FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Equal Opportunity Judgment

I am as disappointed and angry about the revelation of John Edwards’ infidelity as the next democrat. I will make no excuses for him. I do, however, want to suggest that we stop and think about how and what we tend to judge so harshly.

We can reasonably assume that judgment of Senator Edwards in this circumstance is based on one of two considerations (or both). First the judgment can be based on moral grounds. In this case, not only is infidelity a violation of yours or my moral standards, but it is a direct contradiction of the Christian values that Senator Edwards, himself, professes to believe. Second, we can reasonably judge the senator’s choices to be unfaithful in his marriage, and his repeatedly choosing to lie to the public about it, from a perspective of logic. Quite simply, logic holds that if he is capable and willing to lie about this, we can expect that he will lie about other things. Bottom line: viewed through the lenses of reason and ethics, we can conclude that Senator Edwards cannot be trusted.

Beyond the academics of logic, I don’t know if he can be trusted or not. But I do know that to argue, at this point, that he is trustworthy is a battle not worth waging.

What I do believe is worth our time and consideration is a closer look at a glaring contradiction in our political world — a contradiction that shows up in both moral and logical perspectives. Now, if you are a supporter of the current administration, at this point, I am going to make the genuine request that you respond to what follows with reasonable consideration of the facts, not dogma or emotional loyalty. I honestly believe that this is a clear, and as verifiable, as any simple mathematical formula.

The contradiction is this: as a society, we are offended and even outraged at a man running for public office who is unfaithful to his wife, and who is willing to lie to us about it, but we have taken in stride men in public office (at the highest level of public office) who have blatantly lied to us about matters directly deciding the life or death fate of thousands and thousands of human beings. I will leave it for another time to argue that while infidelity, deception about infidelity and moral hypocrisy are wrong, these matters are neither illegal, nor life threatening. For the purposes of this article, I am offering up a far lesser request: that since judging is inevitable — in many cases it is necessary and appropriate for our self-protection — can we please come together in earnest effort to practice equal opportunity judgment?

The responsibility in this is ultimately not on the politicians who run for office; it is on us. We the people decide who represents us in government. What I am suggesting here is that we do the right thing and stand in appropriate judgment of our media, and of ourselves, that we be big enough to acknowledge the danger of the double standard, currently in play, and that if we are going to point and stare at the spec — or branch or tree trunk – in John Edwards’ eye, we step up to our responsibility to hold the Bush administration accountable for their sins of both morality and reason.

THOM RUTLEDGE is a psychotherapist in Nashville, Tennessee, and the author of Embracing Fear: How to Turn What Scares Us into Our Greatest Gift. For more information: www.thomrutledge.com

 

 

 

Your Ad Here
 

 

 

 

More articles by:
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
Ted Rall
Stop Letting Trump Distract You From Your Wants and Needs
Steve Klinger
The Cautionary Tale of Donald J. Trump
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Conflict Over the Future of the Planet
Cesar Chelala
Gideon Levy: A Voice of Sanity from Israel
Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
LEJ Rachell
The Baddest Black Power Artist You Never Heard Of
Lawrence Ware
All Hell Broke Out in Oklahoma
Franklin Lamb
Tehran’s Syria: Lebanon Colonization Project is Collapsing
Donny Swanson
Janus v. AFSCME: What’s It All About?
Will Podmore
Brexit and the Windrush Britons
Brian Saady
Boehner’s Marijuana Lobbying is Symptomatic of Special-Interest Problem
Julian Vigo
Google’s Delisting and Censorship of Information
Patrick Walker
Political Dynamite: Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party
Fred Gardner
Medical Board to MDs: Emphasize Dangers of Marijuana
Rob Seimetz
We Must Stand In Solidarity With Eric Reid
Missy Comley Beattie
Remembering Barbara Bush
Wim Laven
Teaching Peace in a Time of Hate
Thomas Knapp
Freedom is Winning in the Encryption Arms Race
Mir Alikhan
There Won’t be Peace in Afghanistan Until There’s Peace in Kashmir
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail