In these discussions about electability, we all talk about who would be the best candidate against George W Bush. This is very important, given that every viable Democratic candidate would make a far better President than Bush does.
Unfortunately, we often ignore the question of who we really want to become President. Last week I spent a good deal of time thinking about this and looking into the candidates stands on various issues. I came to a conclusion.
This is not a prediction of who will win, we'll know more about that tomorrow. I make this endorsement without concern for whether Edwards would make the best candidate against Bush (I acually think Clark probably would, with Edwards 2nd). This is simply about who would do the best job once in office.
I want John Edwards to become President.
I've often described myself as an old-school New Deal Democrat who puts more emphasis on economic than social policy. I also espouse a muscular, liberal interventionist foreign policy. Of all the candidates, John Edwards comes closest to my heart on the issues that matter most. But there is more to this as well.
Edwards is the only candidate who talks about the ongoing Brazilification of our society, its division into what he calls Two Americas. I'm very concerned that this division will become permanent, and that it will harden our society and make it both more violent and less stable as those who find the traditional paths to a comfortable life no longer there. He not only talks about it, he has very detailed policy proposals spelling out the myriad ways he would make America's promise available to all.
Edwards would make the tax code more progressive. One of the realities of the last 20 years is that the burden of taxation has been moving off of corporations and the rich and onto the backs of the middle class. By repealing those tax cuts that benefit the only the wealthy and leaving the rest, Edwards would help move the tax burden back to where it once was.
Edwards would make health insurance available for all children and for those adults who are otherwise uninsurable. To me, the logic of insuring all children is inescapable. They have done nothing to deserve either wealthy parents or poor ones, and their access to healthcare shouldn't be dependent on lucking into the proper parents.
Edwards would rebuild our relationships with our other nations, expand our commitment to humanitarian aid abroad, and do more to disrupt our enemies in Afganistan and elsewhere; while still leaving our capacity to act intact. Bush has done much to damage our international standing, much of it completely unnecessary. Edwards would rebuid this standing, which is absolutely essential to getting allies to help us abroad and to keeping America from becoming a target in the first place. He would take them into consideration in a way that Bush has not, but Edwards would not, however, allow foreign governments to have a veto over our use of force.
Most of all, John Edwards has the intelligence and adaptability to react to situations as they develop. If the last few years have shown us anything, it is that we don't know shit about the future. Remeber all those pundits saying the 2000 election really didn't matter much at all?
John Edwards is a man who can react to new situations, can think on his feet, and can be trusted to make intelligent choices.
For all these reasons and for many more, I want John Edwards to become President.
Feel free to comment one way or the other, and please take a look at Edwards' policy proposals.