Saturday, June 4, 2011

John Edwards: Fallen Angel

By Zach Foster

Given the latest episode of controversy surrounding John Edwards, it may be difficult for some people to remember the days when John Edwards was a widely popular public figure.  The politician gained prominence during his one term as a Democratic Senator from North Carolina, and became a household name as John Kerry’s Vice Presidential candidate in the 2004 election.  This was a time when American felt violated by the Patriot Act (the “Osama and Saddam are coming to get you” fears had subsided), the war in Iraq, whose victory was prematurely declared, was claiming hundreds more lives than the initial invasion, and Edwards seemed like a much more likeable candidate than Dick Cheney.[1]

Edwards resurfaced late in 2007 during the early campaigning for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination, and gained a lot of popularity by portraying himself as a faithful husband staying at his wife Elizabeth’s side even though she was fighting terminal cancer (may she rest in peace).  Unfortunately, the public was to find in the coming years that this knight in shining armor was far from who they thought him to be.

While he milked the faithful husband image for public affairs purposes, he’d been having an extramarital affair (only one that the public has evidence of) behind his wife’s back.

After he admitted to having had the extramarital affair, he made a dog and pony show about how he would change his ways and stay with his wonderful wife.  He also firmly denied allegations that he had fathered a child with his former mistress.  As evidence to the contrary surfaced, he would have to recant that denial.[2]

Today Edwards was indicted by the Department of Justice for violation of federal campaign finance laws, in which he allegedly accepted and covered up evidence of $900,000 of illegal campaign contributions.[3]  Edwards admits “what [he] did was wrong” but he denied having broken any laws.[4]

As much as people want to believe this, the fact that he blatantly lied to the world at least twice would lead one to the conclusion that he’s probably lying again.

Mr. Edwards represents a common breed of politician who can be seen infesting the ranks of both parties.  This type of politico doesn’t go to Washington to change Washington—they go there to live there and become a part of the establishment.  Their power and influence has people throwing money at them and women throwing themselves at them all the time, and it builds up their ego, and they do wrong.  Whenever they get caught, they apologize and claim how they’ll change, and they stress again how sorry they are for violating the trust of the American people.  In reality, their patterns of repeat offenses convey a lesson different from “don’t do wrong”; this lesson conveyed is “don’t get caught.”

[1] Cheney-Edwards contrasts couldn’t be greater.
[2] Edwards Admits He Fathered Girl With Mistress.
[3] Former Senator and Presidential Candidate John Edwards Charged for Alleged Role in Scheme to Violate Federal Campaign Finance Laws.

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