Tuesday, June 26, 2007

More Unsolicited Advice for John Edwards

June 26, 2007
Dear Mr. Edwards,

I like your anti-poverty theme, but I fear that your use of the "two Americas" theme may not be wise.

It is too easy a target for Republicans.

It is not precise. There are many Americans, many gradations in the class structure. There is a middle, where multitudes of Americans think they are. It will be regarded too populist, opens you to effective criticism.

I urge you to go light on that theme. I urge you to consider my earlier suggestion that strengthening families be the centerpiece of your strategy.

Around that you can stress the anti-poverty theme but at the same time help a great many Americans to identify with your aims -- health care, help for working mothers with child care, parental leave, increase in EITC, and so on through a long list.

I want to see you elected, but hope you won't seem so left-wing in order to get the nomination that you ruin your chances of winning the general election.

I am a native of Georgia, a graduate of Mercer University and taught of 40 years at the theological seminary where Martin Luther King graduated and where Walter Rauschenbusch, the father of the social gospel taught. I stand in that idealistic tradition tempered by the political realism of Reinhold Niebuhr.

When idealists enter politics they must become hard-nosed, tough-minded realists and pragmatists. That is what I hope for you.

For more unwanted advice, see my blog for Saturday, November 11, 2006. in the archives at http://johnwilfred.blogspot.com/

Best wishes,

Ken Cauthen


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