Over at mydd-
I talk about the great opportunity Barack Obama has to connect with the American People and move the Democratic Party towards setting good moral standards.
We all make mistakes.We're all human.Everyone deserves a second chance.
That said. The Democratic Party needs to distinguish itself as an institution and fight for the survival of a strong marital institution.
While candidates like John Edwards take nearly every opportunity to promote their "family values", and make their private situations public for their political benefit, there is a disturbing pattern developing in our culture where everyone refuses to set moral standards, and hold people accountable.
A look at all the "elite opinion" basically states:
the infidelity was wrong and unfortunately is a part of our society, but the "real" shame is how Edwards lied to the American People, and how he let down so many young people.
I agree with their second point, but we must not allow the idea of men and women being faithful in their marriage to become an "unattainable" standard.
This will take good men like Obama to take the unpleasant but necessary step of standing up for the America we want to live in, and define it in positive terms. Obama should set standards as a candidate for President.
Real Change can mean:
1. a faithful honest husband, Americans can trust (change from Bill Clinton)
2. an honest political leader who will make good decisions (change from George Bush)
Mind you, setting a standard doesn't mean anyone who breaks it will receive something equivalent to the death penalty.
But it does mean that we establish a tradition that we work hard to build on and ultimately pass on to our children better than we found it.
It also means that we as a people both through our government and through various methods in civil society establish right and wrong, and define moral values.
Some of them are easy like being against murder,rape, stealing, etc.; while others of them like marital infidelity are becoming increasingly difficult to attack because of the sheer propensity of "good people" to do bad things.
Obama should throw John Edwards "under the bus", and for good reason.
He can reiterate that John is his friend.That he still wishes to work with him in the future.
But that for John Edwards to lie to the American People while running for President was wrong.He should say that having sexual relations with another woman is wrong. He should say that this has lead to many problems for John that he will have to deal with.
This was not a lie about some distant past that was "over" and done with. This was "real-time" dishonesty that we as Americans should not accept.
Of course, the potential damage to the party and the country should be factored in, but the real damage is to the idea, that you can have an affair, supposedly tell your wife, lie about it, and not establish bad examples for our young people.
Today, I went to a baseball tournament for 19 year boys/young men.
I thought to myself that Edwards behavior had increased the cynicism about politicians especially since his campaign was built on a moral foundation. But also that he is helping to institutionalize bad behavior, and now we are lowering the standards in our country.
Edwards could have kept this completely quiet had he decided to work in the private sector and not seek to be an official representative of the U.S. as POTUS.
Once he decided to run for President, Edwards should have had the courage to be honest with the American People, tell how he failed, how he is committed to changing in the future. Furthermore, his wife should have insisted on telling 100% of the truth, all the time.
Obama should say these painful things, and say that he will be trying to establish a Presidency, a Politics, and a cultural change that values Marriage.
The message we need to say without hesistation to our young men and women growing up:
take Marriage seriously, be a honest person, take responsibility for your mistakes and that's more than saying,"I take full responsibility".
making the word "liberal" safe again!