Saturday, August 9, 2008

Pointing Fingers: Is John Edwards' affair truly important?

On August 8th 2008 at least fifteen people died in a fatal bus crash, as they were traveling from Houston to Missouri. http://www.newsobserver.com/nation_world/story/1170448.html
On the same day, Russia launched an aerial assault and sent troops into Georgia http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/47016.html, and new evidence surfaced about some of our Washington vineyards being turned into pot farms http://www.newsobserver.com/2188/story/1170628.html.
Yet, on August 8th, the eyes of our Nation - and those of the rest of the world - were focused on John Edwards’ marital indiscretion. As I surfed through the channels I couldn’t help shaking my head. In the aftermath of more important events, every primetime news channel was feasting on the dirty details of John Edwards’ affair, hoping to dig deeper than the competition.
Personally, I think that as long as he was honest with his wife about the tryst with Rielle Hunter, he owes nobody else any kind of explanation. I think that if he is still married to the same woman after thirty years, and together they have survived raising four children and endured the death of one, few people are in the position of judging the integrity and strength of their marriage and family. Since he wasn’t in office during the affair, there was no reason for him to announce such a painful situation to the rest of the world, and his public silence only protected his wife and family from the indignity they are suffering right now. What happened between John Edwards and his wife should remain between them, and dealt with within the boundaries of their individual acceptance. As for the rest of the world, I think we have more pressing issues to be concerned about.
Why are we so ready to jump into other people’s private affairs and elevate them in the list of our Nation’s priorities? Truth is everyone likes to point fingers. More than anything, undermining someone in the spotlight makes us feel better about ourselves and our own shortcomings. We have become so shallow and filled with self-righteousness that we salivate at the mere opportunity of proving someone else’s lack of integrity; we saturate media and other networking channels with empty news, rather than using these same channels to raise awareness on what is truly important. Thousands of children can die or become orphans in Indonesia, but we are more interested in the birthday celebration of Tom Cruise’s two-year-old daughter.
If we truly hope to change our country and redeem ourselves as a people, it is time we rethink the way we prioritize. I hope Britney Spears will find her light and Angelina Jolie’s twins will continue to prosper; and to those who feel that they have never made any mistakes, I would like to invite them to run for office.
I also would like to remind them that when we point one finger, three of them are still pointed back toward ourselves. Ahem...that is something to think about.

7 comments:

angela said...

I totally agree with you Sandra. The first thing that struck me about the much more important world event right now---the conflict between Georgia and Russia---is does Georgia have nuclear arms? I was so frightened and saddened when I heard about this situation that I couldn't think of anything else. Who cares about Edwards? Did his actions start a devastating war? We are continually the victims of media triviality, gossip and nonsense. What use is the American media anyway?

Angie

Dena said...

Sandra (and Angie)~

(I ended up rambling way too much here, so let me insert a huge KUDOS to you, Sandra, on yet another great blog! :) )

I agree. The media continues to try to distract us from the more important events affecting us as citizens, yet we allow it. I don't know if this distraction started because the people prefer the tabloid-esque news, or if people were simply fed it and now accept it as the norm. Regardless of how it started, I hope people start to demand more truth in news, and that legislation be passed so that the news divisions are no longer required to generate profit. We can't have a free press with that setup, and it's apparent that, were it not for the Internet, we would not have access to real news on a reliable, unbiased basis.

As for the whole Edwards situation, I have always been a HUGE fan of John and Elizabeth. Yes, I am disappointed and saddened, only because this is a painful event in any couple's life and I'm sorry to see it play out on a world stage. It is between them. Just as all marital indiscretions are a personal, family issue.

What I am disappointed about, with regard John and Elizabeth, is that they didn't just come out and say at the very beginning, before he launched his candidacy, that this occurred and they, as a couple, worked it out. In this day and age, these things don't remain a secret.

Like all things in government, business, media and everything else, until we get to a place of honesty and transparency, we are going to stay in this place of stagnation as a country.

I don't believe it would have harmed his candidacy; the people who would have been turned off by knowledge of the affair probably wouldn't ahve supported him anyway. It certainly would not have stopped my support of him. I always value honesty. I wish it could have stayed private but it wasn't realistic in today's world to expect that it would. My thoughts and prayers are with their family...they have gone through so much, and once again are enduring a great challenge. I still admire them all.

Lisa said...

Dena said this:

What I am disappointed about, with regard John and Elizabeth, is that they didn't just come out and say at the very beginning, before he launched his candidacy, that this occurred and they, as a couple, worked it out. In this day and age, these things don't remain a secret.

And I am 100% in agreement. What happened between them is their business, not ours. However, when one chooses to run for the highest office in the land and MOST ESPECIALLY in this election where we are fighting to get our country back from the brink of disaster, one cannot think that things like this won't be found out. I am not even very politically astute and I could have told you this was a sitting time bomb waiting to blow up in our collective face.

(sigh) I really liked him and am so disappointed. Elizabeth always has my utmost respect, regardless of whatever else comes to light.

Good post, btw. So much more to talk about than this.

Diane Koani said...

I would like folks to please consider the timing and the possible intent (as in 'intentional) of this announcement. August 8th. The Olympics begin with both Bush and Putin present at the opening ceremonies. Georgia, a country part of the 'coalition of the willing' invades a separatist region of it's own country and creates a humanitarian catastrophe, with Russia subsequently retaliating. The largest contingent of naval artillery since the 1st gulf war heads to the Middle East, placing Kuwait on high alert in expectation of an assault on Iran. As all this is taking place, John Edwards makes an utterly humiliating confession of his sex life on national television. The media speaks of nothing but this for the next week, and promises much more, since he obviously told half-truths during the interview that can be endlessly raked over and questioned. I see this as a complete manipulation. People, they're yanking your chain and keeping you ignorant, while your world goes to hell in a handbasket.

Anonymous said...

Very, very good point, Diane!

angela said...

Finally we get to hear some truth, and something that finally makes sense. Thank you Diane. I've already begun sending your wise insight into the situation around to friends and family. Brava!

Dena said...

I also agree with you, Diane. It's rather clear corporate media has essentially morphed into being the White House press secretary, spewing propaganda and creating distraction.

"Follow the shiny ball, people."

The good news is I believe more and more people are seeing through the illusion, as they/we are suffering the consequences of having a government which, in large part, does not have the best interests of the citizens in mind.

It's time to wake up. We do have a voice.