POLITICAL GENUINENESS

Good grief. Is this the best the media barons can offer in the way of political coverage?

Good grief. Is this the best the media barons can offer in the way of political coverage?

The “this” is the recent fad of jumping on presidential candidate John Edwards as a phony. Are his policies phony? No – even critics acknowledge that he has put forth an honest proposal to provide health care for every American, including saying forthrightly that he would pay for it with tax hikes on the richest Americans. He also speaks compellingly about solutions to poverty and how to restore the middle class.

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Well, yes, snipe the pundits, but Edwards lives in a big house – he’s not poor, not a working stiff… he’s rich. Apparently, you can’t really care about America’s downtrodden unless you’ve personally sworn a vow of poverty. This is what passes for deep political analysis these days.

Never mind that Edwards learned about poverty the hard way, having grown up in it. And never mind that he rose out of personal deprivation not by kissing corporate butt, but by battling some of the country’s biggest corporations on behalf of the poor and the middle class.

Edwards is no less sincere than other politicians of privilege who have indeed fought for the less fortunate. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Robert F. Kennedy, for example, are proof that it’s possible for real political leaders to rise above their patrician upbringing and serve the greater good. But, today, they would be branded phonies, too.

The same snipers now assailing Edwards are the ones who ignored the glaring phoniness of George W, cheerfully labeling him an amiable “regular guy” who lived on a ranch. Never mind that “Cowboy George” really was an oilman who only bought his ranchette to run for president, didn’t even own any cattle, and was the candidate of corporate lobbyists and the wealthy elite. The real Bush did us great harm, while the real Edwards could do us great good. Pay attention to the reality.

“In politics, we’ve got some great pretenders,”
The New York Times, June 13, 2007
“And Now, the Authentic Candidate,”
For Your Information, June 13, 2007

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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