Saturday, December 01, 2007

Edwards: "This is not class warfare. This is the truth."

In Vienna, Virginia yesterday John Edwards gave a speech at the winter DNC meeting that framed him as the fighter that the country needs to turn it in the right direction and to stand up proudly for American working people. Playing on the Reagan-era phrase that once pointed to a new day for progress in Eastern Europe, Edwards turned the message back toward home, stressing that there's a wall around Washington, D.C. that has been built by the powerful and rich that has stopped too much American progress for profits' sake and must be taken down.

There’s a wall around Washington and we need to take it down. The American people are on the outside. And on the other side, on the inside, are the powerful, the well-connected and the very wealthy. That wall didn’t build itself or appear overnight. For decades, politicians without convictions and powerful interests gathered their bricks and their stones and their mortar, and they went to work. They went to work to protect their interests, to block the voice of the American people, and to stop our country’s progress. They went to work to protect, defend, and maintain the status quo. link

Edwards stated that no one has worked harder on the wall than the insurance companies, drug companies, and HMOs, who have all contributed to building of the wall to assure that their profits will continue to soar while citizens struggle to continue to pay for healthcare.

While their profits rise, who gets sick? Who loses their house when their mother gets Alzheimer's [disease]? Who begs for cancer treatment for their children? Who loses their job and healthcare because it's cheaper overseas to run a factory without the burden of healthcare costs? The big insurance companies, drug companies, and HMOs..they want that wall up there forever. We're going to take it down by making universal healthcare available to every man, woman, and child in America. That's who we are. That's what we stand for.

This is a message that will surely carry over to more than just Democrats if John Edwards should become the Democratic party nominee in 2008. A recent ad sponsored by AARP's "Divided We Fail" campaign represents a collaboration of Hollywood's leading nonprofit organizations, the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) and the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF). They've joined the "Divided We Fail" national movement (led by AARP) to bring attention to the domestic issues that worry Americans most: health care and financial security:

The policy plans of each candidate, including John Edwards', can be seen and voted on at the Divided We Fail site.

A comment about the Edwards DNC winter meeting speech made by a citizen-supporter at shows how Edwards is clearly making his change-message more pointed and distinct than the hope/change-message of Senator Obama and how his character is coming more clearly into focus with speeches like this one:

He has hit upon the key distinction between him and either Hillary or Obama, who have been characterized by playing it safe, maintaining the status quo...already! Sure there are surface differences, but we are grown ups here.

John Edwards is showing himself to be The Boxer, Mr. Smith, Atticus and Spartacus, and David against Goliath...all rolled into one. But I should not stop there. He was also more like Martin Luther King than any politician that has come around in decades, including [Bill] Clinton...who lacked the selfless passion and discipline, although sharing some of the vision. Tonight's speech found John rising to new heights, fueled, it seemed, by a deeper understanding into why it is so important that he win, and not someone who will roll over or "incrementalize".
His love and sense of stewardship for future generations brands him the true grail king, if you will. The true champion of the people. and his related care and passion for the environment are a personal endorsement of the legend himself, Al Gore...who would certain play a key role in an Edwardian Renaissance.

May this speech be given wide distribution.
And may those on the fence go ahead and stand with John on this historic renaissance. link

You can see the DNC speech in its entirety at (it's about 27 minutes long)

Note: I am sorry that Senator Cliton was unable to give her speech at the DNC meeting due to the unfortunate circumstances in Rochester, N.H. yesterday. I'm personally glad to know that no one was hurt and commend the local police for their superb handling of the situation.