We are trying to construct a more inclusive society. We are going to make a country in which no one is left out. -Franklin D. Roosevelt
And then — and then, finally, if you’re one of the millions of Americans who have yet to cast your vote in this democratic process, beginning on February 5th and moving beyond, your voice will be heard and we will be there with you every single step of the way.
Join us in this movement. Join in this campaign. Let’s make America what it’s capable of being.
God bless you all and thank you for your support and thank you for being here and thank you for your voice.
John Edwards – January 27, 2008
John Edwards is asking that everyone’s voice be heard. Isn’t that part of this Democracy? Letting all voices be heard? We may not always like what they have to say, but they have a right to speak. The current problem we face is that the system allows those with the means to drown out those who do not. 99% of the people are being shouted down by the top 1%. How can we let this continue?
JOHN EDWARDS: Thank you all very much.
I want to join Senator Clinton and President Clinton in congratulating Senator Obama.
Now, the three of us move on to February 5th…
… where millions of Americans will cast their vote and help shape the future of this party and help shape the future of America.
Our campaign from the very beginning has been about one central thing and that is to give voice to millions of Americans who have absolutely no voice in this democracy, to give voice…
… to give voice to people like the woman I met in Kansas City a couple of years ago, who told me the story of working full-time and not being able to pay both her heating bill and her rent and having to come home every night in the winter and dress her children in all of their clothes, in their coats, put them under blankets and put them in bed together so they could stay warm.
… you are worried, worried because you’ve lost your job and you’re worried sick about finding a new job, your voice will be heard in this campaign.
If you’re one of 37 million Americans who wake up every single day literally worried about feeding and clothing your children and living in poverty, your voice will be heard in America and it will be heard in this campaign and we will speak for you and we will fight for you.
And if you’re one of the forgotten middle class, people who are working and struggling just to pay their bills, literally worried about every single day, we will give you voice in this campaign.
And last, if you are one of the extraordinary men and women who have served this country patriotically and worn the uniform of the United States of America and you’re not getting the health care that you deserve and you need or if you’re one of 200,000 veterans who live in this country, who, every night, go to sleep under bridges or in shelters or on grates, as long as we are alive and breathing, your voice will be heard in this campaign and it will be heard in America.
Your voice will be heard, but only, only if John Edwards stays in this race. And because of the virtual media brown out, we have to speak for John Edwards and let everyone know his presence is essential to the process. We may have to fight to be heard, we may have to write letters, pledge to vote for John, volunteer and call people and canvass to be heard, but we have to speak out and use our voice for John. It’s that simple.
I sincerely believe that many of the issues that Obama and Clinton are focusing on would not have the same time in the spotlight as they do now (and no, I am not implying that Obama and Clinton don’t care about these issues). Edwards won the debate heard round the world and it really was the reason for Edwards’ surge in the middle of the week, people saw something that they’d been longing for, someone who cares about what they want in a new President. This is about Americans and their needs not the needs of our politicians. The bickering will not get any of the things that are badly needed in this country. It will get us a nominee, but it won’t help Democrats rally the party around the most important issues to them. We have to be the party of ideas now (Well, I think we always have been).[youtube]OlGlQrqP7PE[/youtube]
This is why John needs to stay in this race, he has to remain as the voice of reason and as the conscience of the party. And I know that this is not news for any of the steady Edwards supporters, we’re in it until John says he’s no longer going to fight. We fight for him until he says that his fight is over.
I want to include some excerpts from the letter Martin Luther King III wrote to John and I know we’ve posted it, but King makes the argument for why I still support Edwards. Edwards is the voice of the voiceless and he is pushing the issue of poverty and economic injustice to be heard and recognized as a real threat to our Democracy.
“I am disturbed by how little attention the topic of economic justice has received during this campaign,” wrote King. “I want to challenge all candidates to follow your lead, and speak up loudly and forcefully on the issue of economic justice in America.”From our conversation yesterday, I know this is personal for you. I know you know what it means to come from nothing. I know you know what it means to get the opportunities you need to build a better life. And, I know you know that injustice is alive and well in America, because millions of people will never get the same opportunities you had.
“I believe that now, more than ever, we need a leader who wakes up every morning with the knowledge of that injustice in the forefront of their minds, and who knows that when we commit ourselves to a cause as a nation, we can make major strides in our own lifetimes.”
