A friend of mine sent me a link to Rielle Hunter’s GQ interview, and I wound up being more fascinated by the comments than I was by the interview itself. I mean,
“Hunter is definitely a bad person and I don’t know if I would fully consider her human.”
I always knew that American society is pretty batshit when it comes to philandering politicians, but not fully human? What could be more human than adultery? Read your Bible, fool. Or better yet, beat yourself to death with it, and spare us your stupidity.
Do I think it’s awful to cheat on your cancer-stricken wife? Why yes, actually, I do. Do I think it’s shocking or surprising? Not exactly. Face it: people cheat. They’ll cheat in spite of cancer, or because of it. They’ll cheat for no reason at all.
Not a second goes by without someone’s heart being crudely shattered. It doesn’t matter if you practice monogamy or not. You will still get hurt. You will get mauled. We all do, at one point or another. The entire political landscape of the United States of America would be a less terrifying place if people could just learn to expect this this sort of thing comes with the territory.
The one time I was seriously lied to, so far, I ended up dragging myself to an HIV-testing clinic. It wasn’t a day for grand philosophizing. I was terrified. Did I hold a grudge though? Not exactly. Not then, and not now. Probably because I believed that what happened did not happen due to malice.
Do I believe that Rielle Hunter and John Edwards have some sort of cosmic drippy love thing going? I don’t know. Maybe. None of my business, really. I do find it odd that people feel as though Hunter had no right to speak to the media. Are you kidding me? With all of those books out there? All of the interviews? All the talking heads? She was damn right to tell her side of the story, especially considering the fact that she is now a parent. Because, and I really wish I didn’t have to point this out to any thinking adult – there are always multiple sides to any such debacle.
People who say things like, “and her and John’s daughter will have to live with the humiliation of it” are the same people who perpetuate the humiliation. I honestly wish I could smack them. You want to talk about how sick people are? Look in the mirror.
I think that Hunter is being perceptive when she points out that Edwards was not a real politician. He wasn’t smooth enough. I think that for people like him, going out and having this type of affair, or even falling in love with another woman, it’s an expression of a need to be elsewhere. Of course, a bunch of people got hurt in the process, and by that, I do not mean the voters (anyone who keeps going on about how “hurt” they were by the Edwards revelation without having any direct relationship with the family or the campaign just needs to shut up – you are not hurt, this is not your pain, stop trying to appropriate it). Because that’s what happens. People get hurt. Children get hurt. Cancer patients and loyal wives like Elizabeth Edwards get hurt. And there is no end in sight.
But the American public always has to go and make things worse. Because people are never hurt enough. There’s a curious emotional sadism in our public discourse, and it comes out very sharply when the famous get caught in affairs. It’s like, everyone scrambles to illustrate how much better they are at a time like that. Even though, according to your Jesus Himself, you are not.
What did Jesus say? Even if you so much as look at another woman, it’s as if you’ve already had her. So all of those American Christians who worship at churches that look like big concrete shoeboxes, who pray to keep making those mortgage payments, who have fish stickers on the back of their cars – they’re no better and no worse than Edwards or Hunter, not really. At least according to their own paradoxical religion.
I think the best PR move for Rielle Hunter would have been rending her clothes and pouring ashes on her head. It’s curious that she did no such thing. She says she was in love. She says she is in love. She’s unrepentant, and by doing that, she invites more scorn, because Americans want the big weepy apology, and they get furious when they are denied their political emo-porn. Rielle Hunter has serious balls, I’ll give her that.
This may not be a groovy story about free and amazing love that GQ is trying to sell, but it’s a real story, with consequences. We want everything to be wrapped up in a pretty bow, but it never is.