Thursday, February 8, 2007

“Two Americas” and two John Edwards

In his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech, Senator and then vice presidential nominee John Edwards spoke of how much work he and Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry needed to do in order to strengthen America.

Said Edwards, “The truth is, we still live in a country where there are two different Americas . . . one, for all of those people who have lived the American dream and don't have to worry, and another for most Americans, everybody else who struggle to make ends meet every single day.”

And true to his word, Edwards got to work.

He and his family recently moved into their 28,000 square-foot home in Orange County west of Chapel Hill in North Carolina. The home itself is worth over $4 million, and the 102 acres of land that the home sits on is valued at another $1.1 million.

This marks the first time in American political history that a candidate followed through on a campaign promise without getting elected.

“The Edwardses’ residential property will likely have the highest tax value in the country,” Orange County Tax Assessor John Smith told the Carolina Journal. Smith also thought that the Edwardses’ estate is probably the largest in the country.

Edwards’s crib is reported to have five bedrooms, six-and-a-half baths, a “Barn” that has its own set of living quarters, and is modestly equipped with a handball court, a basketball court, and an indoor pool. Oh, and it also has a four-story tower so Edwards can look down on “everybody else who struggle to make ends meet every single day.”

Edwards and his mansion (see the house here) stand in hypocritical contrast not only to his 2004 DNC speech but also to his 2008 presidential platform grounded in anti-poverty. In December, Edwards announced his bid for the Democratic nomination while standing in an impoverished and Katrina-wrecked home in New Orleans.

But Laurin Easthom, a Democrat on Chapel Hill’s town council, defended her Senator. “I see somebody who has come from a very humble background and with really hard work has gotten to the point where he is,” she said.

I have no problem with Easthom’s statement or Edwards’s estate. There’s nothing wrong with building a palace like Edwards’s if one has the means. It’s one of those “American success” stories. It’s what makes America beautiful and hopeful. President Bush used to own a Major League Baseball team. He’s loaded. And that’s fine.

But what isn’t fine is the Left’s say-one-thing-live-another lifestyle. How demeaning and insincere of Edwards to talk of “two Americas” and pose in New Orleans as a champion of the poor and oppressed and then to own a home that’s worth nearly $5 million.

“Well, I think we know which America he’s living in,” jabbed Jay Leno on the “Tonight Show.”

The Left has made an art of inconsistency and hypocrisy. It begins with well-intentioned words but falls apart in application.

Says the Left: “President Bush shouldn’t politicize the war in Iraq!” The next minute the Left is politicizing and commercializing the war on AIDS. A handful of corporations offered special “RED” products and promised to donate a portion of the sales to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. Those corporations made a profit off others pain. But at least we felt good buying those products.

Says the Left: “We need to save people dying from AIDS!” A noble cause, but, in the name of “choice,” they’re all for the abortion of over 47 million children in the United States since 1973 and the 50 million children who are aborted every year worldwide ( An AIDS epidemic? Sure. But how about an abortion epidemic – the leading cause of death worldwide (go here and here to compare the numbers).

Says the Left: “President Bush is ignoring our rights and liberties!” But the people on the Left have no problem telling us what foods we can and cannot eat; where we can and cannot smoke; what type of light bulbs we can and cannot use; what type of cars we should and should not drive, and what type of gasoline we should and should not use.

The Left wants to stand for life and freedom, but their actions don’t support their words. For the Left, there are two Americas: one where they say what we want to hear and one where they do the exact opposite.


  1. Trevor, your writing is fantastic. Extremely articulate, I won't lie- I was impressed. Using Edward’s communication as framework not only incorporated class requirements but was entertaining.

    You know our political standpoints are opposite, so I will do my best not to be too harsh.

    If I am correct, President Bush's wealth is apparently not a source of criticism for you because he does not claim to want to change the drastic gap between the wealthy and the poor. Yes? That in itself is problematic for me because this should be a concern for the President in my opinion. Do you want Edwards to donate more? How would you propose he change his actions and stop being so hypocritical? I realize this is not the main point of your blog, but I am still curious.

    Your comment about the RED AIDS campaign didn't make much sense to me. Are you arguing here that supporting such campaigns is only a Left cause & that it is wrong? Quoting your blog: "Those corporations made a profit off others pain." I don't believe the link is strong enough to use such harsh accusations. I thought it was the Right that enjoyed conglomeration and corporations so much.

    Also, regarding your comment about the Left telling us what to do, I couldn’t help but notice almost all of your examples related directly to the public good, not the private sphere in which the Right so often leaves me feeling alienated.

    Again, I am impressed and inspired. My next blog will be written with you in mind, I expect a good reply by the way.

    Finally, in my own Leftist defense, I believe one of my most personal difficulties is following through with my actions. We can't all be as virtuous as you my friend. Hehe, I'm joking, see you tomorrow.

  2. For such a large attack on the Left, I feel that you think there is absolutely no fault in the Right. Forgive me, but you say that the Left is trying to tell you what to do; lightbulbs, cars, etc., but the Right is trying to tell thousands upon thousands what to do with their own bodies. If you don't like it, why should the rest have to lie down and take it? Yes, I agree with you that Edwards is sending mixed signals and in that sense, no way gets my respect, but neither do any of the Right politicians who do the exact same thing day after day. It's a two way street my friend. And your comment on the Product(RED) for AIDS funding, way off. As someone that works for a company that sells such product, it's an incredible project that has given the chance to thousands to donate money that they never would have bothered to do before the product. The amount of lives being saved by it is astounding and shouldn't be bashed as a Left cause. It's an everyone cause. And before the product was released, did you donate money to the Global Fund? How much, how often? And where you truly aware of the crisis? If yes, good for you, however, there are thousands that don't know, don't pay attention and simply don't care; this product helps people help and shouldn't bashed. You think the companies selling it are making money off others pain, well the companies are making money anyway and not a whole lot of difference has been made in corporate profit, but lives are being saved everyday by a (RED) t-shirt, phone and Ipod; they're curing people's pain, what are you doing?