Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Politicians are Immoral? Wha???

Uh, what she said. Seriously, I have to follow that??

Was anyone really that surprised by John Edwards admitting to his affair? Was anyone really shocked that Elizabeth Edwards is standing by her man and is saying that her cancer has made it easier to put things like this in perspective?

I, for one, am not.

Politicians are people. They are human. We have made our politicians into infallible celebrities whose lives we follow and hoard information on. In truth, they are really just like us. We make mistakes, have affairs, lie about things that we are embarrassed about, and try to say things just the right way so that they do not sound as bad as they really are.

We live in a world that says it wants to be one way and then works in a completely opposite way. We say that we want the best man for the job but then we keep electing the same people over and over again. Sure, we may elect someone with more charisma every once in a while (Bill Clinton), but we rarely deviate even a little from our typical pattern. White, married man who has lots of money. I always thought that our elected leaders were supposed to represent us but as far as I can tell we are happy to stick with the status quo and then delude ourselves into thinking that we tried to change things and that this new person is going to change everything.

McCain is not someone that I want to hate or demonize. Obama is not someone that I want to exalt or put on a pedestal. That would not be the right way to look at these two men. What I want? Honest communication that has not been poked, prodded, and punched into the perfect sound bite so that the candidate can prove once again that he is the right man for the job.

Sure, most politicians are immoral in some way, but so are all of us. None of us is perfect and beyond reproach. I do not want a perfect person as an elected leader. I want someone who reflects who we are as a people and that would certainly not be someone who has a God complex. Americans like to get up on their high horses and say that we are trying to make the world a better place, but I truly think that what we are trying to do is conform the world to our standards. How would we feel if another country tried to do that to us?

We are never happy. We want someone who reflects us but yet we are fed the same kind of candidate over and over again -- and we accept it. "Thank you for spoon feeding me these two "perfect" candidates, Fates!" So, while having a candidate like Obama is something new and different and unique, he still fits a very Washington-political mold that we all like to think he is busting out of. He has something in his closet, like all of us, that he does not want anyone to find. Honestly, I believe that politicians need to be a little bit immoral. Their job is a tough one and it requires a little bit of moral deviation at times (hello, war!).

***My husband nearly died last year and I can tell you that his illness certainly gave me a new perspective on life. That perspective, however, does not include allowing him to cheat on me and then attempt to apologize for it and be forgiven. It would be good-bye husband in that case. But that is just me...and I am certainly no politician's wife.

***If this entry makes no sense, I apologize. I get fired up and become completely incapable of writing anything coherent on political subjects.

1 comment:

G Love said...

I struggle with what you said here, too - with the fact that I know politicians are just people, and people make mistakes, and I can't expect perfection in their personal choices. I've known some really wonderful couples that suffered an infidelity and came out stronger, and I was cheering them on. There are no absolutes.

But I *want* politicians to be better than me. I want to trust the keeping of my liberties, the safety of my family, in the hands of someone who I can admire. Someone stronger than I am.

What can't be denied in this case, whether this was a one-off mistake or just the time he happened to get caught, is that he selfishly continued to pursue his personal ambitions at the expense of his party. If he really believed that the Democratic party could provide the best leader for the nation, then he should have bowed out, knowing that this scandal could come out. The fact that he didn't leads me to believe that he's not as contrite as he claims.

Also, I would feel wayyy better about it if the chick was at least someone smart. If she had some semblance of an interesting and exciting personality. Blech.