Speaking of nauseating spectacles, John Edwards’ first campaign speech after being found not guilty of illegal use of campaign funds was right up there with Bush and Obama yukking it up at the White House — on the same day yet!
Words like slimy and despicable have been tossed around rather freely ever since the media caught up with Johnny E. in the restroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel back in 2008. But, to be fair, let’s cut the guy some slack and analyze his misdeeds from the compassionate foundation of, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”
That said, the reality is that Johnny E. is not the first person who has cheated on his spouse. And I’m sure many of those who have been guilty of that deed have experienced remorse and managed to successfully rehabilitate themselves. Let’s just say that their unfaithfulness displayed a lack of good judgment. It’s wrong, but it happens.
To which many might retort, “Yes, but they didn’t cheat on a dying wife.” True. Not only was Johnny E.’s judgment bad, he also displayed a shocking lack of both self-discipline and character. But, once again cutting him some slack, I guess you could say that he was just genetically programmed to be a very weak and immoral person
But what about getting his new-age girlfriend pregnant? Again, benefit of the doubt: His predicament was undoubtedly just a case of bad luck. In other words, it could have happened to anyone who has had an affair. Having a child is just an unexpected consequence of someone’s indiscretion.
In any event, I think we can all agree that Johnny E.’s baby-making affair with a staff member (being as generous as possible in describing her title) while his wife was dying of cancer was, at a minimum, a lack of good judgment; at worst, a total lack of character.
But for now, let’s put aside all this sordid stuff, because everyone already hates the poor (er, rich) guy for it anyway. What I can’t cut him any slack for, however, is the fact that while he was involved in a sleazy affair, he was also running for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States! It was nothing short of Obamanic-sized arrogance.
Then there were the $400 to $1,400 haircuts (whichever figure you choose to believe). No slack on this one, either. It wasn’t a case of bad judgment. It was naked narcissism that is hard for the average person to fathom. Even Bill Clinton, at the height of his perverse indiscretions, never displayed such self-love.
When I watched a clip of Johnny E. teasing his hair at one of his expensive hairstyling gigs, it reminded me of a great Woody Allen line. Allen once said that the airlines should make a rule that anyone who pays to fly first class should, as a perk, be given the right to walk through the coach section of the airplane once every hour and mess up the hair of coach passengers just for laughs. Can you imagine anything more fun than being given the green light to mess up Johnny E.’s hair?
All right, enough of the silliness. Let’s get to the meat of what is the most despicable thing of all about Johnny E. — his campaign speech after being acquitted. He left no doubt that he was already eying some kind of delusional comeback when, out of nowhere, he began babbling about his favorite subject, “helping the poor.”
Forget it, Johnny. We’ve all seen that act from you many times before — and we ain’t buyin’. That vote-getting strategy isn’t as popular as it was when you did that fake photo op in New Orleans after Katrina.
We already have hundreds of Congressmen and women who are involved in the same scam — with total disregard for the fact that it’s in violation of the Constitution — and we’re actively trying to figure out how to put a stop to it.
Every humane person wants to see those who are suffering financially better their circumstances, but not through government force. The moral and best way to accomplish that objective is through private charity — and teaching people to help themselves. But that’s another article for another day.
Today, my message to Johnny E. is straightforward: Please, Johnny, just stay away from the television cameras and try, nice and quietly, to redeem yourself. You did say that you don’t think God is through with you yet, and I’m inclined to agree with you there. I think it’s best, however, that I not elaborate any further on that one.
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Copyright © 2013 Robert Ringer
ROBERT RINGER is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and host of the highly acclaimed Liberty Education Interview Series, which features interviews with top political, economic, and social leaders. He has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business, The Tonight Show, Today, The Dennis Miller Show, Good Morning America, The Lars Larson Show, ABC Nightline, and The Charlie Rose Show, and has been the subject of feature articles in such major publications as Time, People, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Barron's, and The New York Times.
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