Wow! Did you hear the passion in John Edwards voice the other night at the Dem debate, as he railed against those evil corporate interests? I was about ready to march to the gas company with a pitchfork in my hand, weren't you? People seem to love wild expressions of unfocused emotion, don't they? Nothing gets the blood roiling faster than a good old auto da fe! Off with their heads!
But while populism has tremendous emotional appeal in this age of unfettered self expression, the sentiments behind it beg a few questions. For example:
1) Mr. Edwards, you mentioned a poor man who couldn't afford an operation for his cleft palate. You're a rich man - why didn't you just offer to pay it for him? For that matter, you could have paid for that poor girl's liver transplant too, no?
2) Mr. Edwards, you complain about corporate greed. Does that mean next time you win a malpractice case, you'll only take 5% of the settlement instead of 25%, which would leave the victims with more money?
3) Mr. Edwards, you complain about how CEOs of gas companies and insurance carriers make horrendous salaries. When you cripple the profit making potential of these companies, will you up for the raises the workers will no longer get out of your own pocket?
4) Mr. Edwards, you seem to strongly imply that government should regulate the internal operations of business. As I understand it, that's also what happened in Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and the Soviet Union and those seem to be thriving and successful economies today.
5) Mr. Edwards, you say you're for the "little man" and not the rich. Then why are you living in a 6,000 square foot house? Don't you know the number of poor people who could fit in your house, and why don't you offer to take some in?
I think I've finally figured out Edwards' game plan. He is continuously praising his parents and grandmother for the hard work and sacrifices and poverty they endured to make it easy for him, and rightly so. He seems to suggest that were it NOT for their hard work and sacrifice and poverty, he would not be where he is today. So what he REALLY wants is for the rest of US to be equally as poor and hard working and sacrificing as his parents were, so our children can have what he has today.And you know something? Were Edwards to get a hold of the presidency, that's exactly what would happen.
And THAT'S the Bottom Line.