29 January 2007

John Edwards, man of the people

Democratic Presidential hopeful John Edwards has spoken eloquently about the plight of the poor in America, saying that “poverty is the great moral issue of our century.” In his 2004 speech to the DNC, he said:

John Kerry and I believe that we shouldn’t have two different economies in America: one for people who are set for life, they know their kids and their grand-kids are going to be just fine; and then one for most Americans, people who live paycheck to paycheck.

As the official “John Edwards ’08 Blog” put it recently:

Income inequality means more than 40 million people lacking health insurance or millions more having insufficient health insurance that does not cover preventive care. The gap between the income or wealth of those with the highest ammount (sic) of money in a society and those with the lowest can be a source of disease in itself.

[…] For instance, one study showed that a young man living in Bangladesh where poverty was severe but fairly uniform had a higher life expectancy than a young man living in Harlem, in the USA, a land where income disparity is the worst of any of the so called first world nations.

In the mean time, John Edwards has just purchased a 28,000 square foot mansion on an estate outside Chapel Hill NC, having sold his previous mansion for $5.2 million. The new Edwards estate is expected to be valued at over $6 million.

The main house itself is a mere 10,000 square feet or so. The rest of the floor space is in the recreation room—or rather, the 15,600 square foot recreation building. I can already picture Christmas with the Edwards family; perhaps the kids will play charades on one of the two stages, while John practices his speeches from the other. If they have guests for Christmas and run short of space, the master bedroom is 600 square feet, so they’ll always be able to put 10 extra king size double beds in there.

Of course, last month when John Edwards announced his intention to run for President, he didn’t do it from his home. No, he went to New Orleans, and helped a few poor people renovate a house that is probably smaller than the roofed walkway connecting the two sections of his own humble abode.

For some unaccountable reason there has been a little carping from the peanut gallery. People seem to think that the Edwards lifestyle is a little out of keeping from someone who says he’s so upset by income inequality. Me, I have no doubt that John Edwards cares deeply about the plight of the poor, and I’m sure he’ll be employing a dozen or so to sanitize his toilets, vacuum his rugs, clean his pool, and polish his basketball court. And his squash court. And his four storey observation tower.

Once again, reality is all too eerily reminiscent of a story from The Onion.

© mathew 2017