have had a mistress during his one term as President. For the record, I don't dislike Bush Sr. and thought he was a pretty decent President, though hardly one that would rank on a list of the greats. If it is true that even ol' George gave into the temptation of carnal sin, would that negate everything he did in office that most people would consider great accomplishments? I don't think so...

Paul Rivoche said...

Whew...Pete, all this steamy chat, it's time for you to get out of the Cave and over to Hef's Playboy Club fer a bit o' 60's-styleswingin'...yer startin' t'see Fornicatin' Politishians behind every Bush!

Pete Emslie said...

Hey, seeing as how I'm still a single guy, I will continue to wait patiently for Hef's invitation. I hope there's a brunette still left for me in the Grotto by then... :)

Skim said...

You should do a caricature of Spitzer!

Roberto Bobrow said...

Peter: I've been a regular to your blog because I find many useful hints here to improve my work. But this time I must say: thank you for speaking my thoughts. You're 100 per cent right.

Americans seems not to be aware how the rest of the world sees this hypocritical double standard of morals.

This is a great nation for sure but, when they get outraged by their politicians private life flaws while granting a bloody liar and criminal a second term in office...that makes the rest of us to boil the blood in our veins!

My best

Roberto (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

http://gloriamundi.blogsome.com