John Edwards: The Future Is Now

Almost four years ago The Agonist endorsed John Edwards for president. At the time there were four major reasons why we chose to endorse Edwards. We sought an open, drawn out primary, for obvious reasons. We believed the Edwards critique of ‘two Americas’ was not only accurate, but saw behind this analysis the intellect and character ready to make the changes America needed. That Edwards is a natural orator, inspiring us to believe in an America that many of us hope is not lost forever, was never far from our minds either. Edwards is unfailingly positive and yet, there is a sense that Edwards knows how to go for the jugular–a quality sorely missing in almost every other candidate, who, lost in their generalities and platitudes, call for consensus and common ground. As if . . .

But in the end it was his inspiring message, his example of a life well lived, from his humble beginnings to his successful present, that embodied our belief in America as an aspirational and hopeful society.

But that was then and the future is now.

In the last four years it is not so much that America has changed, but that the circumstances of life in America, our role in the world and our politics have deteriorated, drastically. A kernel of hope and faith in America still remains, but change, now, more so than then, is urgent. Add to these reasons those that Ian so lucidly outlines, and we believe, once again, that John Edwards is the candidate who will finally put an end to the plaintive mewling for, and cooing about, the need for bi-partisanship and consensus in our capital.

Today the middle class–the very foundation of America’s great wealth–disappears, gutted by Bush’s “Haves and Have Mores.” An out of control trade deficit–not to mention an inflationary monetary policy–sucks our treasury dry. And most tragically, a generation of Americans and Iraqis bleed to death in the forbidding deserts of Iraq.

It is time we pulled America into the future and the man to do this is John Edwards.

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Sean Paul Kelley

Traveler of the (real) Silk Road, scholar and historian, photographer and writer - founder of The Agonist.

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  • of the mainstream candidates the refusal to acknowledge the elephant in the room, 911 questions and the total gutting of American ideals might lead one to believe a lack of sincere concern for the human condition. Ya, people do say it’s just me.

    Is John, suck up to globalist organizations going to bring the steel mills back to the US? I think not. Restore the middle class? Horsemanure.

    Whatever “selectee” the globalists decide to foist upon the US rest assured your lifestyle will decend into thirdworldlyness at a rate you will find phenomenal.

  • that I am in a place that very many others find themselves, looking for the least odious candidate that sorta meets my criteria for someone who might do a good job. John Edwards is not the the answer to all our problems but I think I would prefer him to the other two.

    So I find myself doing what everyone else does, looking to vote for someone who might do some of what I consider good and not do too much evil and hopefully reverse some of the current admin’s excesses. I am doing the same thing farmers have done forever, hoping the sun will shine tomorrow so we can get the crops in.

    And so I choose to be hopeful because being otherwise is anathema to me. And if my lifestyle descends into a third world state then I will deal with that as best I may, but I will not descend into hopelessness.

    “I beseech you in the bowels of christ think it possible you may be mistaken.”

  • I was reading the NYT online and it had a feature where you can bring up candidates and a profile of their positions on issues and easily compare them. Cool little thing they made there. I compared Edwards, Obama, and Clinton.

    Edwards proposes a 16-month withdrawal plan from Iraq.
    Clinton will draw down some, but not all troops from Iraq.
    Edwards and Clinton have very similar ideas on the environment.
    His health care ideas look very similar to Clinton’s.

    Those are the three most important issues to me. They also look similar on immigration.

    Here’s the main difference I see between the cnadidates, and it has to do with putting their money where their mouth is. In other words: does Candidate X keep their word? It’s the basic measure of integrity.

    Edwards record tends to reflect what he says in his speeches. Hilllary’s does sometimes; and sometimes it does not.

    Obama’s pretty much does not. Obama has a terrible attendance record at major votes in his state, and although he claims to be a champion of veterans rights and is on the Veterans Affairs Committe, he has missed 19 out of 37 votes and has missed crucial votes because he was preparing a campaign speech.

    Obama is all personality and he is a 24/7 campaigner. He’s got rock-star status, and he’s got Oprah.

    So what does all that say about what kind of job he does as senator? Nothing – my point precisely. And when you check under the hood, it looks like he’s governing on two cylinders.

