On "60 Minutes" last night John Edwards said:
First of all, there's not a single person in America that should vote for me because Elizabeth has cancer. Not a one. If you're considering doing it, don't do it. Do not vote for us because you feel some sympathy or compassion for us. That would be an enormous mistake. The vote for the presidency is far too important for any of those things to influence it.
You can watch the video and read the transcript here.
I agree. Let's instead focus on five reasons to vote for John Edwards that epitomize his candidacy.
First, take a moment and listen to his speech at the DNC Winter meeting. It'll remind you why you're a Democrat:
Five reasons to vote for John Edwards:
1. Restoring America's Moral Leadership in the World
America's leadership role in the world has grown out of our compassion and moral strength, as well as our unparalleled economic and military strength. We can be proud of our long history of using our strength to fight for the freedom of others, but our standing in the world has been badly tarnished. America can once again be looked up to and respected around the world. The first step is by immediately withdrawing 40,000-50,000 troops from Iraq, with the complete withdrawal of all combat troops from Iraq within 12-18 months -- allowing the Iraqis to assume greater responsibility for rebuilding their own country. It also means working to restore our legitimacy by leading on the great challenges before us like the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the genocide in Darfur, extreme poverty, and living up to our ideals in the fight against terrorism.
2. Guaranteeing Affordable, Quality Health Care for Every American
The 47 million uninsured Americans often do not get the care they need. Each year, about 18,000 die as a result. Despite the problems of the uninsured and unnecessarily low quality care, our health care system is the most expensive in the world and insurance premiums have grown faster than wages for almost 50 years. John Edwards believes we need to reform our health care system to provide truly universal coverage - not mere access to insurance - and get better care at lower cost.
3. Eliminating Poverty
Every day, 37 million Americans wake in poverty. Our response to that reality says everything about the character of America. John Edwards has called for a national goal of eliminating poverty within 30 years, with policies rooted in the core American values of opportunity for everyone and responsibility from everyone. We can reach that goal by creating and rewarding work, strengthening families, helping workers save and get ahead, transforming our schools, expanding access to college, breaking up areas of concentrated poverty, reaching overlooked rural areas, and expecting people to help themselves by working whenever they are able.
4. Strengthening America's Middle Class
The backbone of America is its middle class. But middle class families are struggling. Wages have fallen in recent years even as the economy has grown. At the same time, the costs of necessities like health care, child care, and education have grown. President Bush's tax policies have increased the share of the tax burden borne by middle-class workers. Our economic policies must reward work, help families save for the future, and fight the rising costs of middle-class life.
5. Leading the Fight against Global Warming and Our Addiction to Foreign Oil
Our nation's dependence on oil and other fossil fuels is contributing to global warming and jeopardizing our national security. To protect our future, John Edwards believes that Americans must be patriotic about something other than the war. We must act now by investing in clean, renewable energies like wind, solar, and biofuels to create a new energy economy, developing a new generation of efficient cars and trucks, and putting new energy-saving technologies to work in buildings, transportation, and industry.
He addresses all these issues in a speech entitled Transformational Change for America and the World, which I highly recommend you read. I think it demostrates the type of bold leadership this country so desperately needs.
Now that I've given you five reasons to vote for John Edwards, can you spare $5 to donate to the John Edwards campaign? I've set up a grassroots fundraising page with the ambitious goal of raising $5,000 and have already donated $50 of my own.
On March 31st the 1st quarter funding drive for all candidates will be over and the results reported shortly thereafter. Let's show the country that the Edwards campaign has broad support. It's not the dollar amount that is important, but rather the number of people willing to contribute.
Join those of us who believe that tomorrow begins today.