Wednesday, October 06, 2004
John Edwards Channels Jimmy Carter
Both Vice-Presidential candidates did well in last night's debate. I give the edge to the Vice-President only because I believe his performance effectively arrested the momentum Kerry-Edwards gained from the Bush-Kerry Debate #1. If I were defining goals prior to the debate, I would be happy with this result. I was shocked at how often Edwards took on the negative, doom-and-gloom persona of Jimmy Carter--especially in his closing statement. I don't know what country he is living in, but even a cursory reality check will tell you that everything can't possible be as bad as he makes it out to be. He makes the mistake of running down literally every acomplishment of the American people over the last four years in an attempt to give President Bush a black eye; furthermore he does it all with a smug, naivete that implies there is some magic button that can be pushed that will resolve all worldly problems. Guess what? There is no magic button that can be pushed that will give everyone healthcare, brilliant children, high paying jobs and secure retirement. The system, and the individuals in it, has to create all the wealth necessary to pay for whatever we as a nation decide we will fund cooperatively. There is no secret Kerry-Edwards mojo that will change the simple economic reality that in our society, each citizen must generate the wealth required to fund their own basic family needs. We can, as a society, work to pool our resources to help others in particular need or to solve large, commonly-shared problems (such as defense); but we can never provide cradle-to-grave entitlements for every citizen. Bush gets this. That's why he is the adult in the race, while Kerry is just an immature panderer.