So now it’s Eliot Spitzer. A recent newspaper article listed about a half-dozen other politicians in recent years who also threw away a promising career when caught in a peccadillo. Why do they do this? Except for this one facet of their personalities, they had real talents and could have make further positive contributions to society.
I have a theory that any young student is free to use for their Ph.D. in psychology. The clue is that it effects only men. I suspect that testosterone poisoning halts the maturation process dead in its tracks in all men at about the age of sixteen. When you review the actions of Bill Clinton and Eliot Spitzer, to name only the best-known of the lot, you probably shake your head and ask yourself, “What were they thinking? That’s something a sixteen-year-old would do!
Exactly. On the maturity scale, they are sixteen. They may have middle-aged bodies, but their brains are still sixteen. Think of this when you look at any man and you will never be surprised.Perhaps the maturing process resumes again after the age of sixty as testosterone poisoning relaxes its grip, but I am still researching that point. So far, the results are inconclusive.
I realize this theory is hard for some of you women to accept when you think of your fathers, uncles, and ministers —but probably not of your husbands. Maybe those other categories are the exceptions, or maybe you just don’t know them as well as you think you do.
At any rate, my theory does need an escape clause from its universal application, no matter how implausible, just to let some of us off the hook. And here it is: Some of us at sixteen are already as mature as would be expected for a forty-year-old. I have known many of that age who acted, dressed, and thought like their fathers. While still in high school, they often wore ties, slicked their Vaselined hair straight back, carried a fat key ring, and enjoyed reading the editorial page in the Bulletin. They were usually the student managers of the athletic teams. They were officers of their high school coin clubs. Their greatest ambition was to someday be a member of the Rotary Club. And, I suspect, they never did have the toxic testosterone level that most of us did. This may have described your father.
Barbara Tuchman in her book, “A Distant Mirror,” on life in the 14th century asked why the nobility at that time acted like spoiled teenagers, and answered by pointing out that they were teenagers. People then only lived to their mid-thirties, so most of the population were kids. A king was rarely that mature figure portrayed on a deck of cards.
Neither, apparently, are the politicians of today.