Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Newsflash: Politicians Are Human Beings

Well, the headline on my blog today shouldn’t be news to anyone. It seems that during election season, someone running for office is caught embellishing, covering, or stretching the truth. Some outright lie. Some are involved in shady deals. Someone is caught cheating on his or her spouse. We know this from experience. Politicians are human beings who do human things.

Why is it then that everyone seems so shocked, appalled, and sometimes happy when someone gets caught doing something wrong?

Reports of John Edwards’ infidelity seemed to bring shock to some, glee to others. The shock seems to come from those that still, in this day and age, expect that politicians should do no wrong. The glee comes from people who feel that it only validates what they felt all along about people running for office – that they can’t be trusted and all of them think that they are untouchable.

For me, while I expect anyone elected to public office to have the highest level of integrity, I don’t expect them to be perfect. I have less of a concern with John Edwards’ actual indiscretion than I do with the fact that he lied about it. He just plain lied. And if a politician is willing to lie to cover an issue that really isn’t anybody’s business anyway, what would that same politician be willing to do if he or she lies to cover an issue that IS the business of those that have elected them?

Lucky for the Democratic Party that John Edwards wasn’t selected as their candidate for president. While sometimes these issues have their way of working themselves out, it would have helped had the Democratic party - who I have to believe had a whiff of something wrong there – stepped in and helped to get the truth out much earlier. It certainly makes one wonder how well any party knows its own candidates.

It also makes one speculate as to what is waiting to come out for John McCain and Barack Obama, who did make their party’s cut to vie for the top job? And what is waiting for them in the form of the running mates that they select?

One thing is for sure, politicians are human, and any flaws they have will be flushed out. We can only hope it’s before Election Day on November 4, 2008.

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