There is a candidate or two I’d like to see as President, a couple I could “take or leave”, a few I could tolerate and one that scares the daylights out of me….John Edwards. In the Democratic “debate” of January 21st, Mr. Edwards took every opportunity to remind us that:

  1. He announced his candidacy for President from the Katrina ravaged back yard of a 9th ward home in New Orleans.
  2. Elimination of poverty is one of his three main goals.
  3. Universal health care for all Americans is another of three main goals.

Regarding point number 1. His announcement in New Orleans, in my opinion, was nothing more than a staged photo op. I mean, how much work did he actually do? How long was he there? In a town that has been indoctrinated to believe that you are not to think and do for yourself, but rather let the government think and do for you, he appealed to the urban poor, (probably our largest voting block) by calling America a nation of “haves” and “have nots”. I mean, here is a guy worth about $29.5 million telling ME about “haves” and “have nots”!

Regarding point number 2. Our poverty rate has run between 11% and 15% since 1966. After 42 years, trillions of dollars re-distributed in the “war on poverty” and no change in the poverty rate, isn’t it safe to assume that there will always be somewhere between 11% and 15% of the citizenry that just don’t care? Hasn’t this been true through all time? Isn’t it a simple statistical fact? Can we say “bell curve”? Shall we continue throwing good money after bad? Charity starts at home Mr. Edwards. Give half your wealth to charity like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates did and you’ll have my attention!

Regarding point number 3. Prior to government involvement, health care represented about 4% of our personal spending. Today health care is consuming 16% of our GDP and 20% of our personal spending. How’s THAT for progress? I don’t know how much more of it we can stand!

So here we have a guy, from humble beginnings, who became a multi-millionaire, not by creating wealth, but by capitalizing on the misfortune of some and the good fortune of others. Adding insult to injury, the night before announcing his candidacy, he sold his Georgetown home for $5.2 million then later built a 28,200 sq. ft. mansion in Chapel Hill, NC, the largest and most valuable residence in the county.

To add further insult to injury, here is a quote from his January 3rd Caucus speech:

I watched my grandmother, who I loved dearly, work year after year after year in the mills. And we lived in the same neighborhood. She would cook for us, leave the house, walk her way to the mill, work her shift, and come back home and take care of us again.

My grandfather, who was partially paralyzed, would go to work the graveyard shift in that mill and come back in the morning, when we’d have breakfast together.

My father, who’s here with me tonight, worked 36 years in the mills — hard, tedious work; hard, tedious work. Why did he do it? Why did he struggle and sacrifice? Why did your parents and grandparents struggle and sacrifice? They did it so that you could have a better life. My parents did it so that I could have a better life.

And we, all of us to whom the torch has been passed, we carry an enormous responsibility. And that responsibility transcends politics and transcends elections. It’s our responsibility to ensure that we leave America better than we found it; that we give our children a better life than we’ve had.

I fail to see the connection between Mr. Edwards’ hard-working, productive, self-sufficient elders and the demeaning, dependency inducing, wealth re-distributing programs promoted by their son/grandson. With all due respect to the elder Edwards’, if I were his Grandpa, I’d be furious!

Mr. Edwards has been elected to only one office as US Senator from North Carolina, where he quickly abandoned his constituents and began laying the groundwork for a Presidential bid. Rumor has it that, because of his abandonment, he was destined to lose his Senate seat after only one term, forcing John Kerry to take him on as his Vice-Presidential candidate to avoid the embarrassment of the lost seat. Maybe this explains why he couldn’t even deliver his home state for the Democrats in 2004 and his former running mate has endorsed Barack Obama.

I’m sorry, but I can only conclude that in Mr. Edwards, we have not a compassionate philanthropist, but rather a power-hungry hypocrite, promising the masses whatever they want, paid for by “taxing the rich”. How else can you justify a rich man running on a “tax the rich” platform?

The scary part is that because 69% (an easy super-majority) of the people pay less than 7% of the taxes, they have nothing to lose and everything to gain in a “tax the rich” candidate. Hold on to your wallet!

Chuck is self-employed in agri-business in Virginia. He can be contacted at chuckangier@gmail.com.

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