What Eliot Spitzer is hiding isn’t just about sex

Eliot Spitzer had a lot going for him, at least, as measured by his attempts to right many seeming injustices that, to most of us, needed fixing – outsized pay packages to undeserving CEO’s among them. In some ways, it’s a shame that Spitzer got outed for having a night (a few hours?) with a high priced prostitute; on balance, he was doing a lot of public good.

What’s not been seen or said, so far, is this: Any person who is so hell bent on beating people up in the name of “good,” who bullies from afar and uses his post to tear others down, no matter how noble the cause, is hiding something. Not just from us, but from himself. Whatever Eliot Spitzer was trying to prove by his aggressive tactics reveals a man out of touch with himself, on a tear in order to be acknowledged, recognized, validated.

Spitzer’s indiscretion only showed him to be human; his relentless pursuits of the seeming bad guys, however, points to a man who lacks a clear sense of his own identity. Eliot Spitzer basically invented “Eliot Spitzer.” He didn’t discover him. The best analogy at hand is the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz: lots of smoke and mirrors on the outside, lots of terrifying, tremble-inducing shinanigans, but behind the curtain, just a small man pulling lots of levers to keep the act alive.

If Spitzer is to find redemption, he’ll need to deal with more than his wife and kids. He’ll need to deal with himself, and in a way that will call for a lot more courage than he’s demonstrated so far.

1 Comment
  • larry
    Reply

    Thanks for your comment. It’s amazing how we all get mesmerized by the surface activities that are easy to see – the sex, the bullying – which blind us to the bigger, indeed “sexier” story of people like Spitzer. It’s ashame; no one wins.

    I wonder if Spitzer has the guts to “prosecute” himself in a way that might engender mercy from the court of public opinion.

    Stay tuned…

    June 17, 2008 at 5:26 am

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