Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Edwards Story

I'm always amazed at the ability of some people to see themselves as knowing what's "right" for everyone else.

Today, there's been a lot of that judgmental pap threading its way through (mostly Republican) blogs. The same sort of people who write letters to the editor telling women (not men) they shouldn't seek public office if they have small children at home (even where Dad has volunteered to take on the primary child care role) are out in force on the blogs today telling John Edwards that a "real man" would quit his campaign and go home to "there,there" his wife all day while she lives like she is dying.

Others are flogging Edwards for holding a news conference to discuss his wife's health portraying him as a candidate desperate for press coverage ... a narcissist looking for the spotlight.

Read some of the 86 comments on this post for a taste of what I'm talking about. Nice contrast is this post on The Ward View.

Who here doesn't know that the Edwards faced a choice when she got the diagnosis ... put the story out there their way or wait for the news to leak (probably on some blog using an unverified, "reliable source" ... oh, wait ... that already happened this morning). When you're running for president, as we've learned, nothing is private. So, the Edwards chose the better of the Hobson's choice they were facing ... look like they were hiding something while info oozed out or do a show and tell and get criticized for doing that.

Frankly, if I were Elizabeth Edwards modeling the behavior I'd want my children to learn from, I wouldn't go home to die and ask my husband to come hold my hand while I was doing it either. Elizabeth has chosen to live while she may be dying rather than to die while she is still living. A strong, positive message for her kids, who I am sure will receive all of the love and support that their parents can give them in this difficult time.

Now we didn't hear all these sanctimonious people telling Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis to pack it up and go home to be with her husband, ride her horses and die when she announced the recurrence of her breast cancer did we? Nope. It was "keep her in your prayers." "As she did in informing constituents of her diagnosis and treatment throughout the past 16 months, Davis will serve as a role model and educator for other women facing the challenge of ongoing breast cancer."

Not one pundit I could find lambasted Davis for not putting her husband first and going home to spend time with him, her children and her grandchildren while she is facing the same kind of prognosis that Edwards is. In fact, after Davis was first diagnosed with cancer, folks were downright cranky that someone was suggesting that Davis might be vulnerable to a primary because of her fragile "health."

So, what's that about? Partisan perspectives. Why Scarlett ....

The lesson here ... be true to yourself. Others will try to make you into something that you are not. Stay authentically you. There really isn't a choice. Ultimately, folks will "see" who you are and what you are made of. If you're running a scam, it will become clear. If you are not, that will become clear, too.

May Elizabeth and John Edwards continue to look forward with optimism and make the life choices that work best for them. May their family be rewarded with years of joy and success in achieving their life goals. May they find peace and love between the difficult moments and the tears.

May all of the "carpers" and "know betters" go home to their own lives (if they have them) and make their own life choices.