Monday, March 26, 2007

Ben Witherington on "The Ethics of Politics and Illness"

One of the most cynical and depressing aspects of partisan politics in America is our willingness to ascribe the worst possible motives to those we disagree with and/or oppose. To wit, I am particularly upset with those who so easily claim that John Edward's continuing his presidential campaign in the face of the resurgence of his wife's cancer is either:

a.) a sign that he simply doesn't care about her,

b.) evidence that he is overly ambitious, and will allow nothing to stop his vainglorious pursuit of the presidency, or, most likely,

c.) both.

I have long held that each marriage, to a certain extent, has its own set of rules, and can never properly be judged from the outside. While there are a few definite do's and a few definite don'ts, by and large each couple decides on their own what works for them. What works for Sami and I may not work for another couple, and what works for them may not work for us. But, ultimately we are in a covenant with God and each other, and those are the only parties that can sit in judgment on our union.

Ben Witherington just posted a very thoughtful exploration of the ethics, as far as he sees it, of the decision by Elizabeth and John Edwards not to allow her cancer to destroy his opportunity to seek the presidency. If you care at all about the subject, do yourself a favor and check it out. In it he said what I hoped to say on the subject, only better.

This post should not be taken as an endorsement of Edwards, though I like him a great deal. I'm still leaning toward Obama in the Democratic primary, unless Gore enters the race. But I think that Edwards should be allowed to campaign without idiots taking pot-shots at him because his wife has cancer.


Michael Westmoreland-White said...

I told Ben that it was a good post. I feel for John & Elizabeth, but admire their courage. (I still would like to see Kucinich's campaign take off, but I could seem myself voting for Edwards. I like him much better, now, than in 04. If he had run THIS campaign in '04 with all these bold, big ideas, I think he would have won both nomination and presidency.)

Sandalstraps said...

He was gaining momentum in '04, he just an out of time. I think that experience has helped him this time around. While I'm a big fan of Obama (I'm a sucker for a good writer!) I certainly wouldn't mind seeing Edwards get the nomination. In fact, an Edwards - Obama ticket has a lot of appeal.

crystal said...

I have to admit that Edward's decision to continue to run kind of creeps me out. But then I already disliked him, so maybe I just used this as further evidence of his unworthiness. Intellectually, I know I shouldn't judge his decision and that what he decided doesn't necessarily mean anything negative about him. But still ...