Sunday, April 22, 2007

Despite criticisms, Edwards still sets a higher standard

Here's what we know:

John Edward's campaign recently paid for two $400 haircuts, as well as $250 at an Iowa spa, and $225 from an upscale New Hampshire boutique.

Here's what we're told to believe:

John Edwards is the supreme embodiment of a Washington Hypocrite--indulging himself on lavish personal treats while publicly preaching a policy of helping the middle class, eliminating poverty, and providing universal healthcare for the uninsured.


Instead of rushing to one side or the other on this topic, I would encourage everyone to consider not only Mr. Edward's recent expenditures, but the merit of his politics and the sincerity of his message.

To those who claim that Edward's personal (as in the kind of things that I know we all buy but don't tell anyone else about) spending shows how he cares more about his own interests than those of others, I have only one thing to say. In order to read this blog you have to be in front of a computer. Anyone reading this blog probably has a facebook, myspace, or photo album somewhere that lots of people look at. In order to make yourself look good in your photos I'm sure there are at least $100 worth of cosmetic products in your bathroom.

Since you believe in eliminating poverty, why don't you lay off buying so many personal products and put the money to better use?

The trap we fall into when we start criticizing the economic status of politicians is that we fail to realize who in fact these individuals are. John Edwards was a successful lawyer for almost 20 years, and is estimated to be worth more than $60 million. Except in extremely rare cases, anyone who has worked to accumulate such a fortune isn't likely to give it all away. The fact that Mr. Edwards even thinks about those of a lower economic tier than himself sets him apart from those with $60 million.

In closing, John Edwards isn't saying that we should all donate all our money to charity and create a society that has no economic differences. Instead, what he is doing is the "practical+just" thing: finding a way to deal with America's problems while still understanding that we can't be perfect, or at least we won't wake up to see millionaires giving up all their money.

Mr. Edwards, I'd rather not pay for your barber bill, but you've got some good ideas under that pricey cut, so keep it up.

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