The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967.
Can you believe that 41 years later our Country still faces an abundance of poverty? We have the money to fight useless wars but not the money to feed and care for those who need our help. How can we let this stand? Is this not a moral issue? How can we call ourselves the leaders of the free world when 47 million of our people have no health care? How?
“I think our voices together are more powerful than our voices alone.”
“Today, too many Americans are separated from the opportunities of our country because of where they live,”
“This is our time now. It falls to use to redeem our democracy, reclaim our government and relight the promise of America for our children.”
“I have learned there are much more important things in life than winning elections at the cost of selling your soul.”
“I don’t believe open government means popular answers in public and honest candor in private.”
I’m extremely proud of this diary that I wrote at The Daily Kos, John Edwards says, “There is nothing we can’t do if we do it together.” and I am going to include some of it here.
Democrats must take stands and must show how their interests are not about making the The Democratic Party the only party, but making the Democratic Party, the Party of change, of hope and of convictions, that puts people before profits and that works for it’s people, not against them. These stands don’t just benefit Democrats either, it is in the best interest of every American, regardless of ethnicity, religion or gender. And that’s why we have to fight to take the Government back by showing Republicans that we have OPINIONS, those are not bad things. I’d much rather lose by having strong opinions than lose by having luke warm stands that can’t be offensive to anyone, because you know what? That doesn’t excite people, it doesn’t get them to vote and it doesn’t show them how the Government can work in their favor.
“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.
“That wall around Washington, it protects a system that’s rigged and guess who struggles as a result? Every single day, working men and women see that wall when they have to split their bills into two piles pay-now and pay-later; when they watch the factory door shut for the last time; when they see the disappointment on their son or daughter’s face when there’s no money to pay for college. Every single day they see that wall when they have to use the emergency room as a doctor’s office for their son because they can’t afford to pay for health care. This is not okay. That wall has to come down.
“That’s why America needs a fighter, Democrats. We need one to break down that wall so that we can see Our AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â€imagine Our AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â€and build one America.
“This is bigger than politics. Bigger than any candidate or political party. Because the truth is that it’s not just Republicans who built this wall. Democrats helped too. Too many politicians from both parties are choosing self-preservation over principle, compromise over convictions.
“You have a choice in this election. You have to decide what kind of person you want as your next president. Do you want someone who is going to pretend that wall around Washington isn’t there, or defend the people who helped build it? Or do you want someone who is going to lead with conviction and tell you the truth, and have a little backbone? Do you want someone who is going to hope that the people who spent millions of dollars and decades building that wall, and have billions more invested in keeping it up, are going to be willing to compromise, to take it down voluntarily? Or do you want someone who is going to stand up to those people and fight for your interests, when the chips are down, when your backs are against the wall, every single day?
“We have a choice in this election. We can keep trying to shout over that wall. We can keep trying to knock out a chink here and there, to punch little holes in it and hope our voices get through. We can settle for baby steps, half-measures and incremental change, and try to inch our way over that wall and toward a better future. Or we can be bold and knock it down. …
“This is going to be the fight of our lives. I know because I’ve spent my whole life fighting the powerful on behalf of hard-working people, and I can tell you this: they are not going to give up their power easily. But I can also tell you this: if you fight them Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and you are right Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you can win.
The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
John Edwards has pushed issues of poverty – homelessness, hunger, lack of health insurance, lack of worker rights, the decimation of America’s trade union movement – back into the forefront of the American political debate. Even if Edwards fails in his quest for the presidential nomination, his contribution has been extraordinary. So, how about the candidate making a second job promise: John Edwards ought to be declared Labour Secretary-designate. It would piss off corporate America to no end, but it would be a brave choice and would give working Americans a powerful reason to go to the polls come Election Day. In such a role, Edwards could end up being as powerful a voice for reform as was FDR’s labour secretary Frances Perkins during the New Deal years.
We’re a long way from November, but I’d love to see a Democratic ticket with not just strong presidential and vice-presidential candidates, but Anderson and Edwards also in the wings. That would be a slate seriously worth voting for.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the first 25 days of this quarter, the campaign has raised more online than the whole 4th quarter – the vast majority of which will be doubled by federal matching funds.
Do you want to help keep John fighting? Donate to his campaign!