Sunday, January 13, 2008

John Edwards' inspiring speech

I was scouring the internets today, trying to find something to cheer me up, when I came across this on the John Edwards site:
Sumter, South Carolina – In remarks today at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, John Edwards said that real change begins with leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and with the American people, not with politicians in Washington. Edwards attended the service with Rep. Leon Howard, head of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus, and the Rev. James Blassingame. Excerpts of Edwards’ remarks follow:

“I’d love to speak with you this morning, not just as a candidate for president, but also as a fellow southerner who has traveled from Seneca to Sumter and a lot of places in between. You know, much has changed since James and I left Seneca. When we were in Seneca, we weren’t allowed to go to school together. But as glory be to God, today we can worship together.

“And this may come as a surprise to some of you, coming from another presidential candidate, me, but as someone who grew up in the segregated South, I feel an enormous amount of pride when I see the success that Senator Barack Obama is having in this campaign.

“And some days, now I’d be less than honest if I didn’t say some days I wish he was having a little less success, but it gives me great pride to see the reception he has received. We have come a long way in the 54 years that I’ve been on this earth, but not far enough. We still have work to do. And the hopes that both Senator Obama and I have for this nation and this country that we love so much, they’re real hopes.

“I must say I was troubled recently to see a suggestion that real change came not through the Reverend Martin Luther King, but through a Washington politician. I fundamentally disagree with that. Those who believe that real change starts with Washington politicians have been in Washington too long and are living in a fairy tale.

“Real change has never started in Washington. Real change came from those who fought in the trenches -- those who shed their blood, sweat and tears, and those who suffered broken bones. Real change started in Selma. Real change started with Rosa Parks. Real change started with the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King and the brave men who sat down at a luncheon counter at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina. Real change started in churches just like this across America and across the South. And real change started not far from here in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

“We are not being true to ourselves or the heroes of Greensboro, Selma, Birmingham and Orangeburg if we do not continue this journey to bring about real change. And you can’t take a single step on this journey unless you stand on the truth. And let me say here, that what I say to you today, I say in front of all audiences, no matter black, white -- including audiences where there is not a single African American.

"The dream is strong and the dream still lives, but we still live in two different Americas. One America for those who are doing extraordinarily well and one for everybody else. We’ve still got two public school systems in America. One for wealthy, affluent suburban areas and one for everybody else. We’ve got two health care systems in America. One for those who can afford the best health care money can buy and one for everybody else. We’ve got two economies in this country. One for those who make millions and millions of dollars every year and one for those who are struggling just to get by and pay the bills.

“You know what I’m talking about. That’s what this election is about and we can do better than this. America can do better than this. We’re better than this as a people and we’re better than this as a nation. We want to live in a country where every single child has the same high quality public school education. We want to live in an America where everybody has health care through a universal health care system for every man, woman and child, not where the wealthy get good health care and everybody else struggles. We want to live in an America where 37 million people don’t wake up every day living in poverty, literally worried about feeding and clothing their children.

“What this election is about—it’s not about me and it’s not about any of the other candidates—what the election is about is building one America.”

Edwards is the real deal. I've been saying that I'll vote for whoever the dem nominee is, but now I'm really starting to hate the idea of voting for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Clinton will be nothing but more of the same, with a nod to social programs domestically but no move away from corporatocracy or imperialism abroad. She won't even commit to getting us the hell out of Iraq NOW. I fear Obama is nothing more than a rousing speaker who won't be able to get anything done (reminds me of Jimmy Carter).

Still, I fear that anyone who bucks the system--the system being imperial overstretch and a government of, by, and for the corporations--will either be eliminated (gulp) or rendered completely powerless. Think about Jimmy Carter again, who tried to pull the US meddlers out of several foreign countries and who did the best he could when our long-time tampering in Iran led to the hostage situation, but was undermined and eventually made into a laughingstock by Reagan and his backroom deals to get the presidency.

But Edwards says he'll shoulder on, fighting against the establishment candidates until it's over, no matter what. I sure hope so.

Godspeed, John Edwards.


FranIAm said...


Anonymous said...

Here, here!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

He's right, real change comes from the bottom up.

FranIAm said...

I really do think that Edwards has the best message. He is caught inbetween a Hillary/Obama dogfight for one thing and what may be worse...

A nation that has no interest in facing its real economic problems.

The country is worried about a recession but yet I heard that Citigroup is about to let another 20,000 people go.

Retailers cutting prices, lower interest rates and the like seem like pathetic - pardon the expression - acts of mental masturbation in reply.

If people do not have jobs or if they worry they will not have a job, spending will slow. If they are in a house that is "upside down" economically there is a whole other challenge.

The ugly financial 80's are about to look sweet in comparison to what we might meet.

vikkitikkitavi said...


Randal Graves said...

It really would be nice to have a president who isn't fellating corporates at every turn.

Hence, Edwards has no chance.
I love America.

dguzman said...

It's frustrating to see the corporate-controlled media ignore Edwards, but I guess it's not surprising, given his "fuck the corporations" message.

pissed in NYC said...

I hope Edwards stays in and despite the corporate owned media's attempt to silence him. He has said he would, and I believe him. The longer he remains, the more Obama and Clinton will be compelled to "borrow" his ideas and themes.

dguzman said...

PiNY--we can only hope. And we can hope he ends up a VP candidate, if not President.

Mauigirl said...

That's the important thing - that he keep pushing his message, and that he then supports whichever candidate wins the nomination (we need to be united). I'd be very happy if he ends up as the VP candidate. At least we know his priorities will still be in the picture.