Now we have the revelations of John Edwards’s appalling indiscretions while his wife battles a devastating return of cancer. Just how deep does the abuse of power within the Washington political elite extend? Hopefully, John Edwards’s political future is now toast, but I predict that this story has legs and will not fade quickly. There is more to be learned and now that the media admits to smelling smoke they may now look for the fire. In newsrooms from Washington, DC to North Carolina (at least), the Edwards affair rumor frequently circulated, but no one was willing to pursue it until the tabloid, National Enquirer, caught him red handed. This scandal could impact the results of the national election, and may guarantee greater vetting of all political candidates.
This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, because the arrogance of power has permeated both the Senate and the House of Representatives and even the Presidency, i.e., Franklin Roosevelt, Kennedy and Clinton to name a few. It seems that every few months there is some unbelievable disclosure of stupidity or morally unethical conduct from our politicians at every level. While history has shown that bitter infighting has been going on since the days of President George Washington, we now have moved into an era of blatant abuse of position and power.
Frankly, I hold the Washington Press Corp responsible for protecting or ignoring the goings on of our elected government officials. While most businesses have cut expenses to the bone, it is or should be a basic responsibility of the press to provide thorough investigative reporting. I have always suspected that Senator Teddy Kennedy was given a big pass by the press when he drove the automobile that crashed resulting in the tragic death of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick back in July of 1969. (go to http://www.ytedk.com)
Time and space requirements prohibit me from listing all the scandals that have permeated the Washington scene.
Your Commander worked the Halls of Congress for several years as the Government Relations Chair for the NBC Affiliates and I saw numerous examples of sexual harassment first hand. I remember sitting in the office of a then prominent Senator from New York who used every four-letter word I had ever heard in the barracks. He had a very young intern secretary taking notes and as the meeting continued the young lady’s face became redder and redder. That is the same Senator who told me…"If you want me to be your friend there is an easy way for you to be my friend.” When I returned home there was a letter from the Senator soliciting a large financial contribution. He never got a dime from me.
Washington teems with young, inexperienced, susceptible workers (men and women) who are in awe of powerful government officials and they are easy prey. Personally, I do not think we are asking too much of our leaders and officials to conduct themselves as Gentlemen or Gentlewomen.
As the Edwards saga continues to unravel we have learned that he has lied to his wife, family and the electorate. His conduct goes way over the edge when you consider the health issues being confronted by his supportive wife and his disregard for their young children. If ever there was a good case for shunning an individual, Edwards would be my first candidate. The Press could guarantee that Edwards pays for his misdeeds, if they do their job properly. Normally I am in favor of giving a person a second chance, but Edwards does not deserve our sympathy. Remember, he was in the middle of his campaign to be the Democrat nominee for President of the United States of America when he participated in his adultery.
A logical question to ask ourselves is “What has happened to America’s moral compass?” I firmly believe that we must demand that our leaders function with a high ethical moral standard everyday, and lead with impeccable, unimpeachable conduct. How can America be a proud world power if our leaders are dishonest and morally corrupt hypocrites?