Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Microstory 1328: Major Scandal

Tabloid Reporter: Wow, to be honest, I never thought you would respond to a request for an interview. Most politicians who are in the midst of a scandal just want to keep quiet, and hope the 24-hour news cycle makes it go away.
Mayor: I imagine that’s mostly true, however, I am not experiencing a scandal.
Tabloid Reporter: Oh, so you’re one of those. You’re just going to deny that anything happened. All right, that’s fine. I know what kind of questions to ask.
Mayor: I’m not denying that things happened. I just take issue with the idea that it’s a scandal. I would never use that word to describe what I was doing.
Tabloid Reporter: Well, what would you call it?
Mayor: Healthy defiance of unreasonable law.
Tabloid Reporter: But you’re the mayor. The law is your thing.
Mayor: I think people severely overestimate my legislative power over the city. I can’t just make a unilateral decision, and implement it on my own. The council puts forth an idea, the people support or reject it, the council votes. I vote too, but I can’t just do whatever I want. Plus, we’re only talking about the city. Prostitution is illegal across most of the country, and I certainly have no impact on that.
Tabloid Reporter: But you think prostitution should be legal?
Mayor: Absolutely, yes, and I’ve never said anything less. This isn’t like when a politician runs on a campaign of family first, only to be discovered he was cheating on his wife. I’m not married, I’m not seeing anyone, and I maintain professional relationships with sex workers.
Tabloid Reporter: So, there’s no emotional component to your dealings with the prostitutes? You just pay them for services, and walk away.
Mayor: Well, of course there’s an emotional component. There can’t not be. But no, I’m not in love with them. Nor are they in love with me, as far as I know.
Tabloid Reporter: I think people might be calling this a scandal because you kept it secret. Are you only saying this now because you got caught?
Mayor: Of course I kept it secret. It’s illegal! I suppose you could argue that that’s enough to make it a scandal, but I still wouldn’t use that word, because its lawfulness is not my decision, like I was saying. The law should be changed.
Tabloid Reporter: Yes, you spoke of healthy defiance of law. Assuming you’re right, and prostitution should be legal—and, by the way, I am personally in favor of that, but we’re not talking about me; we’re talking about you and your constituents—if you believe it should be legalized, then isn’t it a better use of your time to fight for it, rather than sticking to the shadows of the proverbial red light district?
Mayor: Hm. Ya know, I can’t argue with that logic. Unreasonable as the law may be, I did break it, and that was still wrong. I should be making my argument to the public, so maybe things can actually change. Wow, you really have me thinking here.
Tabloid Reporter: I would argue that that is exactly my job.
Mayor: Yes, and it’s my job to make sure voters are represented, and that they have all the facts. I know it’s not usually done like this, and it feels like a whim, but it’s really just that it’s suddenly occurred to me. I should run for congress, and do what I can to facilitate real change. Thanks, Tabloid Reporter.

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