Saturday, August 09, 2008

I seem to be obsessing on the issue of John Edward's infidelity. I even dreamed about Elizabeth Edwards last night - innocent dream. She was just walking on a beach but she was definitely there, alone. I think a friend caught part of why I'm obsessing in an email when she wrote, "I feel betrayed and I'm not even his wife." Me too.

I find myself shaken by another friend's comment, that maybe the affair was a factor contributing to the spread of Elizabeth Edwards' of cancer.I don't want to believe that, though I know stress compromises the immune system. I am willing to accept that we are responsible for each other's emotional and spiritual well being to enormous extent, but the possible presence of that big a connection between what other people do and my physical health or survival, or between my behavior and the physical health and survival of others, scares me silly.

The issue of the media behavior and what is or isn't news and what is or isn't private is huge here.

The issue of individual responsibility is even stronger for me though - how we have got to stop thinking about whether we can get by with things and live out of what is helpful or hurtful to others. I don't think it's just about men, or politicians, or sex, but about our whole society being too externally motivated and doing what we think we can get by with. I increase my motivation today to demonstrate and speak out for internal motivation and to teach kids, all kids whose lives touch mine, even more strongly, the value of never trying to get by with anything.

I believe the core issue here is responsible use of personal power, and that applies to all players, including the press. I keep going back to one of my core belief statements "My power to do good and my power to do harm are equal. The difference is choice". The more powerful we are, the more difference we can make ineither direction. I wish John Edwards had been more careful with his considerable persona. power.

MORE THOUGHTS: (PS) I really am obsessing on this. I hope I stop here, but who knows? I just realized that one of the things that upsets me the most is that Edwards chose to run for President AFTER the affair. That just blows me away, seems completely irresponsible and full of hubris. And if Elizabeth Edwards did know as she said she did, and supported his bid under those circumstances, I no longer see her as an innocent. It seems such an enormous act of ego to believe that one, or one's husband' is THE one who can save or turn around the country, enough to attempt a Presidential campaign under compromising circumstances like that. I am completely shocked they would have made such a choice.


Peggy said...

I love catching up with all your thoughtful blogging Victoria. Always you seem to write about things that make me think and I like that.

I wrote elsewhere that I can fully understand how the idea that stress can cause illness must be especially upsetting to you with Kerry having died the way he did. But I also like what another friend said, that your love and the things you did might just as likely been a reason he lived as long as he did, that your love and caring were a positive influence for him.

I am glad personally to see the Edwards thing fading from the media. I do wonder how he expected he would not get caught and how he must have thought it would not matter in the campaign. That decision itself is such poor judgement, one does have to wonder. But who knows, that may have been a factor is his decision to pull out when he did. One just cannot second guess these politicians as you really can't tell what so many of them are thinking.

Hope you are enjoying the beach!

Mary said...

I wonder how you think John Edwards' infidelity compares to President Clinton's infidelity when he was President.

I was amazed at the time how people were willing so quickly forgive/ excuse President Clinton's behavior with Monica Lewinsky and say it was a personal thing, didn't affect anything regarding the Presidency, etc. People do not say the same thing about John Edwards.

Both President Clinton and John Edwards initially lied. People were able to get beyond Clinton's lying, and he left the Presidency respected; but people cut Edwards no slack.

I am rambling here; but my point is that people seem to be fickle in how they react to political figures' infidelity.

SeaStar said...

mary,, you ask a good question about my thoughts comparing Edwards' and Clintons' infidelities. I think they both should have known better (and of course I'm sad they didn't honor their marriages.) I think they bot were foolish to let ego and sexual desire allow them to put their nation at risk. The reason I am more upset with Edwards is that he KNEW how the American public reacts to sexual infidelity in high places and he probably feels as tstrongly as I do that we need a different adminstration - and he ran anyway, wiht a sexual secret that could have been an awful November surprise andled to electing his opponent.After the (I believe disproportionate) fuss about Clinton's excapaces, Edwards, and any other candidate with a sexual secret, should know better.

Mary said...

Victoria, thank you for responding to my comment.

I personally find it hard to understand why one would be more bothered by Edwards' affair than President Clinton's actions with a young woman right in the oval office. I don't think that the 'fuss' was disproportionate, as after all he was the President of the US. How embarrassing for a country to have to acknowledge that one's President was acting this way with a young woman not much older than his daughter.

I do continue to think both used very poor judgment.

Peggy, I want to comment on your comment that the Edwards thing is fading from the media. I don't think so. I don't think Edwards has told the truth. I do believe the baby is HIS baby. More will come out about this in the next days.

SeaStar said...

I think I am compartmentalized or something in some way that most Americans obviously are not. Of course the idea of a blow job in the oval office is offensive to me, but I am more concerned about judgement tegarding larger scale matters in a President. I don't think bad personal judgement always points to bad public judgement. I believe almost all American Presidents (as well as leaders in other countries) have had mistresses or affairs, and as much as I personally don't like that kind of behavior, don't cheat myself, and expect fidelity from my husband, fidelity isn't in my top ten traits for a President. EXCEPT, our nation seems to need and want and expect that and has made that VERY clear regarding the Clinton affair - so Edwards was definitely forewarned and, as I've said ad nauseum, I am disappointed that he risked the election of a Democrat at a timewhen I believe change is crucial knowing he was sitting on a time bomb.

Anonymous said...