Monday, January 31, 2005

Who are you?

In the primaries, I supported John Edwards because he sounded like a president should sound - a defender of the poor and weak against the wealthy and powerful. Here, he still sounds like that:

Moral issues matter, Edwards says, but Democrats won't look moral by getting into a bidding war over how often they can invoke the name of God. Instead, Democrats should speak with conviction about an issue that has always animated them: the alleviation of poverty. "I think it is a moral issue, it's something we should be willing to fight about and stand up for," he says.
Those who counsel caution, he says, would let calculation push Democrats away from their historic commitments. "They think it's associated with some political label," he says, carefully avoiding the L-word himself. "They think that a lot of people who live in poverty don't vote and don't participate and so they don't think there's a lot of political capital there."
Edwards, who is planning to set up a center to study ways to alleviate poverty, is enough of a politician to insist that he wants to advocate not only on behalf of the destitute, but also for those just finding their footing on mobility's ladder. But he offers the unexpected claim that the very voters who have strayed from the Democrats would respond forcefully to the moral imperative of lifting up the poor.
"The people who love their guns and love their faith, they care about this," Edwards says. "There is a deep abiding feeling of moral responsibility people have about those who are doing everything right and are still having a hard time."