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« Jesus, Trump, and Skip Alston | Main | Reading comprehension »

Jan 30, 2008

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Spag

How many houses could he build with his money? How many cans of food could he buy?

He could save a lot of people and still be rich, but he chooses not to and all the while claiming it to be his life's calling and passion.

He is a limousine liberal, do as I say, not as I do.

Jim Buie

Spag, you seem to miss the point. If he quietly, secretly gave away all his money to fight poverty, yeah he could have placed maybe a drop in the bucket of fighting poverty around the world. Maybe he will still do that as a private citizen, I dunno. But he was trying to create a movement, focus national and even international attention on the issue. That is the only way the systematic issues are going to be addressed -- if millions of people focus attention on it.

Roch101

Sam, you're dodging my questions, which is unlike you unless you really know that to answer would reveal a flawed argument. You have asserted that Edwards isn't charitable enough and that he's asking others to do what he won't do himself, similar statements that could only be something other than mindless rants if you somehow know the degree of Edwards' charitable giving. Do you or are you just farting in the wind?

justcorbly

Ed, my 'copout' remark was not directed at your remarks, but at those that argue that government has no legitimate role in fighting poverty, that private donations and the work of churches are sufficient. There, as in many issues, I assume that many folks are driven by an urge to take the presumed moral high ground.

Jon: A thoughtful comment. I don't disagree, except that I do believe our political system is, at least, partially responsible for the continuation of poverty in America and, so, we have a moral obligation to use that system to reduce poverty.

Roch101

"John Edwards could do the same for the poor that are the "cause of his life" but he won't because he doesn't want to make the sacrifice. What makes matters worse is that he would still be rich even afterward, just not rich enough apparently." -- Sam

For Pete's sake, Sam, how in the world do you know that isn't exactly what he's done. For all you know, he could have given 90% of his wealth to help the poor. What is your basis for saying that Edwards hasn't given enough to avoid your contempt?

justcorbly

Having read all of this surprisingly long thread...

It strikes me that those who argue wealth disqualifies someone from talking about the evils of poverty may actually be deploying a smokescreen to hide their own indifference to the problem. I've learned to distrust folks who give precedence to ideological fealty over simply helping people.

Spag

"But he was trying to create a movement, focus national and even international attention on the issue." So his charity is relative to whether he wins or not? I.E. he doesn't win, so he will take his millions home and spend them on all kinds of luxuries instead of the poor. That is what makes this so comical- that he was talking about "Two Americas" and wanting people to focus on the other America which is in such stark contrast to the wasteful and opulent spending by the super rich like himself. He could have bought 50 haircuts at the barber shop for the cost of the one he had.

Perhaps this is where I agree with Ed, that a Two America's speech while one is splurging on wasteful excess isn't a smart thing to do. Edwards simply never had the moral authority to give such a speech considering his own lifestyle. It made him a joke among a lot of people whether you like it or not.

It really should have been about Three America's, the poor, the middle class, and the super rich like Edwards.

Roch, Edwards' net worth as of 2007 was estimated to be $30 million dollars, which means he could give 90% of it away and still have $3 million dollars. So while I don't know what he has contributed to charity, I know that he still has a lot of money such that he could give a lot away and help a lot of poor people and still be rich himself. One would expect no less from a person to whom much has been given and who claims that fighting poverty is the cause of his life.

This discussion isn't about who is right or who is wrong about Edwards. It is about his campaign and why some people believe it failed. There are a lot of people who view Edwards the way I do, and that is one possible explanation. It is an opinion. I don't expect to change anyone's mind about the man, nor should they expect to change mine. It isn't a competition.

Roch101

Sam, the comments of yours that have drawn my attention are those that assert Edwards' has not been sufficient in his charitable giving. While dancing around the question, you have failed to give any indication that you have any idea the degree to which he has contributed his personal wealth to anti-poverty efforts. Instead of admitting that your assertions were not based on information, you've fallen back to essentially "He still has more to give." Fine. Under what net worth does someone have a right to advocate for the poor and not earn your scorn?

Spag

Roch, it isn't about mere advocacy for the poor, rather it is about defining yourself with such a crusade as your life's purpose. With such a priority in life and apex purpose, Edwards does little despite his ability to do much more. It is about character.

A person who claims that their purpose in life is to feed the hungry but won't share their garden to reach that goal is either lying about how deep that purpose is felt or has a character flaw. I for one would not be impressed after hearing the stated purpose with all it's passion and fury and comparing it with actual deeds.

Again, these are my opinions, you don't have to agree and I am not trying to win you over.

John Burns

Sam, your rhetoric and debate is no more sophisticated than it was your sophomore year of high school, when your entire political vocabulary consisted of "Reagan good. Liberals bad."

John Edwards walks the talk. He doesn't need to give away all his money to proe it to you. Unlike most human beings, Edwards has managed to inspire millions of people, me among them, into making the world a better place through political activism, volunteerism and holding our goverment to its ideals. That's pretty good for a guy with only 10 years of public life under his belt and at least 20 more to go.

Alan Cone Bulluck, you and Bubba make Sam look thoughtful. Your comments are disgusting and predictable and hardly worth the time necessary to rebut them.

But let me put it this way, there is Beethoven and there is passing gas. Pretty much the extremes of human sound-making. Here comes the analogy - the Edwardses are the Fifth Symphony. You two? The after effects of chili.

Anthony

Three million dollars is nothing in the grand scheme of things, particularly for someone approaching retirement age. You would leave him essentially with a nest egg for retirement, and that's it. No money saved for his wife's future medical expenses. Limited means for a bid for the presidency.

Roch101

"Edwards does little despite his ability to do much more." -- Sam

I keep asking, and you keep avoiding answering, how do you know this? What are you aware that Edwards has done in order to so confidently, repeatedly and without substantiation continue to assert isn't enough?

Spag

John, Lee Cecil asked me the other day if you were still attached to the Edwards bus. I told him I didn't know, but probably so.

As far as debate in high school goes, I think my win-loss that year was around 80% except when you and I were partners in which case we usually got killed...

Thankfully, those occasions were few.

Now that Edwards is out, I hope you will support Obama.

Roch, by reason of deduction. If his net worth is $30 million then he still has $30 million which means he hasn't given it away.

John Burns

Lee Cecil is a good guy and a hell of a lot smarter than either of us.

And as for high school debate, to my memory it rewarded a consistent ability to spew the most words in the shortest time frame, at top volume.

That, you're still good at.

Spag

Ah, but Brian was much better.

I like the use of the word "spew". Brings back a lot of memories. Thanks, John.

See you soon.

Bubba

"No money saved for his wife's future medical expenses. Limited means for a bid for the presidency."

Oh, by that time we're sure to have high quality universal heath care, right?

So why worry?

He doesn't need to worry about any money for a future presidential bid, either.

Spag

I think a "I hate to admit it but Spag was right again. Edwards is a phony." would be appropriate at this point.

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