The acquittal yesterday of former Senator and Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards on one of six counts of campaign finance law violation set both the mainstream media and the political world all atwitter, and it was on the minds of many of my callers.
Speaking just for myself, I think he’s a sleazebag who lied, fathered a child out of wedlock then denied that she was his, and cheated on his wife who was dying of cancer. But hey, judge not, less ye be judged, right?
Here’s the problem: when he was running for president in 2008, Edwards eloquently articulated the message of the “Two Americas,” his description of the fundamental problem of income inequality in our nation. He was right, of course. What makes me so sad is that John Edwards’ important message is now being dismissed by the National Enquirer as mere rhetoric, no more sincere than his protestations of fidelity to Elizabeth.
What can we learn from the John Edwards experience? That all politicians — despite what they would have us believe – are human. The important thing is to believe in our own values and hold our elected officials to a standard, not of sainthood, but of political accountability. They need to do what they say in their jobs, even if they screw up in their personal lives. We are are not electing kings, divine though that would be. Our job is to hold their feet to the fire for the promises they make.
Penises will always go where they will. That’s why women always make better elected officials.
( Photo: Getty Images)