Friday, August 8, 2008

The Lessons of John Edwards

Not much new news these days. I imagine some folks will harp all over John Edwards for having an affair, or, worse, keeping it a secret. I'm not going to make an issue of it here.

Why should I be, we're all prone to making mistakes.

Yet, after what happened to Gary Hart in the 1980s, and the way Bill Clinton nearly lost everything twice by secrets he kept, you'd think a person with such baggage over his head would think twice about running for President.

Think of how disastrous this kind of scandal would have been had Edwards actually been the potential nominee instead of Edwards. Or, worse, think how devastating this would have been for Obama had he selected him as his VP.

While Edwards says he's going public here because he wants to end the onslaught regarding this by the tabloids so his family can move on, I imagine a partial reason is that he wanted to make sure Obama did not select him.

We're going to be reading about this in the news for the next several days, and then it's going to make a blip on the history books, and then we'll all but forget this incident. But the days of seeing John Edwards as a viable candidate for any political office are more than likely behind him.

What we can learn here, is that if you want to run for public office, you need to think twice about allowing that second woman in your life. If you are married, you need to keep your wife a top priority in your life. And if you do have an affair, don't lie about it.

It seems this is one of the first Biblical lessons we learn as we are growing up. Edwards has admitted, in certain words today, that he had an elitist attitude and figured he could get away with anything. I respect him for being so honest.

I have never been partial to Edwards political POV, but I do think he is a good an honorable
man who wishes the best for his family and his country. I wish he and his family all the best as they try to move on.

I think this is a perfect example of what I wrote about a few weeks ago (read keeping your priorities in the right order), that we all need to learn to keep our priorities straight. When Edwards put another lady before his wife, and then lied about it, he became humiliated publicly.

I'd like to say I hope no other famous people come to shame by infidelity, but that would be wishful thinking. When famous men and women are on the road a lot, the temptation is always out there.

I'm sure that Edwards would be happy if only one other person learned from his mistakes.


Nikki said...

Freadom it makes me wish Johnny would have gotten the dem nod...this would have made for a much calmer general...calmer because a possible Obama Presidency is giving me some serious anxiety. His career is over. Back to driving up medical costs with his frivolous lawsuits. Its a living. :)N

Freadom said...

Nikki, that's exactly what I'm thinking. If he were the candidate, however, he'd still be in denial.

S.W. Anderson said...

You're so right about how important it is for people in politics to keep their marriage vows.

Edwards was remarkably candid in admitting he got too full of himself — as had Gary Hart, Bill Clinton and numerous others before him.

It's not entirely rational and fair, but the public expects public officials, especially elected ones, to behave better, to be more virtuous, than the average American. How many millions have wandered off the straight and narrow path? I don't know, but if the truth could be known, I'll bet it would be staggering.

We do know about half of all marriages end in divorce and that in a high percentage of divorces, one or both spouses cheated.

That's something for people eager to render a harsh judgment on Edwards to think about.

Here's something else. Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, turned out to be an overall good president. During his eight years, there was never a hint of personal misconduct of any kind on his part. Yet, during World War II, in Britain, he had an affair.

Was he a bad person? A bad president? A sleaze? No, no and no. Like the American public he came from, Eisenhower was a human being subject to giving in to temptation.

S.W. Anderson said...

Nikki, have you actually reviewed Edwards' cases?

Freadom said...

I guess Americans have decided that affairs, and keeping them secret, tell a lot about a person's character.

I think people can accept divorce, as Reagan and even McCain were divorced. Sometimes people make mistakes, especially in their youth, and most Americans understand that.

Still, people expect their elected officials to set good examples FOR THE KIDS.