I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the attorney general of New York is Eliot Spitzer. He also happens to be running for governor of New York in 2006. Most importantly, he is the only political figure I have ever been able to point to and say “I support that”. Eliot’s job as attorney general is to go around finding corporations doing wrong and then taking them to court and holding them accountable. Due to his efforts I received cash money from the RIAA, if that’s not enough to make you like him then I don’t know what is. But on his website there are lists of all the various evil corporate baddies he has shut up over the years. In my perfect world the government would spend all its time stopping corporate evil and playing it’s correct role as referee in the capitalist economy. I look around and see only one man doing a decent job of it. That is sad.
Some people say he is grandstanding for votes. That may be true, he may only be going after the baddies to make news and get more votes from people like me. His recent attack against a spyware company made the front pages of Slashdot as well as the free morning newspapers in the city. But it really doesn’t matter what his motive is for doing his job so well. In fact, if he’s only doing it for votes then that is an indicator that democracy is working as intended. The point of democracy is that people elect candidates to represent them in government, and that they elect people who do what they want. If Eliot Spitzer is doing what the people want in order to get votes, then democracy is working flawlessly. As long has he continues his present course of action, which I see no signs of changing, then it’s all good by me.
I imagine most people don’t feel strongly about any particular political candidate. Sure, there are people who are crazy for Bush, or crazy for Nader or whatever. But most people are just choosing from the lesser of two evils. It is rare for someone to say “Yeah! This is the fucking greatest person, I want to vote for them!” It’s a feeling I’ve never had before in my entire life until Spitzer came around. Even that cool Obama guy doesn’t make me feel that way. Sure, he’s a cool guy and I would probably vote for him, but I don’t feel so strongly about it.
Back in the days of coliseums and such people would have champions fight battles for them. It was much like boxing, pro-wrestling or actually all professional sports today. People feel very strongly about a particular person or team. If the Mets win, the Mets fan wins. That is because the Mets fan feels that the Mets are an extension of himself. They represent him in the field of baseball. They are his champion in the field of baseball. And I think that that is how representative democracy is supposed to work. At the beginning people like George Washington were champions of the people who represented them in the arena of government. The people felt that when George Washington won, they won. That feeling doesn’t really exist anymore, and that’s why our government is failing. Ideally people would feel this way about every candidate they cast a vote for. Instead, we have one person in the entire country who I can say I feel this way about.
Sometimes I think that Eliot Spitzer is a lot like Reggie Files-Aime of Nintendo. Kicking asses and taking names. Nintendo fans feel that Reggie is their champion, he represents them in the Nintendo corporation and helps get the games they want. Spitzer does the same thing, only instead of making video games he punishes corporate corruption and greed. If you’ve ever read political manga like “Eagle”, “First President of Japan” or “Sanctuary”, it’s a very similar idea. I even heard a rumour that he did some things down on Wall Street that are very similar to the types of things that happen in those fictional political thrillers.
I’m moving to New York in a week or two. And barring any unforeseen hidden information coming to the surface I will cast my vote for Spitzer for governor in 2006. It will be the first time I have ever felt this way, but I hope it is not the last. I’m not trying to convince anyone else to vote for him, but I am urging you to only vote for someone you feel strongly for. We can’t go on selecting the lesser of evils forever, that is not the way our democracy is supposed to function. Select a champion who will represent you on the field of political warfare, and choose wisely.