Tuesday, July 13, 2004

when two equals one

You've heard it by now. The "Two Americas" theme espoused by Sen. Edwards in the Democratic primaries earlier this year. I won't go into the details of the contents of the speech--you can find the whole transcript in any number of places. However, I have a hard time swallowing what his mouth is saying because of the body from which the words originate.

I have no doubts that Sen. Edwards was not born into a privileged family. And I have fewer doubts that his current financial comfort is due to hard work, self-sacrifice and a keen understanding of his surroundings. But honestly, isn't his entire story, the "son-of-a-mill-worker-makes-it-big-and-does-family-proud"--isn't it all the perfect story to show America as the land of opportunity?

More compelling than his vocal implication that the government is responsible for keeping the "have-nots" stuck in their lot by not doing enough to get them moving up the economic ladder, Edwards' own life argues for the greatness of this country and it's government on the most fundamental level: that hard work, perseverence and good ol' American know-how will be rewarded, and sometimes that reward is quite handsome. Indeed, there really aren't two Americas out there, but rather just one: an America that protects and promotes your ability to make a better life for yourself and your family.

Sen. Edwards, of all people, should know that. He sees it every day when he looks in the mirror.


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