As Ariel Castro, the convicted kidnapper, rapist and baby killer, shuffled off in chains to the hoosegow, I thought, why was there so little reportage or commentary about his idiotic statement made in an Ohio courtroom? Is it because the man himself is so repugnant? Is it because his transgressions against society are so repulsive? I think it is both and one thing more.
Americans have heard all this claptrap before. We are familiar with the ramblings of a sociopath. A sociopath in plain language unadorned by the psychiatrists’ hocus-pocus is a person who does not know right from wrong, at least as regards his own behavior.
Few sociopaths even acknowledge society’s sense of outrage at their behavior. When Castro said, “These people are trying to paint me as a monster. I’m not a monster. I’m sick,” it was as though he thought society was at fault for not recognizing his illness earlier on and offering him therapy. Not life in prison but a 12-step program, and then he could go out into society again — cured. Ready to participate in all the bountiful blessings of American life.
When he spoke of “my sexual problem,” he could have been speaking as the mayor of San Diego, Bob Filner, who recently admitted to his “problem” and has promised to undergo “two weeks of intense therapy” so that he will never again harass women, one of whom he placed lovingly in that time-honored act of sexual foreplay, the headlock. Two weeks of therapy, and he will be back in the mayor’s office performing the invaluable work that the people of San Diego voted him into office to do.
Meanwhile back in New York City, Eliot Spitzer feels he is fully qualified to be city comptroller. Mr. Spitzer, upon admitting to availing himself of top-of-the-line hookers, stepped down from the governorship in 2008. Yet, after a spell of counseling, therapy, and serving as host on a CNN talk show, he is presenting himself to the electorate as repristinated. Then there is Anthony D. Weiner, who is running for New York mayor despite being forced from Congress in 2011 for sending pictures of his genitalia and lewd emails to women he did not know and lying to the public about it. This summer, he entered the mayor’s race promising never to send such emails again. Then it was discovered he did do it again. Now he is as convinced as Mr. Spitzer that his indiscretions are behind him. They are things of the past. A few weeks ago, he was running neck-and-neck in the Democratic primary and if he can hang in there long enough, he will be neck-and-neck again.
This argument that one’s “sexual problem” is a sickness rather than a vice is not new in American life. President Clinton survived impeachment by relying on it. So perhaps we can understand why the fiend Castro should trot it out again.
Yet maybe we ought to turn our attention to the voters, at least to the Democratic voters who are supporting these candidates despite their sexual aberrations. Bear in mind these sexual aberrations were committed against women. How do you explain that the very Democrats that declaim against the Republicans for waging a “war on women” are supporting candidates who harass women, traffic in women, and publicly expose themselves to women?
I suggest that the answer is hypocrisy. Yet there has to be more to it than that. All the above abusers of women are Democrats. When a Republican gets caught misbehaving, he generally is eliminated in his party’s primary. Why are the above rogues Democrats? And another thing: Why are they disproportionately supported by women — women who claim they are feminists? Is a modern-day feminist a woman waiting for her picture of Mr. Weiner’s private part? That strikes me as bizarre.
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of the American Spectator. He is the author most recently of “The Death of Liberalism,” published by Thomas Nelson Inc.