Edwards Evening News: Can't Touch This
by sirius, Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 07:01:31 PM EDT
Welcome to your Saturday night Edwards Evening News. Tonight we focus on 10 reasons why Edwards is the most progressive candidate, and why the other Democratic candidates can't touch this.
Can't Touch This
John Edwards was the first major presidential candidate to come out with a truly Universal Health Care plan. It was praised to the skies by many, and became so popular that seven months later, Hillary Clinton came out with the same plan. The difference is, John Edwards will fight for it. He will not rest until he sees it implemented. He will not compromise on the principle of health care for everyone. And on his first day in office, he will propose legislation that will take health care away from the president, the Congress, and all political appointees, if universal health care is not passed for all Americans in the first six months of his presidency.
John Edwards was the first presidential candidate, and may be the only presidential candidate to propose an agenda for ending poverty in the United States in the next 30 years. John has shown his commitment to this cause time and time again, whether it's through the poverty center that he started at the University of North Carolina, the work he has done to help workers organize and help raise the minimum wage, or the work that he did with Urban Ministries before he was ever in the Senate. John has made ending poverty the cause of his life, and will always remain committed to this work.
John Edwards has a serious plan to fight global warming. He was the first presidential candidate to commit to an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. He was the first presidential candidate to commit to running a carbon neutral campaign. He won the MoveOn Townhall on the climate crisis by a wide margin.
"Senator Edwards' plan demonstrates that he understands the magnitude of the challenge before us and the need for bold leadership to meet it," LCV President Gene Karpinski said.
John Edwards has committed to ending the war in Iraq and bringing all combat troops home within the first nine months of his presidency. He has repeatedly called on Congress to heed the mandate given them by the American people in the 2006 election and end the war, cutting off funding if necessary.
Hillary Clinton recently showed that she hasn't learned her lesson about trusting George Bush by voting yes on the Lieberman-Kyl amendment, which takes us one step closer to war with Iran. Obama didn't even show up for the vote. John Edwards stated clearly that he would have voted no on this amendment in the recent Democratic debate.
In an interview with Ezra Klein earlier this year, Edwards said this:
Number one, you have a radical leader, Ahmadinejad, who is politically unstable in his own country. The political elite have begun to leave him, the religious leaders have begun to leave him, the people aren't happy with him, for at least two reasons: one, they don't like his sort of bellicose rhetoric, and second, he was elected on a platform of economic reform and helping the poor and the middle class, and he hasn't done anything. In fact, while he was traveling, the leaders of the legislature sent him a letter saying, `when are you gonna pay attention to the economic problems of our country.' So, I think we have an opportunity here that we need to be taking advantage of.
First, America should be negotiating directly with Iran, which Bush won't do. Second, we need to get our European friends, not just the banking system, but the governments themselves, to help us do two things -- put a group, a system of carrots and sticks on the table. The carrots are, we'll make nuclear fuel available to you, we'll control the cycle, but you can use it for any civilian purpose. Second, an economic package, which I don't think has been seriously proposed up until now. Because there economy is already struggling, and it would be very attractive to them. And then on the flip side, the stick side, to say if you don't do that, there are going to be more serious economic sanctions than you've seen up until now. Now of course we need the Europeans for this, cause they're the ones with the economic relationship with Iran, but the whole purpose of this is number one to get an agreement. Number two, to isolate this radical leader so that the moderates and those within the country who want to see Iran succeed economically, can take advantage of it.
John Edwards is the first, and as far as I know the only, presidential candidate to have a plan to address the problems of rural America. Rural America comprises most of the land mass of most of this country, and should not be regarded as flyover country by the Democratic Party. Addressing the concerns of these voters will help to turn the map blue again.
"I support John Edwards because he's the first national candidate in years who really takes rural America seriously--and he's got a solid, bold plan to help turn things around."
-- Sen. John Land, Democratic Leader of the South Carolina State Senate
John Edwards stands with organized labor. He has repeatedly asserted that organized labor is the most important anti-poverty movement in American history. He has helped workers organize and walked picket lines. He has gained more union support than any other presidential candidate, with endorsements from four major unions representing over 2 million workers.
John Edwards has spoken out on fighting media consolidation, preserving net neutrality, and helping many diverse voices to be heard. He is strongly in favor of free speech and a free press.
