When John and Elizabeth lost their beloved son Wade, in 1996, they could have rolled up together in a ball, bemoaning their fate, giving up on themselves, on life and on the ideal that is America.
They did not.
When Kerry and Edwards took their run for the Presidency in 04, and perhaps had their hopes, and the hopes of our Nation perhaps stolen from them in Ohio, John might have then retired form public service for life, and return to his home to enjoy his millions.
He did not.
Instead, John refined his message, rolled up his sleeves and like the man he is, he went to work. The Poverty Center, the plight of the people of New Orleans, helped to define his great purpose, his true cause and his personal calling in life. He traveled the country; as we pushed against the media blackout, fighting his way through Iowa, New Hampshire, the slap that was Nevada, and South Carolina. By the time the others discovered there was still a problem in Louisiana, he was all ready there, rebuilding houses. The others pulled their heads out of the sand, realized the Nations health care system was in crises, some seven months after John Edwards had released his Universal Heath Care Plan, and then they came up with health care plans of their own. In kind of the way, that first there were the Beatles, and then there came the Monkees.
I cold go on and on here people, economic stimulus package, veteran’s issues, the wanton ignorance of our governments policies toward rural America, are all issues John Edwards brought to the forefront of his campaign. Issues that have sadly, not gone away with the suspension. No, the issues, the needs and the problems are still there, staring is in the face every single day.
So what are we to do about these issues? They have not gone away, but the campaign has, right? Our candidate is no longer there, so we’re doomed, right? The media, the pundits, the other candidates handed us a red raw deal, and now we are lost, and there is no hope to repair the hole that leaks the hopes and draws the tears from the least of us. Right?
Let the poor suffer, let the unemployed sit idle, throw some blankets to those vets under the bridge, just to keep them warm.
I can’t do that.
John is gone, and short of seeing him as a VP candidate, or playing a major roll in the coming Democratic Administration, he’s not coming back soon. Sorry, it’s a fact. I’m asking you, no, begging you, to dry up your tears, and go back to work. We’ve had a little break, and breaks are a good, and much needed thing. We’ve cried, we’ve grieved, and yes we’ve howled at the moon of misfortune. We’ve looked back, we’ve scratched our heads in puzzlement, and we’ve analyzed, argued, and agonized this chain of events beyond reason. And it’s time to stop our sobbing, and I’ll say it real clearly, it’s time to get off our asses and go to work.
I am convinced that if John were here, right now, he’d slap us all on the back of our collective heads, and say, in his sweet southern drawl, “What in the hell are you people doing? It’s been more than two weeks, and now it’s time to get something done!”
Many times, during this race that was one of the most amazing adventures of my life, John pounded it home that he and Elizabeth would be just fine if they did not win their bid for the White House. He told us it was the Nation and it’s great people that he was worried about. And I’m worried about our Nation, and it’s great people still, as I’m sure he is.
So now, I guess all is lost. We should leave our party, roll up into a ball, and watch our country fall into chaos and depression, as corporate elitist take the reigns of reason and ride us to the very gates of hell.
Sorry, I can’t do that. Really, honestly, I’ve tried, but I just can’t do it. The world hasn’t stopped turning. The country hasn’t stopped hurting. The problems have no plans to just go away. Apathy solves not one thing, and sitting around just makes you fat and lazy, and I’m still too young, full of life, and good looking to get fat and lazy.
The Edwards campaign, the people I’ve met along the way, the wonderful buddies of the boards here, and at other sites, have been my inspiration and my reason for getting up every morning, and tackling one issue, after another.
Now, I think it’s time for some tough love. John Edwards is not the Messiah. He is not the second coming. His hands are not the only hands of healing for our country. He is gone, for whatever reasons, and to sit and cry, and wring our hands and stipulate those reasons, feeds not one hungry homeless person, gets not one child health insurance, and solves not one problem. We can fill a bucket with our tears, or we can pick that same bucket, take it to the pile of woes that affect us all, and start the work. If you really believe in John Edwards, his message and his plan, it’s time to carry it out. If idol worship is your only concern, then by all means, you just sit there and cry.
House of Representatives, the Senate, state races, school board, city councils, dogcatcher, are all out there just waiting for you. Hell, pick one people, go ahead and pick two or three, even. There are lots, trust me, lots to choose from. Find a Progressive or two, a few true Edwards Democrats, and go to work. I want to know who’s running for Congress in your district. I want to know if you have a Progressive Governor, or a just another stuck in the mud pug. Can we beat anyone? Can we turn a red state blue, or a blue district a shade of true Progressive blue?
I can’t sit and cry any more. It’s not what a Progressive does, go ahead and look up the word, I’ll wait. I must move forward, as I’m sure John and his family is doing, right now. We are left here with two choices, wrap it all up, sell everything we have, and move to another country, or wade unbounded into this fight that still rages all around us. Make your choice now.
Are you going to do something, or are you just going to stand there and bleed?