Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Why I Support John Edwards

January 20, 2008

The Honorable John E. Edwards
410 Market Street
Suite 400
Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Dear Senator Edwards:

It was good meeting with you yesterday and discussing my father’s legacy. On the day when the nation will honor my father, I wanted to follow up with a personal note.

There has been, and will continue to be, a lot of back and forth in the political arena over my father’s legacy. It is a commentary on the breadth and depth of his impact that so many people want to claim his legacy. I am concerned that we do not blur the lines and obscure the truth about what he stood for: speaking up for justice for those who have no voice.

I appreciate that on the major issues of health care, the environment, and the economy, you have framed the issues for what they are - a struggle for justice. And, you have almost single-handedly made poverty an issue in this election.

You know as well as anyone that the 37 million people living in poverty have no voice in our system. They don’t have lobbyists in Washington and they don’t get to go to lunch with members of Congress. Speaking up for them is not politically convenient. But, it is the right thing to do.

I am disturbed by how little attention the topic of economic justice has received during this campaign. I want to challenge all candidates to follow your lead, and speak up loudly and forcefully on the issue of economic justice in America.

From our conversation yesterday, I know this is personal for you. I know you know what it means to come from nothing. I know you know what it means to get the opportunities you need to build a better life. And, I know you know that injustice is alive and well in America, because millions of people will never get the same opportunities you had.

I believe that now, more than ever, we need a leader who wakes up every morning with the knowledge of that injustice in the forefront of their minds, and who knows that when we commit ourselves to a cause as a nation, we can make major strides in our own lifetimes. My father was not driven by an illusory vision of a perfect society. He was driven by the certain knowledge that when people of good faith and strong principles commit to making things better, we can change hearts, we can change minds, and we can change lives.

So, I urge you: keep going. Ignore the pundits, who think this is a horserace, not a fight for justice. My dad was a fighter. As a friend and a believer in my father’s words that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, I say to you: keep going. Keep fighting. My father would be proud.


Martin L. King, III


Blogger Barbara said...

Thanks so much for sharing this! I'm still undecided but this made me perk up in my consideration of Edwards.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Amy Harden said...

I like him. I really didn't want to like him, but I do. The feminist in me wants Clinton. The equal opportunity fighter in me wants Obama. But the woman that I am, happens to look at Edwards and see a man I would LOVE to have heading this country. He's a gentleman. He's got a sense of humor. He speaks without looking like a pompous asshole. I like him.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Trev Diesel said...

The cynic in me says he doesn't have a chance, but I know very, very well that he's got my vote as the one with the best answers and greatest hope for change. The standing up against lobbyists thing alone would mark a new era in Washington.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. I am a political junkie. But I have been burned out this year and stopped following the race about the time of the Nevada caucuses and the vicious race-baiting by one campaign and the foolish response by another.

I had not taken Edwards seriously. I believe he is sincere and not poll-driven. I wish he had a chance. It sounds like he has specific proposals that are well thought through. It is refreshing to see something other than cold, cynical, calculated Rove-like tactics or incredibly inspiring oratory without a lot of substance.

If Edwards had a chance, I'd vote for him. Heck, I might even volunteer for him. But as it is, I have to vote against the Republican-lite candidate.
- Antonio

1:40 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

For what it's worth, Tommy, I may not support Edwards' politics, but he seems like a sincere and caring man, so I'm sorry to see that he's dropped out of the race.

11:37 PM  

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