Network television and commercial radio are now dominated by a few loud corporate voices, with little room for independent perspectives and local grassroots participation. Radical deregulation has removed critical public interest obligations from broadcasting, and while the Internet has the potential to be the most democratic medium in history, access remains divided by wealth and neighborhood.
John Edwards is committed to building One America where everyone has a chance to succeed. He believes that an open, democratic media is essential to enabling free expression, fair competition and the entrepreneurial drive of ordinary Americans.
John Edwards has a comprehensive agenda for overhauling No Child Left Behind, providing better compensation for teachers, and improving America's public education system. This plan has already been widely praised by educators.
As the product of public schools in a small rural town and the father of four children who attended public schools, John Edwards understands the importance of education. He believes every child should have the same chance to get a great education - a commitment that is at the core of his plan to build One America where everyone has a chance to succeed. But more than 50 years after Brown v. Board of Education, we still have two school systems that are separate and unequal. No longer legally separated by race, our children are sorted by economics, often with a racial or ethnic dimension. At the same time, our children are preparing for unprecedented global economic competition.
Unfortunately, Washington is letting down our children. George Bush's No Child Left Behind law is not working for schools, teachers and - most importantly - our children, and it needs to be radically overhauled. And Washington is simply not doing its part to invest in early childhood education, teachers, or helping struggling schools. Our students are falling behind in key subjects like math and science, good teachers are leaving the profession, and our graduates aren't as prepared for the global economy as their peers in other countries. Students in poor rural areas and major cities often don't have the same chances as other students, and an achievement gap that falls along economic and racial or ethnic lines undermines the promise of equality.
Today, John Edwards outlined his vision for excellent American schools, based on three principles:
Every child should be prepared to succeed when they show up in the classroom.
Every classroom should be led by an excellent teacher.
Every teacher should work in an outstanding school.
John Edwards has never taken a dime from a Washington lobbyist in his entire political career. He has rejected lobbyist money and called on other candidates to do the same. He has supported the need for mandatory public campaign financing for all elections since at least 2004, and now he has put his money where his mouth is by committing to public campaign financing for the primary season, even though it is not mandatory.
Real change starts with being honest -- the system in Washington is rigged and our government is broken. It's rigged by greedy corporate powers to protect corporate profits. It's rigged by the very wealthy to ensure they become even wealthier. At the end of the day, it's rigged by all those who benefit from the established order of things. For them, more of the same means more money and more power. They'll do anything they can to keep things just the way they are -- not for the country, but for themselves.
Politicians who care more about their careers than their constituents go along to get elected. They make easy promises to voters instead of challenging them to take responsibility for our country. And then they compromise even those promises to keep the lobbyists happy and the contributions coming.
Instead of serving the people and the nation, too many play the parlor game of Washington -- trading favors and campaign money, influencing votes and compromising legislation. It's a game that never ends, but every American knows -- it's time to end the game.
And it's time for the Democratic Party -- the party of the people -- to end it.
The choice for our party could not be more clear. We cannot replace a group of corporate Republicans with a group of corporate Democrats, just swapping the Washington insiders of one party for the Washington insiders of the other.
The American people deserve to know that their presidency is not for sale, the Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent, and lobbyist money can no longer influence policy in the House or the Senate.
It's time to end the game. It's time to tell the big corporations and the lobbyists who have been running things for too long that their time is over. It's time to challenge politicians to put the American people's interests ahead of their own calculated political interests, to look the lobbyists in the eye and just say no.
Today's Edwards diaries you may have missed:
Storming the Capitol Steps by TekBoss
John Edwards came to see me yesterday by itsmitch
Edwards getting positive reviews all around by Edwardsforprez
In Defense of John Edwards and Public Financing by priceman
My apologies if I have missed your diary.
Did you know that if you make a contribution to John Edwards for President by midnight on Sunday, September 30, you might be chosen to go to New Orleans with John Edwards and help in the rebuilding effort? Did you know that your contribution will be matched up to $250? That means that if you contribute $50, John Edwards will get $100. I'm trying to raise $500 for John by the end of the day on Sunday. Please help me reach my goal.
Tags: 2008 elections, Education, Edwards Evening News, Global Warming, Iran, Iraq, John Edwards, Lobbyists, Media, net neutrality, organized labor, Primaries, public campaign financing, Rural America, universal health care (all tags)