By Dave Johnson and James Boyce
A quick visit to John Edwards’s Presidential Campaign web site clearly shows what his passions are and what he wants to talk about. Not necessarily in order of his priority, but John Edwards wants to:
- End the war in Iraq.
Guarantee affordable health care to every American.
Fight global warming.
Eliminate poverty in America.
Revitalize rural America.
Restore America’s moral authority in the world.
Help solve the humanitarian crisis in Africa.
It’s almost too many critical issues and is more than enough to talk about right?
Well, this past week, we have seen clearly, that the Right Wing doesn’t want to talk about these issues. Let’s break them down briefly:
End the war in Iraq? No, the Right wants to continue the escalation in Iraq and potentially expand the conflict to Iran.
Fight global warming? No, the Right as best shown by Exxon-funded Media Research Center and their attacks on Laurie David and Sheryl Crow’s global warming concert tour insist on putting profit before morality. They know the science as well as anyone but the scientific facts conflict with the profits of their top donors, ergo, their denial program continues.
Guarantee affordable health care to every American? Absolutely not. The cost to corporate donors makes it a necessity to stop this in its tracks. Tens of millions spent fighting and lobbying against health care reform is money well spent by those wishing to block this from becomming a right of every American.
Eliminate poverty in America? No, the programs that would facilitate this, such as the raising of the minimum wage, conflict with the goals of the Right’s corporate base.
Revitalize rural America? Again, the programs that would facilitate this would cost large corporations money, no.
Restore America’s moral authority in the world? The Right sees this differently. They don’t mind torture, choosing war over peace and the death of civilians. It’s a fundamental difference of morality.
Help solve the humanitarian crisis in Africa? The Right asks: why bother?
So clearly, there is a conflict because the vast majority would BENEFIT from John Edward’s plans and actions (for starters, the 40,000,000 Americans without health care, their lives would greatly benefit.)
So how do they distract people from talking about these issues? The tobacco industry solved this problem nicely by portraying people who didn’t smoke as not cool. They couldn’t talk about their product honestly, so instead mock and make fun of the people who don’t use the product.
So how would you make fun of the son of a mill worker who rose up from poverty himself in rural South Carolina to run for President? How would you distract people from his message and his ideas?
Well, he has too big a house. This is the problem with Liberals, they’re not “like us,” they think they are better, riding in limo’s, drinking their chardonnay and lattes.
Recently, there was a concerted effort to circulate stories that John Edwards is so rich that he has just built a mansion that is the biggest house in the county where he lives in North Carolina. Can you imagine?
What a scum ball! He made enough money to build a big house and he built it. That story struck home with the people the Right wanted to reach. Did their tactic work? Absolutely. According to a Google search there are now over 796,000 web pages that reference the words ‘John’ ‘Edwards’ and ‘mansion’ and 13,800,000 that contain the words ‘John’ ‘Edwards’ ‘big’ and ‘house’.
Distract. Distract. Distract.
On April 15th, Presidential Candidates of both parties released their fundraising and expenditure documents and there is a wealth of information iavailable about the candidates, who is giving money and how they are spending their money.
Operatives from both parties trolled through the documents and what did they come up with from the Edwards documents?
A $400 haircut.
Perfect fodder for the machine because blue collar men are not going to like some pretty boy who goes to a spa and spends more on one hair cut than they do in a year. (And if the Right can make Edwards a “pretty boy,” maybe those same men will be distracted from realizing that if Edwards was elected, their jobs would come with better pay and benefits, and their kids would have cleaner water to fish in and a better future. Let’s talk hair cuts boys.)
The story moves up the food chain on the Right,. And, like the Gore energy bill story, it gets the stamp of validation from Fox News. Millions of Americans are exposed to something that simply doesn’t matter.
The story is heavily promoted by Fox News. The online Fox News story begins, “Looking pretty is costing John Edwards’ presidential campaign a lot of pennies.” The story adds that Edwards visits a salon that caters mostly to women. Double-whammy. Limousine Liberal AND a pretty-boy!
The story has spread rapidly. If you do a Google search for pages that contain the words ‘edwards’, ‘$400’ and ‘haircut’ there are already 187,000 web pages that contain those terms! (Testing this by looking at page 43 and then page 100 of the search results, every page cited was still directly about the purported John Edwards $400 haircut.) Similarly, a search for ‘John’ ‘Edwards’ ‘Breck’ and ‘girl’ yields 134,000 results.
What a ‘faggot’ as Ann Coulter would – did – say.
What a disgrace we say, that they try to distract us from talking about such important issues.
If you can, join us on our BlogTalkRadio show at noon eastern on Wednesday. We will be discussing this and how we can fight back. We will be taking calls and would love to hear from you.
One final point:
If you are a Barack supporter or a fan of Senator Clinton, or any other Democratic candidate, don’t smile at the furor around Senator Edwards and this issue.
Because be it Barack’s supposed radical Muslim childhood or Senator Clinton’s personal life, they’re coming for you next. The way to fight this is to back each other up — because that backs ALL OF US up.
Please join us as we talk about subjects like this this at Smoking Politics and on our “Smoking Politics Radio Show” on BlogTalkRadio at Noon eastern on Wednesday. We will be taking calls!