politics

Remember John Edwards?

Yesterday, as Bill and I were enjoying our Veteran’s Day celebration at home, I had a random thought about former 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. Edwards was also Democratic nominee John Kerry’s running mate for Vice President in 2004. He was also a former senator in North Carolina. I remember thinking he was a very handsome man. He seemed to have a lot going for him besides his looks, too.

John Edwards had four children in his marriage to his wife, Elizabeth. There was Wade, who was born in 1979 and tragically died in a car accident in 1996. Daughter Cate was born in 1982, then came Emma Claire in 1998 and son, Jack, in 2000. Tragically, the children’s mother, the former Elizabeth Anania, had breast cancer and it killed her in 2010, when she was 61 years old. While Elizabeth was dying of cancer, John Edwards was having an affair with a woman named Rielle Hunter. And with Hunter, Edwards fathered another daughter named Frances Quinn Hunter, who was born in 2008.

For years, Edwards denied having an affair with Hunter, a former campaign worker. He denied that he was the father of Frances for two years, before finally admitting it in 2010. Elizabeth Edwards published a book in June of that year entitled Resilience. In the book, she never mentions Rielle Hunter by name, but refers to her as “pathetic” and a “parasitic groupie”. When John Edwards finally admitted that he’d been sleeping around, Elizabeth separated from him. She intended to divorce him after the one year waiting period required in North Carolina, but died before the time was up. She and John were still legally married when she finally passed away of metastatic breast cancer in December 2010.

John Edwards’ political career was left in a shambles after this affair was made public. It wasn’t just that he’d been unfaithful to his seemingly loyal wife. He was also accused of fraud. Edwards supposedly used over $1 million in campaign contributions to cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter. A few years later, Edwards was found not guilty on at least one the fraud charges and mistrials were declared against the others, but the damage had already been done. Edwards hasn’t been back on the political scene. Instead, he’s gone back to being a lawyer. His daughter Cate is now the managing attorney of the San Diego office of his Raleigh based law firm, Edwards Kirby, which, I believe, specializes in malpractice suits.

Why am I bringing up John Edwards today? Because, for some reason, his story popped into my head yesterday. For several years, he was a political golden boy who seemed to have everything going for him. He had an affair, which is not uncommon among people who work in very challenging, powerful positions. The affair, along with the alleged fraud, eventually ruined his career in politics.

And yet, here we have an obvious scumbag like Donald Trump, who has a long history of extramarital affairs and fraud attached to him, and half the U.S. population wants to see him continue his destructive presidential reign. Why was John Edwards so quickly tossed out of the political arena, his reputation effectively ruined, but Donald Trump is still a hero to so many?

I think about John Edwards and, while I would not condone his actions, I think he is a lot more decent than Trump has ever been. He’s certainly better looking, anyway. Maybe he doesn’t have Trump’s charisma, although over half of us in the United States and probably many more people beyond have found that his charm has worn off entirely. It’s amazing what was unacceptable in 2010 that is apparently okay in 2020.

Also… I think of all of the ordinary people who have been “canceled” on social media just for being shitty. Ordinary people who get caught on video being bad for a few minutes can wind up getting death threats, losing their jobs, and being publicly shamed to the point of wanting to commit suicide. And yet we tolerate a president who has mocked disabled people, bragged about grabbing women by the genitals, and has a long history of ripping people off and bullying them into letting him steal from them. Why are so many people willing to give Trump a pass for being the bastard he so obviously is, but more ordinary people wind up “ruined”, at least temporarily, for being caught on video being a “Karen” (a term that needs to die quickly)?

The mind boggles. Well… another day has passed, bringing us closer to January 20. Although I don’t look forward to the drama yet to come as the day draws closer, I am relieved that Biden won. And he did win, y’all. There was no fraud on his part. If anyone was acting unfairly, it was Trump. He and his cronies pulled all sorts of devious and illegal shit to ensure that he wouldn’t lose the White House. And, guess what– he lost anyway, didn’t he?

I can’t wait until he’s gone. It’s been four years of non-stop circus show theatrics coupled with soul crushing embarrassment and moral degradation. It made me rather sick to see Trump honoring veterans yesterday, saluting when he’s not a fucking veteran and can’t claim one tenth of the honor any basic servicemember has. He needs to go.

In other news… aside from losing his father a few days ago, Bill also lost a great aunt yesterday. He didn’t know her well. She was in her 90s and had Alzheimer’s Disease. I have heard stories about her. I hope she’s resting in peace, too.

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2 thoughts on “Remember John Edwards?

  1. I was 100% going to vote for Edwards in 2008 until some of the stuff came out before the primaries. I ended up voting for President Obama. It seems like some people can apply standards across the board, whether it’s”their guy” or not and other’s simply can’t. It’s like defending your sports team even though you know they’re cheating.

    • It amazes me that Edwards’ career was destroyed by his affair, the fraud, and the cover up, but Trump gets away with what he does.

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