Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Today I voted in a primary election for the first time in my life. I voted for John Edwards. Yup, that's the John Edwards who isn't running for President any longer.

I decided for once in my life there was actually someone I WANTED to vote for, not because he was the best of a bad bunch but because I actually found someone who I thought just might make a real difference. So by god, I voted for him.

Now many of you out there in OD land will say electoral politics are a farce. Others of you who think it does matter this year will say I shouldn't have wasted my vote. Some of you will point out Edwards is a southern white man with lots of money.

I don't care.

If you actually look at what John Edwards has been saying during the course of this campaign you can't help but notice, if you are willing to admit it, that he was head and shoulders above Obama or Clinton on every issue. He wasn't afraid of "class war," he relished it. He wasn't jabbering about bringing us all together, he was about taking on the rich and the corporate powers.

Lots of you will say it was just talk. I don't think so. Many will point out he didn't vote in the Senate like he talks now. You're right. I think the guy actually grew and I don't hold that against him. I think he grew over the years and I think he grew in the time since he first stood in the 9th Ward of New Orleans and said he was running for President. I think he grew with each working person, each poor person, each sick person, and each angry person he met along the way. I think he grew with every picket line he walked and with every workplace he entered. I think he grew to the point that he actually understood class, that he understood poverty, and a lot more. I think he actually wanted to do something about it all.

I think the corporate owned media (and their friends in the Board Rooms across America) recognized that even as many so called progressives didn't. I think it scared them. They gave him no coverage and they wrote him off. Couldn't have a guy like that as a serious possibility for President. As George Bush I would say, "Wouldn't be prudent."

Examine the records of Obama and Clinton and you can't reach any conclusion but they are both run of the mill Democrats. If Obama wasn't black and Clinton wasn't a woman this primary battle wouldn't have been any more exciting then if it had pitted Chris Dodd against Joe Biden.

Now I am not here to downplay the significance of having a black president or a woman president. And either is certainly a hell of an improvement over Bush and anything the Republicans have to offer.

But Obama and Clinton when you get past the hype, past the drama, past the excitement offer Democratic Party solutions, generally safe middle ground solutions. They do not offer a qualitative change (no matter how many times they say the word).

John Edwards offered something else again...and few were listening.

It's too bad.

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