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First they came for the communists, but I was not a communist, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the socialists and the trade unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.
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Don't Call Politicians Whores - Monday, October 18, 2010 at 00:00


Don’t Call Politicians “Whores”

It’s an Insult to Prostitutes

David C. Stolinsky, MD
Oct. 18, 2010

During an accidentally open telephone connection, someone on the staff of Jerry Brown, Democratic candidate for governor of California, called Meg Whitman, the Republican candidate, a “whore.” The sound quality was poor, but apparently it was not Brown himself. Reportedly it was his wife, the one person on his staff who could not be fired. How convenient.

The liberal media treated the incident as a minor gaffe, if it was mentioned at all. NOW, the National Organization for Women, at first condemned the insult and called for the firing of the person who uttered it. But within a day, the position was reversed, and the head of the California chapter of NOW declared that the word “whore” was accurate as a description of Whitman. Leftism trumps feminism every time.

For another example, look at the cover of the current issue of the leftist magazine The Nation. It caricatures conservative women politicians as scantily clad, seductively posed sex objects − in short, as whores. The use of the word by someone on Jerry Brown’s staff was not a slip of the tongue. It reflects how leftists, and many liberals, see conservative women. How sad. But how revealing of the leftist mindset.

Clearly, NOW is NOLW, the National Organization for Liberal Women. Like many other organizations, it was taken over by liberals, even leftists. Regrettably, this includes the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Psychological Association, the National Education Association, and the American Association of University Professors − of which I used to be a member.

Rather than being concerned with women, or civil liberties, or psychology, or schools, or universities, these and similar organizations are now concerned with liberal causes. We need organizations dedicated to the causes for which these organizations were founded. It’s too bad we no longer have them. When leftists take over organizations, the problem is not only that leftism is advanced, but also that many good causes are neglected.

Thus it is no surprise that NOW found itself unable to stand up for a woman who was subjected to a sexist insult. But can you imagine what would happen if the situation were reversed?

Suppose Brown were a Republican and Whitman a Democrat. The liberal media would scream in feigned agony over the disgusting sexism of Neanderthal Republicans. NOW would bleat about how women would be forced to wear burqas and live in harems if Republicans won the election. Psychologists would appear on TV, opining that Republicans are misogynists who probably hated their mothers, or conversely, who wanted to have sex with their mothers.

But as things stand, Whitman is on her own. Strong, intelligent, successful women are admired by leftists, unless they are even mildly conservative − in which case you can throw any insult you like at them.

Don’t follow a bad example. Don’t call politicians you dislike “whores.” It would be unfair to prostitutes the world over. Prostitution is a sin, and also a crime − except in parts of Nevada. Prostitution should be condemned, but prostitutes should also be pitied.

Many prostitutes were sexually abused as children, and hence came to see sex as the only thing they had to offer. Others were addicted to drugs, often by pimps, and then held as virtual captives. Often they are subjected to violence or the threat of violence, both by their pimps and by their clients. Their work is degrading in all senses of that word. Even the “high class” ones are looked down upon, and street hookers are held in contempt. Their own low opinion of themselves often matches the opinion of others. Some make a good living, while most barely get by and can hardly feed their families. No one goes into prostitution to get rich, to gain power, or to become famous. Much the same holds for male prostitutes.

None of these factors, ranging from the unpleasant to the dangerous and disgusting, applies to politicians. One may speculate on what kind of childhood gives rise to those who seek political power, but sexual or other abuse is not a factor. Politicians live their lives in pleasant surroundings, free of physical danger, unless they are in narco-states like Mexico, or authoritarian states like the former Soviet Union. (Remember Ushenko and Litvinenko?) They often retire rich, sometimes very rich. They enjoy pushing people around.

True, there are honest politicians who are dedicated to the public good. Such people founded and preserved our nation. We owe them our freedom. There are also kindhearted prostitutes who do degrading work to feed their children. But these are examples of Murphy’s Law of Dilution: If you put a cup of water into a barrel of sewage, you get a barrel of sewage. But if you put a cup of sewage into a barrel of water, you still get a barrel of sewage. The rotten fraction brings the whole group into disrepute.

Politicians may sell themselves in the sense of abandoning their principles, assuming they had any in the first place. But in no way does their selling themselves in this way approach the physical and moral degradation of prostitution. Politicians seek power or adulation, and often both − and if they are successful, they get both.

In some vague sense, we may pity politicians for their unrealized potential. They could have done the world some good, rather than merely enriching and empowering themselves. They could have seen themselves as stewards of a sacred trust, rather than as potentates entitled to impose their impractical theories on everyone. But in no way does this pity compare to the real pity with which we view the life of the average prostitute.

From the point of view of the individual, the most important difference between politicians and prostitutes is freedom of choice. Politicians choose the course of their lives, while most prostitutes have little choice − or at least see themselves as having little choice. Moral culpability is proportional to the amount of choice a person has.

From the point of view of society, the most important difference is the amount of damage that can be done. A prostitute can give you a variety of diseases, and the pimp can beat you up and steal your money. But a politician can do real damage. He or she can destroy the most effective health-care system in the world, bankrupt the most effective economy in the world, weaken the most effective military in the world, and disunite the greatest nation in the world. And they’re just getting started.

So please, don’t use the word “whore” to describe politicians. It’s unfair to prostitutes.

Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact: