Another Perspective

Whacked Priorities

John Edwards' private life should have remained that.

By 8.18.08

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I am sorry that John Edwards had an affair with a campaign worker. But I am not surprised. Men like to have affairs. Men like to have sex with new women. That's just how men are and always have been.

I am not surprised that a major Presidential candidate and former V.P. nominee of a major party had an affair. Politicians are men and they have all of the yearnings and drives that other men have. They do not check their flaws and essential elements at the Capitol cloakroom.

Nor is it a sign that Edwards might not have been a great public servant. The list of important men with great achievements who have had extramarital liaisons goes from Julius Caesar to Napoleon to Thomas Jefferson to John F. Kennedy to Bill Clinton and undoubtedly has a lot longer to run. John Edwards and Rielle Hunter are only a tiny footnote in this magnum opus

But there are several parts of this story that are extremely noteworthy:

One, the same day that Edwards admitted his affair, Russia invaded the sovereign nation of Georgia. That's a war. It got almost no media attention except in the New York Times. Edwards' story got hours of TV drooling. These are whacked priorities.

Two, whether the baby in question is Edwards or someone else's, I give Rielle Hunter, the mom, a lot of credit for having the baby and not aborting that totally innocent child, as many women would have done. This courage and love of life is the real story here and if Edwards had a say in it, he is to be thanked and loved, not hated.

Third, Edwards is not in politics any longer as an elected official. He's not running for anything. He has a very sick wife. It is shameful that the tabloid press has followed him and hounded him into hotel basements and men's rooms and wrecked his wife's remaining life. Freedom of the press is precious, but so is the privacy of a man and woman and baby who are not running for anything. I really wonder if there are any limits on the viciousness of the tabloid press.

And finally, it would be interesting to know about the private life of the media people who presume to judge others I know a lot of them and to say they live in glass houses is putting it mildly.

Judge not, lest ye be judged, is still good advice.

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About the Author

Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes "Ben Stein's Diary" for every issue of The American Spectator.