Governor Spitzer’s resignation today illustrates how social crusaders with significant personal or relationship integrity deficits can crash and burn in an instant. This is why the man once dubbed "Crusader of the Year" earned my Political Integrity Disgrace Award for March 10, 2008 in that entry in my IntegrityWatch Blog.
The days in which American presidents (and other politicians) like Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy could get away with lack of relationship integrity appear to be behind us. The days in which an American president like George W. Bush can get away with being a Crusader by lying about the reasons for going to war in Iraq are now hopefully behind us as well.
Beware of highly impassioned Crusaders. As with the Reverends Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart, behind the mask of many impassioned Crusaders is someone a person who is deeply out of integrity and hiding behind crusading in order to not be noticed. I talk about crusading as a hiding strategy in my book, The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationship and Our World.
The public appears to at last be beginning to demand a higher level of integrity in it leaders. This means that the public and the media need much better ways to evaluate political integrity when candidates are running for office. The Politician Integrity Rating Tool, and my book, The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationship and Our World, provides the education in Integrity Intelligence that we all so badly need in today’s world.
Still, I question whether in resigning Governor Spitzer might have missed a golden opportunity. Virtually all of us have integrity deficits to one extent or another: in our self-integrity, relationship integrity, societal integrity and/or leadership integrity. If Spitzer knew more about real integrity than he perhaps does, remaining New York’s Governor would have put him in a unique position to inspire both citizens and fellow politicians to face and fix their own integrity deficits. He might have been in a perfect position to help spark the integrity revolution we do deeply need today… if only he knew more about integrity education than he apparently does.
Perhaps he still might do this in the wake of his resignation, in order to transform his public humiliation into a gift to himself, his loved ones and the world. I hope so, for his sake, for his family’s sake and for society’s sake. (Read my next blog post on this topic too!)
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