Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

November 13, 2012

Why are we so fascinated?

VALDOSTA — When Gen. David Petraeus, director of the Central Intelligence Agency and highly decorated four star general, resigned his position on Nov.9, citing an extramarital affair, the news created a ripple of fascination across the country.

Why are people so mesmerized by scandalous affairs? How is it that Petraeus’ affair has replaced the investigation over the attack in Benghazi, the presidential election, and the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on front pages and news sites across the country?

Petraeus did not break any laws, and although the FBI’s involvement, investigation and the timing of the release of its findings is rather suspect, the affair itself mirrors numerous such events since the beginning of time. Older, powerful man and young, attractive female. Countless novels and movie scripts have been written around this theme.

Former Pres. Bill Clinton’s affair with an intern, late Pres. John F. Kennedy’s infamous dalliances with various starlets, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s child out of wedlock, Sen. John Edwards' child out of wedlock, former Gov. Mark Sanford’s affair, and the list could go on for pages.

And yet Kennedy’s affairs were not news until decades after his death, and similar affairs from Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt all the way back to Pres. Thomas Jefferson were fairly well known at the time and scarcely raised an eyebrow. And those were supposed to be the days of stricter morals and behavior. These men were ultimately judged on the merits of their accomplishments, not their character flaws.

And so may it be with Petraeus. One of the most highly respected military leaders of all time, one of the most dedicated public servants, one of the most accomplished members of the intelligence community, Petraeus’ career doesn’t merit being known solely for this misjudgement.

But first, America’s attention needs to get back to issues that affect everyone, such as the looming financial cliff, the billions needed for Sandy recovery, and the fate of our healthcare system.

1
Text Only
What We Think
  • If I were mayor

    Each year, the City of Valdosta holds an essay contest, “If I Were Mayor,” with students in the area writing their ideas about what they would do as the head of the city.

    April 16, 2014

  • The real lessons of a mock drill

    Valdosta High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions held a powerful mock demonstration Monday morning on the school’s campus.

    April 14, 2014

  • Kudos to VPD

    Followed by a stellar report on Sunday about the drop in the crime rate in the City of Valdosta, city police officers prove their worth once again by arresting a dangerous fugitive in our community.

    April 13, 2014

  • It just plain stinks

    After every rain event, the pungent smell of sewage can be detected around the rivers and streams of south Georgia, and Florida residents brace for more to float their way.

    April 13, 2014

  • Pennsylvania school stabbings: Why?

    The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, April 10:

    April 11, 2014

  • European bans on emails unlikely in America

    Several European countries are banning work emails to employees before and after normal working hours, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., in an effort to curb the perceived abuse of employees by corporations.

    April 11, 2014

  • Strength of character

    It was an unusual friendship — a tiny 8-year old girl with long blonde hair and the 6’10” Michigan State basketball player.

    April 10, 2014

  • Daly’s return a boost for Valdosta

    Flashy, colorful and always a hit with the fans for his long drives and humble demeanor, John Daly’s return to Kinderlou Forest and the South Georgia Classic is a boon for Valdosta.

    April 9, 2014

  • Too many pinwheels

    April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, with numerous volunteers assisting the Child Advocacy Center in placing pinwheels on the lawn of the Valdosta City Hall. Each pinwheel represents one child that was a victim of abuse in 2013. Volunteers placed 887 pinwheels in remembrance.

    April 8, 2014

  • Take some kid time this week

    Spring break returns this week for many South Georgia schools. Both Valdosta and Lowndes County school systems are out through the week for the traditional spring break.

    April 6, 2014

Top News
Poll

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results