For me, it’s hard to know what to think or feel about the recent news regarding former Maine gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler.
According to several news reports, police allegedly discovered several computer files of child pornography in Cutler’s home this week.
Before we go any further, make no mistake about it. Crimes against children are especially heinous and repugnant. I think we can all agree on that point.
While the civil libertarian in me wants to say we are all innocent until proven guilty, there is a much more well-defined part of me that wants to forgo all the hassles of a trial and simply drag Cutler into a darkened alley and beat him to death with a 36-inch aluminum baseball bat.
Even amongst hardened criminals, child sex offenders are the lowest of the low. If convicted and sent to prison, Cutler will likely need to be placed into protective custody. Another slap to the people of Maine.
In my opinion, there is no forgiveness for this kind of crime. There is no redemption. It is one of the darkest corners of humanity, a place that is impossible for most of us to imagine.
One more disclaimer before we proceed any further. I voted for Cutler. Twice.
In case you don’t recall, Cutler twice ran for governor as an “independent” candidate. He angered Democrats who said he split their party’s vote and allowed Republican Paul LePage to win with 38 percent of the vote.
He also pissed off Republicans who said he was nothing more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing: a Democrat who might be able to peel away some of their party’s centrist votes by talking about fiscal responsibility.
Today, in the wake of this horrific news, both Democrats and Republicans are saying: “See? I told you so.”
Do a quick Google search and you will find that nearly a dozen Maine men have all been arrested for possession of child pornography within the past year. We don’t hear much about those men, despite the fact that their crimes were just as heinous as Cutler’s.
Cutler is leading the six o’clock news because he willingly stepped into it. Unlike those other men who have been arrested for possession of child pornography, Cutler sought the media’s attention and favor. He portrayed himself as a man who would make responsible decisions; as a man of good character.
In the end, it has become abundantly clear during the last 48 hours that Cutler is neither of those things.
Yes, Cutler is innocent until proven guilty, but the evidence against him is pretty damning. The men and women of Maine’s State Police take their jobs seriously. They don’t get search warrants on a whim.
Like you, I don’t have all the facts. Like you, I am disgusted by the story.
But what I do know is this: These crimes were not political. Child sex offenders do not fit into such convenient categories.
It is disheartening to witness Cutler’s fall from grace. It is disturbing to think about or even contemplate this type of crime.
But it is also sad – at least for me – to watch pundits, party stalwarts and others beat their proverbial chests and try to use this awful news to further their own political agendas.
It’s a shitty story, all the way around.