Thursday, September 22, 2005

John Edwards - from the old mold

In the 2004 election, I actively supported John Edwards. I thought he was the smartest guy in the bunch. (Actually I'd vote for John Edwards just to get Elizabeth Edwards in the White House. She's even smarter than him). That is a fundamental issue for me. Some people want a president they can have a beer with, but I want a president (or any elected leader) that can think through all the issues and govern from a position of intellectual fortitude. Draw your own conclusions about this theory from recent history...

I was devastated last November when Bush was re-elected (and started Page 132 to ease the pain). I wasn't the only one. Since the last election the Democratic Party has gone through some serious soul searching. One thing that has occurred over and over in the Democratic blogosphere is that Dems need to simplify the message and reassure voters the key and fundamental principles we stand for. We can't go with a laundry list of programs/policies (even if people agree with them), we need to go with a simple unified message about WHO we are, not just WHAT we'll do. (I'm in favor of JIF - Justice, Independence, Freedom)

Therefore it was with an extremely heavy heart that turned off my iPod after listening to Edwards' latest speech (MP3) given in front of the Center for American Progress.

He was extremely passionate about tackling poverty that was highlighted by the New Orleans/Katrina disaster. He had all kinds of plans from strengthening education, drug treatment, personal responsibility, affordable housing, rewarding work not wealth etc. Yet, after the 40 min speech was over, I was left thinking - WHY?

I know that alleviating poverty is inherently important. I know that as a nation and as a Christian I should be actively seeking ways to help others out of poverty. See I'm a member of the choir. That is what is so frustrating. I should have been saying, "Amen brother! Preach it!" not "Why?"

The Democratic Party is a superior party for governing (go ahead challenge me!) the country, but if we can't get new leaders (or old ones to break from their old patterns), we'll never get elected to do the governing.

John Edwards' speech qualifies him for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, but certainly not the leader of the free world.