I received this email from a friend this morning. The 2008 Presidential Election will be over in nine months. Because of the urgent need to choose a leader who will respond to the climate crisis, I am sharing my response with BlueNC. First my friend's letter and then my response.
Letter from my friend:
Friends and family,
This is just me venting after seeing Charlie Rose’s interview with Al Gore:
How can a guy pose now as a wise veteran and critic of the system and call for reform and almost totally refuse to call individuals to account or call for the common sense, way-over-due policy changes that would advance the renewal of democratic engagement that he talks about? Does he advocate serious campaign finance reform? Not a word. How about breaking up media consolidation? Silence. He did say the internet needs to be kept free – duh… Was the Supreme Court decision right about the Florida vote count? He didn’t want to say. And he’s the guy calling for political courage.
Obama on Charlie Rose was also all vague value statements and no commitments to policy or position. Maybe they all took Lakoff much too seriously and figured that values and framing is all you have to do.
I really think that the political class has permanent grooves in its collective brain that make truth telling unthinkable. If they were reading it out loud, I don’t think their lips could move that way.
Edwards is at least taking strong, clear, and fairly progressive positions. But he keeps hitting my phony bone.
Kucinch somehow escaped the programming – but I do find too much ego in his recent speeches.
Bill Moyers and many other non-politicians show that truth can actually be spoken in enormously important and powerful ways. Are there ANY national politicians in Bill’s class. Hell, Al Gore can tell it like it is on climate change when he is not trying to talk about politics. His programming kicks in just
whenever the P word comes up. Is it just me? Tell the truth now. Am I being unfair or missing something?
And my response:
John Edwards is a friend of mine. What is common about my closest friends is that they are passionate about a cause -- their mission and their lives are indistinguishable. I am fortunate to count as friends Thomas Berry (the eco-theologian), Bill McDonough (the green architect), and you (though I know you less well). All of you share a deep passion for what you believe in. Your lives and missions inspire others.
I agree with you that John's positions are strong, clear and progressive. I must tell you that there is nothing phony about this man. At his core, John Edwards stands for the voiceless -- whether it's the woman floating her remaining possessions from a flooded home in the 9th Ward, or the uninsured three year old from Whiteville, or our young troops who are fighting a war
based on lies and deceit, or the non-human species and eco-systems upon which we all depend. John gives them voice.
John lost a child. He loved Wade dearly and losing his eldest son affected him deeply. Elizabeth is the love of his life. She lives with a terminal cancer diagnosis...and does so with heroic dignity. Imagine those realities in your own life...and imagine what it will be like to have a man, a couple, a family with
humility occupying the White House... What a change that would be...The only candidate I can think of during my lifetime that comes anywhere close to JE is Bobby Kennedy. I was only 10 when Bobby was shot, but I clearly remember the hope that he effervesced and the deep collective loss we felt when he died.
My own passion is to find ways for our species to co-exist with all others. Our current collision course with the natural world is suicidal and as a father of four, I can't live with that. John has articulated the most precise and progressive position on climate change and a new energy future of any candidate. This policy can work. It is the Solution that was missing when Gore laid out the Problem in "Inconvenient Truth." It will also
create "green collar" jobs, drastically reduce our dependence on Middle East Oil, and help restore our moral leadership in the world. Here is the framework:
www.johnedwards.com/issues/new-energy-economy/. Or find your issue onJohn's website: www.johnedwards.com. They are comprehensive, bold, and progressive.
Don't be distracted by the media noise and soundbites that aim to bring down John Edwards. The GOP would love to see him vanish. They read the polls that show him as the ONLY candidate who can beat them. He and Elizabeth need our help. They can win and we can help shape the future that we all know is possible for this once great country. We need to go out to Iowa and help him or go down to South Carolina or send in $10 or $100 and ask our friends to do likewise. We better do it now. This will all be decided in NINE MONTHS. We must nominate a candidate that can win the general election. In the general election, we need to focus on and win NC.
Do that and you will elect a great Democrat to be our next president.
Front-paged by Anglico. I normally don't push presidential politics to the front page, but this exchange between two leading North Carolina voices seemed worth sharing broadly.