    People need to really understand this about Obama – the glitzy glare of his fantastic stage appearances is simply not matched by his job performance as Senator for Illinois. Those 19 out of 37 votes are gone: you can’t change the role-calls on them, you can’t plaster them over with a big white-teeth million-dollar smile.

    Clinton, in the final analysis, is untrustworthy. You really, at the end of the day, don’t know if she is going to keep her word or not. Too often, it has been “not”. She can’t be antiwar and pro-AIPAC. She can’t talk about timetables and then vote against them. Doesn’t work for me.

    Obama has rock-star status. Hillary has the big political machine and the money.

    Edwards is less prolific, and actually spends time working at his job doing what he promised voters. That makes him a better choice for me.

    Unfortunately, the nomination may turn on rock-star status and big money, in which case I will end up voting for a candidate I don’t want in order to avoid bringing on the Great Depression Redux combined with WWIII by failing to vote against the GOP.

    Once again, I will be out there voting against what I don’t want, because there was no possibility of voting for what I actually wanted.

    That’s not how democracy is supposed to work.

  • But Dodd’s too far behind to make a race of it. Of the three leading candidates, that leaves Edwards. Despite what I once dubbed a “disqualifying” gaffe regarding Iran, Edwards still represents more good things than I see in either Obama or Clinton, both of whom have sold out to AIPAC and the Lieberman crowd, which is to say, they’ve become back door Bushies.

    Edwards isn’t a back door Bushie. That’s why the MSM hates him, because Edwards represents real change in a populist direction, the kind of change that scares the shit out of America’s economic royalist rulers.

    I’m still not to the point where I would send money to a Democrat who aped the RNC nuke ’em slogan, “all options are on the table” concerning Iran. Not quite yet, but desperation will probably force me to push for Edwards rather than risk seeing another rabid Republican take over the government. America is anemic from these vampires; it needs time to recover, or it will descend into a death spiral. Grover Norquist wants that. Shall we do what Grover Norquist wants?

    John Edwards would make a good president, but only if he has the benefit of a Democratic congress.
    “Adapt or perish.” Murphy’s Law? Nope, Darwin’s Guarantee.

  • for similar sentiments.

    If nothing else, based on his running platform, at least we get to talk about these issues even if they are not truly going to be solved (by Edwards as President.) That is to say, having a discussion about corporate/lobby influence might start laying the groundwork for an eventual solution, instead of having another discussion about how brown people “took our jobs.”

    I think the next president is screwed no matter what they run on, the economic and social fallout from GWB x2 terms will be too great to provide much breathing space. But moving the political discussion in the direction of economic populism and the end of American imperialism for 2012 might be the very best we can get, so I’ll take it.

    The only other candidate I might consider against Edwards is Ron Paul. He’s nuts about a lot of things, but at least I know where he stands on most issues. And his desire to whack the Fed and end the imperial adventure mid-stroke is attractive, even if doomed. Again, just having a real discussion about the FED and our money supply is a step in the right direction IMHO.

    We have been cursed with living in interesting times friends, let us not give in to the demons of fear lightly.

  • have put up a great slate of candidates. The issues and platforms have been excellently laid out and reported on, if one is willing to look. Every candidate will bring the country in a direction that is needed.

    Obama’s strength is his ability to be vibrant and give vision to the country

    Edward’s strength is his unyielding commitment to working people, and the progressive values that help middle class families. I truly believe he would keep his eye on the ball.

    Hillary’s strength relates to her ability to understand and fight the Republican machinery that will remain entrenched in the system this time after eight years of the Bush Gulag. And no matter who wins the reality of this shadow government will work hard against the Democrat who will be President.

    I am confident in this process. The system will vet out the candidates and I would love to see a means for every Democrat presidential candidate to find a role in the next Democrat Presidency and Congress.

    I don’t buy at all the less odious arguments, and that kind of cynicism is what gets us George Bush’s in the first place.

    These are great people capable of great leadership.

  • is that the president is not a monarch and they influence policy much more than actually change it. GWB wanted to privatize Social Security very badly (in both senses of the word) and completely failed to do so. So Ron Paul might want to go back to an earlier America, but will people accept that? Likely not, but I don’t see people flooding the streets with shotguns over America electing to downscale its military or abolish the IRS. The point of Ron Paul IMHO is to start pushing it in that direction, no way can the guy throw away 100 years of policy in one term. But he can trigger a discussion of what is good and what is wastefully horrible in our current system.

