I Voted for John Edwards Yesterday

Yes, I know. I'm not from New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Primaries were held yesterday, and Hillary Clinton achieved a stunning comeback and defied all expectations, winning the race, eeking out a 2-point victory over Barack Obama. But like I said, I don't live in New Hampshire. But I voted for John Edwards yesterday. How? I'm a California voter, and in California, you can become a mail-in voter, or a "permanent absentee voter" by checking off a box in your voter registration form or filling out a blue card afterwords. I am a permanent mail-in voter in California. While all the New Hampshire and hoopla was going on, California started mailing out these ballots on Monday, January 7. Lucky me, I received my ballot in Monday's mail. And yesterday, I filled out my ballot. And I proudly marked John Edwards. Why did I do this? The media is writing off Edwards, we have people on blogs calling for Edwards people to jump on the Obama train before the Hillary train takes off past, thus having the "status quo" beat "change." Why waste my vote on Edwards if he is so far behind, and he can't win. Well, let me tell you why. The best reason, by far, is that I believe John Edwards will make the best President of all the people running for President. Edwards not only talks about change, but he talks about how to make transformational change happen. Let's be sure of one thing. As John Edwards says, you can't nice the people who have held power in Washington for so long to the detriment of ordinary Americans. Transformational change takes more than rousing speeches or knowledge of the system. Simply put, it takes guts. The only candidate that has shown the courage to take the fight directly to corporate greed in this cycle is John Edwards. The only candidate who has committed to ending poverty in the richest land on earth is John Edwards. The only candidate with the guts to speak directly with Pakistani dictator Musharoff after the assassination of Bhutto is John Edwards. There is no better friend of the American worker and the American middle class. John Edwards was also the first candidate to propose a detailed universal health care plan. John Edwards has come up with real solutions to real problems throughout this campaign. And it should not be taken lightly that in a world where politicians are too afraid to admit they make human errors in judgment, John Edwards stood in front of the world and repudiated his own Iraq vote, without excuses. That shows a moral compass. The only candidate to refuse lobbyist money throughout his public life is John Edwards. I say that again: The only candidate to refuse lobbyist money throughout his public life is John Edwards. Hillary talks a good game but her campaign is flush with cash from the insurance, drug, oil and gas industries. Does anyone actually believe that you can take these people's money and then not owe them a thing? If you do, please contact me, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Obama has refused lobbyist money this cycle around, and that's dandy, but it turns out that one of his NH co-chairs is a state lobbyist for big pharma. So I wasn't surprised when in the middle of an otherwise inspiring speech in New Hampshire on Tuesday, he would mention that those industries and their lobbyists will, after all, have a seat at his table, although he will make sure that "they don't get to buy every chair". Senator, you wanna say that to the family of Nataline Sarkisyan, a young 17 year old whose life was ended too soon because her insurance company, Cigna, wouldn't pay for a liver transplant (until they caved under public pressure a few hours before Nataline's death)? You wanna tell her mother that those who took her daughter's life to protect their profits will have a seat at "the table"? I sure as hell don't want to be there when you tell her. I voted for John Edwards because this battle is far from over. 99% of the country hasn't voted yet. I refuse to let 2 relatively small, unrepresentative states dictate my vote. I want my voice to be heard, and I am proud to give my vote to the candidate who has given me voice. I voted for John Edwards because those of you who believe that this election is a Hillary vs. the Anti-Hillary election are wrong. It is true that we want transformational change and Hillary probably will not deliver as dramatic a change as I would like, but Obama has not shown that he can do much better, either. This is not about finding the Anti-Hillary. This is about finding the best Democrat to be our party's standard bearer and choosing the next President of the United States. This is about reawakening a country where the ordinary people have been forgotten for too long. This is about ushering in a new era of American progressivism where all people, not just the ultra rich, get a fair shot at the American dream. This is about restoring the people's faith in their government. This is about restoring our very Constitution and the Constitutional form of government. Change is not easy. Entrenched interests will resist; they will do everything in their power to turn back the tide. So this election is about finding someone with the fire in their belly to fight to the bitter end and the endurance to win that fight. The American people are united behind that fight, but let's not kid ourselves and think that this is going to be anything less than an epic battle for what kind of country we will become. There is only one candidate I feel comfortable with at the helm of that fight, and his name is John Edwards. I voted for John Edwards because I want my country back!