Few people have the accomplishments of Eric Greitens. Following his days as a Rhodes scholar at the University of Oxford, Eric Greitens became a Navy SEAL. While serving his country, he accumulated the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and at least 15 other medals and military awards and was named Naval Reserve Officer of the Year. He also earned a black belt in Taekwondo, was awarded numerous medals in boxing and ran a sub-three-hour marathon. And if that were not enough, he did extensive humanitarian work in Rwanda, Cambodia, Albania, Croatia and Bolivia. Of course, it would be an oversight not to mention the several books he has written and published. But upon leaving the SEALS, Greitens was only getting started. He ran for the governorship of Missouri in 2017 and won. While in office, he: drove unemployment to its lowest rate in 18 years; reduced government expense by hundreds of millions without a reduction in payroll; built a majority female cabinet; removed 33,000 state regulations that were creating more red tape; lowered taxes (he set the corporate business tax at 4% in case you are wondering); improved veteran’s rights; took on public safety reform; overhauled foster care; and much more. It’s no wonder that Forbes Magazine named him one of the 50 greatest leaders in the world! And then his world caved in. He had an affair with his hairdresser in 2015 (he was married with two children at the time) and without going into all the details, he was indicted in early February of 2018 on felony privacy invasion charges. Within two months he was also charged with felony tampering with donor lists. By that May, all charges were dropped. But the damage was done. The Missouri House and Senate had collected enough signatures to begin impeachment proceedings. Reading the “tea leaves,” Greitens resigned in total disgrace on June 1, 2018. And by early 2020, his marriage unraveled as well.
So what is the moral of the story? Well, we see it as a mistake to discount where your own learning can come from. While he made some serious mistakes, one might not want to reject Greitens out-of-hand. Afterall, he is not wrong about opponents sometimes being teachers.
Born exactly 47 years ago this month, one suspects that Mr. Greitens knows first-hand how opponents might well be teachers – even if the lessons are tough! However, believe it or not, there is the possibility that the final chapter on Eric Greitens has not been written yet. He is, as of March 2021, running for the US Senate!!