If you want to know why I’m going to vote for John Edwards instead of choosing Tweedledee (Clinton) or Tweedledum (Obama), this is all you really need:
HENDERSON, NEV. — John Edwards ripped Barack Obama for praising the way Ronald Reagan brought about change when he was President of the United States.
â€œWhen you think about what Ronald Reagan did to the American people, to the middle class to the working people,â€ said Edwards.
â€œHe was openly â€“ openly â€“ intolerant of unions and the right to organize. He openly fought against the union and the organized labor movement in this country. He openly did extraordinary damage to the middle class and working people, created a tax structure that favored the very wealthiest Americans and caused the middle class and working people to struggle every single day. The destruction of the environment, you know, eliminating regulation of companies that were polluting and doing extraordinary damage to the environment.â€
â€œI can promise you this: this president will never use Ronald Reagan as an example for change.â€
To put it even more bluntly: Ronald Reagan was an evil, senile little shit who regularly trampled on everything that had been accomplished over the fifty years preceding him to make this country a more humane, freer place to live. He very consciously used racism to organize his base. He stood by while thousands of gay men dropped like flies, not even daring to speak the name of the disease that killed them. He showed outright contempt for the Constitution, engaging in covert wars and smuggling drugs and guns across the globe. He favored the rights of corporations and the wealthy over those of citizens and the poor. We are poorer and less free because of his Presidency, and it is a sign of just how weak-willed, how utterly treasonous to the notion of progressive politics the establishment of the Democratic Party is that their two front-runners can compose odes to the memory of the Reagan Administration without anyone so much as turning a hair.
George W. Bush is Ronald Reagan without the charm or the charisma. For anyone who feels nostalgic about Reagan’s time in office, don’t; you already have him. You have the religious fundamentalism, the militarism, the contempt for the lives of working people, the utter disconnect with reality. That’s what Ronald Reagan was. We need something different. The candidates keep blathering on about some vaguely defined “change” that’s needed, but by bringing out the ghost of the man who is primarily responsible for the state of our modern political realities, they show their commitment to shoveling the same old shit on top of us. In many ways, Edwards isn’t an ideal candidate, but at least he knows where the problems began.