John Edwards’ Personal Life is His Own

For my first post I thought I would talk about the big media dustup right now, which is John Edwards’ admission to an affair with Rielle Hunter. I had heard rumors about this before the story finally blew up. Pajamas Media’s podcast, “PJM Political,” had a segment on July 30 that focussed on the lack of coverage of the affair. Almost two weeks later, the story has broke out and people are getting worried. Christopher Beam at Slate worried outloud that the scandal may have a Mark Foley effect on the election, and went on to point out that John McCain didn’t have a clean marital history.

It does seem immoral to continue an affair when your wife has cancer. Edwards has noted that this was the result of his own hubris brought on by his success, and he has probably been greatly humbled by the experience. However immoral his affair seems to outsiders, it doesn’t seem that relevant.

On one level, Edwards is no longer running for president. He is not currently holding public office. The whole episode is mostly one of political celebrity gossip.

On another level, this sort of thing should be relegated to the private lives of individuals like John and Elizabeth Edwards and stay there. We elect politicians to office to be our representatives, not our pastors.

John F. Kennedy’s affairs were legendary and he was also known to be taking “mood-modulating steroids.” Winston Churchill has been known for high levels of alchohol intake. If held by to the standards we are holding current officeholders, those two would have made public apologies and possibly had their careers tarnished for something largely irrelevant.

We should hold our politicians accountable for the policy decisions they make, and leave their personal transgressions to be judged by their loved ones.


Editors Note: United Liberty is very pleased to introduce our newest contributor, Michael Powell. He is a freelance writer based out of the San Francisco Bay Area who’s been published in the San Francisco Examiner, among other publications, and maintains a blog called “Deschamps.”


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