Sunday, August 10, 2008

An Affair to Forget

I am undecided in who I want to vote for in the Presidential election, and I may not vote at all. I find both McCain and Obama to be equally unappealing candidates. Therefore, it is no surprise that I have no interest in John Edwards, either. Despite this, I think the public is making too big a deal about the Edwards affair. At the end of the day, the affair is a personal matter between Edwards, his wife and “the other woman”.

I think that Americans hold political figures to moral standards that are irrelevant. The fact that Edwards had an affair in no way affects his job potential job performance as a political leader. Think about it this way: if you selected a heart surgeon who you thought was the best in the business to operate on a loved one, would you be concerned if you found out on the eve of the surgery that the surgeon had an extra-marital affair? I don’t see what relevance such a discovery could possibly have. I am not suggesting that John Edwards would be a good leader, I am just suggesting that those who supported him before the affair should logically still support him now.

My point is that we should be selecting a president who has strength, not a President that lacks weakness. These are not the same thing.

During the Civil War, most of the Generals that Lincoln selected to lead the Union Army early on were the types of people that had few weaknesses, but they also had few strengths. Contrast this with the Generals on the Confederate side, who had more than their share of personal flaws but they were great strategists and leaders in battle. General Grant was the first Union general that was worth his salt. Lincoln’s advisors often pointed out that Grant had a drinking problem. Lincoln’s response was rumored to have been something along the lines of “If I knew his brand of whiskey, I would send some bottles to my other generals.” Even though that response was sarcastic, it shows a lot of wisdom on Lincoln’s part.