I believe I had the same reaction as most people who supported John Edwards for President when the rumors started circulating about him. It was one of “please don’t let this be true.” As he’s now admitted that the affair did indeed take place and the admission has received nonstop coverage in both the mainstream media and the blogosphere, I began to examine a little more of how I felt about the whole situation.
First off, I believe committing adultery is wrong and I by no means condone his actions. At the same time, however, I feel as though his sex life isn’t really any of my business. Of course we’d all like our public officials to be role models, but is their sex life actually any of our business unless it affects their job performance or is contradicting the policies they promote? In the case of John Edwards, there is also the fact that he is no longer running for office and it wasn’t very likely that he would be the VP nominee again.
Of course I then had to ask myself – If it’s not any of my business, then why am I disappointed? That answer comes down to how I was inspired by his message on fighting poverty and standing up for the working class. I believed (and still do) in that cause so much that I spent a significant amount of time and energy helping his presidential campaign. I had given a lot to his campaign and he was willing to throw it all away for a few jollies with someone he fully admits he didn’t love. Not cool.
Since I personally feel that way, I can understand why a lot of bloggers are putting up posts expressing how they somewhat feel betrayed by Edwards. I suppose this post is my version of that. What I’d really like to see take place, however, is a discussion about the policies that he promoted during his candidacy. In the long run I think that’d be a lot more productive for our country than a discussion about a former presidential candidate’s sex life.