John Edwards, Dirty Laundry and You

By Brandon Whitney

I don’t care about politicians’ personal lives. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re a vocal opponent of gay rights and you get caught knocking on the floor in a men’s bathroom, I think it might say a lot about your character. But if you call 900 numbers, cheat on your husband/wife, or even have several different baby’s mothers but can make the train run on time you can be my representative. The politics of personal destruction have led to us finding out way too much about politicians’ personal lives and it just might prevent talented people from running for office.

Everyone has skeletons in their closet. John Edwards just admitted to an affair, Newt Gingrich is said to have left one wife for a mistress, Bill Clinton had Monica Lewinsky. These affairs and escapades don’t really make a difference to the general public, and honestly our obsession with knowing the intimate details of someone’s life is ruining politics in our country. That is not to say that we never need to know. In the case of Elliott, since he worked as against prostitution than his personal habits reeked of hypocrisy. The same can be said for Strom Thurmond fought on behalf of segregation but still managed to father a Black baby girl. But if a politician can prevent school children from dying because they don’t have health insurance that cares who he or she sleeps with? If they can balance the budget who cares if they cross-dress? We have bigger fish to fry than a politicians personal habits.

We throw a lot of stones at people despite the fact that we all have sins affecting our state of grace. In fact we often pretend that politicians just appear out of nowhere and are more corrupt than the general population. The truth is that the people who are elected in our democracy are plucked from among us and are just as clean or dirty as we are. What our obsession with purity creates, is a shortage of good people willing to work on our behalf for fear that their dirty laundry will be run up the flag pole. We cheat our selves by being hypocrites because no matter how bad an elected official might be, we are no different. We all have skeletons. We all have words we wished were not said and moments we wished we could do over. And we all need to be a little less hypocritical and a lot more sensible about what we want from our leaders.

Brandon Whitney is the creator of a blog that focuses on issues that affect the African American community. He is also a frequent guest on News and Notes’ Blogger Roundtable. Brandon has political experience as an Outreach Director for the Democratic party and is passionate about being a positive force in his community regarding African American issues. He is also a frequent guest on News and Notes’ Blogger Roundtable. You can read more of Brandon’s work at Homeland Colors.


One Response to “John Edwards, Dirty Laundry and You”

  1. The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, married a woman who’s known for having affairs with famous celebs and posing nude on numerous occasions. I think he’s a stalwart for breaking the barriers you speak of.

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