Skip to comments.Democrats in 2014: The Party of John Edwards
Posted on 01/04/2014 3:00:09 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
In his inaugural address Wednesday, incoming New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tried to establish an intellectual pedigree for his focus on economic inequality. He invoked Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Al Smith, Frances Perkins, Fiorello La Guardia, Jacob Riis, David Dinkins, Mario Cuomo, and Harry Belafonte. It reminded me of when Democrats, eager to prove their national-security bona fides, tell audiences they hail from the party of Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy. As if there wasnt some other Democrat after Kennedy who dabbled at war and peace, some guy from Texas.
De Blasios speech was a bit like that. He left out the politician who more than any other kindled the Democrats renewed interest in economic inequality because that politician has been airbrushed from Democratic Party history. His name is John Edwards.
Edwards, of course, was not the first national politician to decry the gap between rich and poor. As Garance Franke-Ruta noted last September, de Blasios "two cities" theme echoes Mario Cuomos 1984 Democratic convention keynote and, almost a century before that, William Jennings Bryan's legendary "Cross of Gold" speech. But after Cuomo, the balance of power inside the Democratic Party shifted toward New Democratic politicians like Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Evan Bayh, and Chuck Robb and centrist strategists like Mark Penn and Bruce Reed, who generally avoided the language of class and instead focused on proving that Democrats could foster economic growth.
It was Edwards, during his 2004 presidential run, who returned the focus to inequality by flipping Clintonism on its head. In his 1992 campaign, Clinton had talked a lot about rewarding work. Democrats, he insisted, would help people who played by the rulesfor instance, via an expanded earned income tax credit for the working poorbut they would stop coddling welfare recipients....
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
Wow...great catch. Frightening, however.
“William Jennings Bryan’s legendary “Cross of Gold” speech.”
Wasn’t there a bit more to that, beyond just income inequality, or whatever?
And John Edwards has proved himself an idiot. I’m willing even to admit that Bill DeBlasio might think he cares about this stuff, but Edwards? No freaking way. That was ENTIRELY a gimmick on his part.
Purely a gimmick, it does not even rise to the level of schtick.
Todays dems are a party of racism and idolatry (Gaea worhsip). All of the democrat heroes of yesteryear would be Republicans in today’s world.
That’s what the “Cross of Gold” speech was about.
Somebody here turned me on to a very interesting film (on youtube) about that speech and whether the “Wizard of Oz” is a parable about the gold/silver money thing.
Unlike the movie, in the book Dorothy has silver shoes, not ruby ones. And, well, I don’t know, it was FASCINATING, but a wee bit over my head.
It was the kind of thing that my reaction was: let me find a smart person who disagrees with this, and hear the other side.
But it gave me pause, as so much does these days. The problems seem to pre-date Marx, if you get my drift.
You can probably search “wizard of oz/cross of gold” or something like that to find it on youtube.
And as I preview I see I used that old phrase “turned me on”, I guess I’ll always be an old hippie from 1st Ave, NYC.
There ARE Two Americas.....ones that PAY TAXES and the ones that DON’T....the Makers and the TAKERS!!
John Edwards...”life of public service”....yuck yuck! Public self-service would be more appropriate.
But that’s true of all these populist rich guys. Power is all, and nothing is better for people like him than a population that is totally dependent on the government, and has lost both the personal initiative and the external economic conditions that would make it possible for them to improve their own lives.
The same goes for Wilhelm-De Blasio, who is obsessed with power, has identified black politicians as the group that can give him that power (because they control an incredibly unified and corrupt voting block), and even spent his swearing-in attacking “the rich” and cultivating black grievances to keep his power base revved up. It’s all about power, and there’s nothing like populism to get an ignorant populace to hand over the keys.
I believe Gore Vidal wrote various essays on the Wizard of Oz book. I forget what his point of view was but it might be interesting to find it.
William Jennings Bryan was a left-wing liberal by today’s standards. Try telling that to people who only remember his character from “Inherit the Wind,” about the Scopes Trial!
I’m all for equality,so which politician who is promoting this snake oil will be the first to cut their salary to 20k a year?
Ellen Brown is slightly to the left of center politically but that doesn’t really matter for the purpose of understanding the history and theory of money, her book is the best shot there is.