As the entire world knows by now, 74 year old Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi is knee-deep in an underage prostitution scandal involving a 17 year old Moroccan girl by the name of Karima El Mahroug (or popularly known as ‘Ruby the Heart Stealer’) .
Il Cavaliere (The Knight), as he is known, is now going into his ninth year as Prime Minister of Italy. He is also known as a very successful entrepreneur leading businesses within the construction industry (Milano 2), and the media (Telemilano & Finivest), and is currently ranked as the 74th richest man in the world (estimated net worth of $9 Billion). He is also the longest serving current leader of a G8 country. He is also not a stranger to controversy. If you would like to study a list of all his legal issues, you better lobby your local university to make it a new Political Science Class.
In light of all the above information, it is not hard to understand what is going on here. I am reminded of that old quote by John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton (Lord Acton)…”Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” Here is a man who has enjoyed power of a great degree for a very long time through politics and money. Through those two areas, he has been able to create a perfect world around him where he is the apex standing above all.
You can forget about the argument that he is entitled to have fun even at 74 years old. We are talking about alleged underage prostitution here. It really would not matter to me if he was my next door neighbor or what he actually is. He is still accused of a terrible crime. The fact that he is a Prime Minister of a country and a successful business man means that all eyes are on his every move. This is not a privacy issue. The world is not telling him what kind of boxers he should wear. This is an issue of morals and someone of that level of influence behaving in a moral manner.
Of course, we can now dust off the Bill Clinton- Monica Lewinsky scandal of 1995-1996, but it is important to note that Monica Lewinsky was 22 years old at the time of that scandal. Does this make the charges against Silvio Berlusconi any worse than what Bill Clinton did? Yes! I know…I know…they are both morally…achem…confused, but Berlusconi allegedly crossed a line into child prostitution.
Listen here, I do not want to hear about conspiracy theories that Karima was a plant by an opposing political party. Who cares if she was? If the allegations are true, then he still should not have taken part in anything to do with an underage girl in private.
And so, if the Italian courts see it fit to find him guilty of all these charges, where does this leave us? It leaves us again with a bad taste in our mouths. It leaves us with the feeling that no matter who you are…if you allow your ego to supersede common law and acceptable morals, then you are destined to be corrupt in some way. It also makes you wonder what would happen if you were in that place of power. Would you too one day fall corrupt? Certainly, that is not the way it has to be. There have been many good people in places of power. It also makes you realize as a citizen of the world, that we cannot and will not stand for behavior such as this from anyone, especially a leader of a country and prominent businessman. Lastly, it makes you wonder just what is going on in Berlusconi’s brain.
—– Erik Sudberg