Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Editorial: On the Passing of Elizabeth Edwards

EDITORIAL -- After a six-year battle with breast cancer, Elizabeth Edwards, the estranged wife of former Senator John Edwards (D-NC), died today at the age of 61. Elizabeth Edwards was a successful attorney and a voice that championed causes of women and children. She authored two noteworthy books dealing with the issues of cancer and children in poverty.

Edwards was an active political supporter during her husband’s unsuccessful runs for Vice President and then President. She was an outspoken supporter of equal rights, including gay marriage. She often talked openly in the media about upholding the rights of gays and lesbians to marry, although her stance fell into conflict with her husband’s political platform.

Throughout her heroic struggle to improve the quality of life for America’s children, increase awareness of cancer, manage her husband's political career and raise a family, Edwards found herself dealing with the humiliating scandal of her husband’s widely publicized infidelity and the loss of their 16-year-old son, Wade, who perished in an automobile accident.

This publication is satirical, but the truth of the matter is that some things just aren’t funny. One must decide the amount of bad taste one can live with as a humorist. As Robert C. Elliott wrote on the subject, “In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement.” And while we gave Don Meredith's death a touch of satire, his was a life full of jests and humor. We think he would've gotten the joke, particularly because Howard Cossell was the butt of it. Elizabeth Edwards didn't seem to have the benefit of the same lightness of being. For that reason, we see no productive reason to poke fun at the passing of a brave American, especially as we remember so many other brave Americans lost to us on this day in 1941 at Pearl Harbor.

We at The Bennington Vale Evening Transcript determined early on that this site would be unique to others in the same genre. So, from time to time, with your patience and indulgence, we may post a serious editorial or two, as a commitment to quality and integrity. We didn’t want to let Mrs. Edwards’ passing go unspoken here, but also found nothing worth laughing about in the loss.

Our thoughts go out to Elizabeth Edwards’ friends and loved ones. They also go out to all those who have lost someone close this year, even if we never read about you in the news. Unless, of course, you're lamenting the death of a serial killer or a terrorist or something. They deserved it, and you should sack up and stop crying about it.