    I would love to see an Edwards vs. Paul presidential election next year. Not going to happen, but the debates would be something else.

  • From Ron Paul:

    “The Civil War was a mistake.”

    Intimating that, We should have let the South have their slaves. He also opposes Civil rights on a property rights basis.

    Say that again??

    So I think there are a few other things he would roll back.

  • What do we do with those great steaming piles of dung in Congress that we voted for in 2006? The pledge was to get us out of Iraq. Didn’t happen–instead we got a bunch of corporate butt-kissers who seem to want to ask Bush if it’s okay to vote against something…

    Edwards won’t help the status quo. Not until Congress passes some lobbying reform (bwa-ha-ha-ha!).

  • Having said that, what I understand him to mean is that most other nations managed to get rid of slavery without a civil war.

    Now, I may not agree with this as a realistic position any more than I agree with many other positions that Paul has taken, but I don’t perceive him saying that the civil war was a mistake because “we should have let the South have their slaves” – he’s pointing out how other nations got rid of slavery. I actually thought it was an interesting enough point once I got past my initial reaction.

    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • But, apparently he is raising more money than any other Republican candidate (and FOX barred him from their debate?!?). That is fascinating. They can’t ignore this forever, despite the fact that it basically portends the complete breakup of the Republican Party.

    I don’t think he’s doing well because a bunch of people think Ron Paul is an electable candidate. This is a huge portion of the people who reflexively identify as “Republican” saying “I hate everything about the Republican Party leadership”. When FOX and the leadership ignore these people, it’s at their own peril. So please, let’s encourage them.

  • but as the recipient of a lot of american racism, i can’t honestly say i believe white americans slave owners would’ve ever given them up willingly or peacefully. sure, we probably could’ve just bought every slave’s freedom for less than the overall cost of the war and reconstruction, but that never happens. someone is always oppressed in some major way before a society gives up legal slavery, and the american economic tradition is to fight unto death before giving up “property.”

    and don’t kid yourself- slavery is alive and well here. and allowed to flourish, in some areas.

    anyway, i’m no expert in this period in history, i’m merely speaking of my impression of the hatred white people in america have and had for nonwhite americans. it’s really deep, a sort of subconsciousness that only the most disciplined can shed, and it’s very violent. our visual culture and corporate propaganda machine spend a lot of time, a great deal in fact, trying to convince people that 1) this isn’t so and 2) if it is true, racism and racist violence only happen to nonwhites who “deserve it.”

    the official gov’t narrative of gitmo is the most evil example of what i’m talking about in this decade.

  • DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) – Democrat Barack Obama surged to a four-point lead over John Edwards in Iowa, with Hillary Clinton fading to third just hours before the first presidential nominating contest, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Thursday.

    Obama and Edwards gained ground overnight in the tracking poll, and Clinton fell four points to third place — a finish that, if it held, would deal a dramatic setback to the one-time Democratic front-runner.

  • David Duke of this election cycle.

    All he has done, as some of the above writers have indicated is to tap the deep well of racism and hate among a distinct segment of people in this country. They are focused on one issue – hatred of blacks, hatred of mexicans, hatred of immigrants – and give money.

    When civil rights is discussed together with property rights as he does, it makes me sick.

  • Is Ron Paul intimating that or are you? Ron Paul has drawn support from some racists. I don’t think he is a racist.

    For those that can’t stand the thought of voting for anyone with a “R” beside their name, take another look at Mike Gravel.

    It’s no small wonder that the Democrats excluded him from most recent presidential debates.

    I did inhale.

  • Edwards is calling for a ten month withdrawal. Only Kucinich, Gravel, Dodd and Richardson propose similar or quicker withdrawals.

    Based on what Edwards has actually done for the poor and working class, he easily jumps to the front of my list, along with Dodd. That is a dream ticket certainly.

  • … that of the Dem front runners, Edwards is the best candidate. Hillary is too tied to corporations, beltway politics, and can’t stand for anything that the polls won’t have. Obama has near zero experience and sways almost as equally to Hillary with near the same rhetoric.

    Edwards was always the clear choice. He would have been a great VP and he’ll be a great President. He’s really being beat up by the media and the MSM for regurgitating this pretty boy-expensive haircut-hypocrite lawyer persona that really isn’t him. Go figure.

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