Crime buster Governor Eliot Spitzer has fallen on his own sword, and his involvement in a prostitution ring has created a heartbreaking family tragedy. Although he raised the ethical bar in New York, he forgot to hold himself to this higher standard. Ignoring the consequences of his acts, and the people he would hurt, makes you question both his character and moral development. Now that he has resigned, he has a big job ahead – looking deep inside himself.
This scene – personal pain on display for all to see – has played out many times before in the political arena. There’s a variety of ways to look at what motivates the betrayed wife, disgraced and humiliated, standing by her man. It could be denial, shock or an out-of-body fugue state. Perhaps it’s what she always does, a function of her derived identity or in defense of her own aspirations. Or it may even be plain love, a long history together, concern for the children, a desire to keep the family together. In any case, it takes a lot of courage and the road to healing the wounds is long and hard.
To gain a better understanding of the potential effects of espousing a rigid morality and then living a life of reckless abandon, click on our Thursday, February 21st blog post. Learn more about cognitive dissonance by reading the Q&A by Carol Tavris, best-selling author (with Elliot Aronson) of “Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions, and hurtful acts.”
Don’t forget to tune in here tomorrow, or anytime thereafter, for Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s Virtual Book Tour – she’ll be discussing her mid-life career change and how it led to her recently published books.