As should be clear to all of you by now, I’m supporting John Edwards for president. I’ve started a series at MyDD discussing the differences between him and the other candidates. Here’s Part I and II. And this is taken from my formal and oh-so-serious statement of support:
Why Edwards? Because he rejects neoliberalism. Because he preaches enlightened populism. Because he’s running to the left. Because he would fight the amorality of the Market with the morality of progressivism. Because he opposes the Global War on Terror. Because he’s getting better and bolder. Because he’s capable of outrage. Because he’s proud to be a progressive. Because he would win.
But one reason rises above all others: the stated and demonstrated rationale of his campaign is to fight inequality. The monstrous power held by the few at the expense of the many causes unnecessary hardship and agony. It hurts, it maims, it kills. It threatens what Thomas Frank calls the Middle Class Republic. It threatens our democracy and our freedom. And because power corrupts, because economic insecurity breeds fear and fear breeds militarism, because corporations have a vested interest in war and place profits above all else, the disproportionate power of the few threatens humankind.
Call it what you will–our class war, our bleeding wound, our dirty open secret–it’s the problem of our time, and John Edwards has chosen to spend his political life addressing it.
And if everyone from Hillary Clinton to Mike Huckabee now talks about our class divisions, it’s in part because Edwards began to do so at the national level in 2003, when it was a deeply unfashionable thing to do. It was on the advice of no consultant, at the suggestion of no poll that Edwards took it on himself in 2003 to speak out against inequality. His policy prescriptions have evolved in the last four years but the wound targeted by those prescriptions has stayed the same.
John Edwards is this century’s most prominent progressive populist, the candidate most likely to give more power to more people. This alone makes him worthy of the presidency.