In 1888 San Diego, when my mystery The Dancing Murders takes place, I know from the research I did that it was a fact that corruption concerning sex for hire existed. How could 124 brothels, running seven days a week, be swept under the City Hall door?
However, San Diego was just beginning to have any kind of central government other than the military after our war with Mexico. They’d appointed their first mayor, William Jefferson Hunsaker. There were no taxes for public coffers. It was strictly between lawyers and the City Officers (who were mostly lawyers and judges).
Today, however, in one of the most corrupt states in the union, Florida, we have two politicians, Matt Gaetz, a Federal Congressional Rep, and Joel Greenberg, a former Florida State County Tax Commissioner, doing what the men in my mystery did.
The difference? Now we do have some sort of central watchdog group to investigate such activities. However, I submit, this story doesn’t go deep enough. Why don’t people investigate where these women come from? In my fiction novel, I used logic and deduced that the “higher ups” were making money off sex-trafficking, so they didn’t really want such activities investigated, as they were making money off it.
It’s kind of like the whole Jeffrey Epstein boondoggle. Even though people are being arrested, and there’s an ongoing investigation, none of the “other parties involved,” who were on Epstein’s “fuck flight manifest,” is being questioned or implicated as “Johns.”
This is what’s similar to 1888. The higher-ups know how to cover up and prevent “real investigations from happening.” This is what irritates me. It’s 2021, and not 1888, and yet we have the same corruption at the top as we did in boomtowns of the Wild West?
Frankly, this is why groups such as Q’Anon can make such outlandish claims and be believed. When the truth is not discovered, people make things up. The same was true in 1888. People were making accusations, but nothing was being done to help the people. The people were being exploited, but nobody protected them.