Democrat and Independent Thinker..."The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." -Nietzsche

Commenting on many things, including..."A government more dangerous to our liberty, than is the enemy it claims to protect us from." - Keith Olbermann

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Courage and Patriotism Defined

How does Jay Carney manage to keep his job at Time? Is he the Editor of an independent magazine or a partisan political hack?

In his editorial today, "Can Edwards' Campaign Just Go On?", he states:

"The campaign goes on. The campaign goes on strongly." The words from John Edwards were a shock, coming as they did after he and his wife Elizabeth had spent the opening minutes of their press conference in Chapel Hill, N.C., describing how her breast cancer had returned, and spread to her bones. Just moments before, John Edwards had explained that because his wife's cancer had spread "from breast to bone, it is no longer curable." With that grim statement, I—and, presumably, many other listeners—assumed that the former North Carolina Senator and top-tier contender for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination was ending his campaign, or at least suspending it. "
Guess what, Mr. Carney? I neither presumed, nor assumed anything. Then, I am not a so-called "newsman". Nor did I make any presuppositions as to whether or not the campaign was to be ended or suspending. I simply waited to hear what they had to say.

As an Edwards supporter, I was, and am, terribly concerned about Mrs. Edwards and the effect that her illness will have on her family, and, secondarily, I was concerned about whether it would affect the campaign. But, I, unlike you, the experienced "newsman", did not speculate. I waited to hear the facts.

Mr. Carney continued:

Instead, Edwards said nothing would change; his campaign would continue and Elizabeth would be by his side on the road. Elizabeth spoke about the importance of her husband's campaign, how the country needs him to be president. Both said there was never a debate yesterday, as they were receiving the news about her condition, about whether he should drop out of the race. John said that when the two of them were alone, Elizabeth was concerned about everyone but herself—her children, her husband and her country, in that order, but not herself.

He clearly meant it to be inspiring, but there is also something
discomfiting about that statement. Even more discomfiting was Edwards' claim that by soldiering on while his wife has incurable cancer, he would be proving that he could deal with the pressures of being president. I wonder how voters will react to that sentiment.
Actually, Mr. Carney, Mrs. Edwards said that her husband "cornered" the doctor and interrogated her about whether or not the campaign would have a negative effect on his wife's health and was assured that it would not. That being the case, then it is reasonable to understand that there would not be a great deal of discussion about whether the campaign should continue, although Senator Edwards stressed that they had discussed it extensively. Mrs. Edwards clearly believes in her husband and believes that her country needs him to be President, so, again, I can see how there would be little debate necessary.

Mr. Carney finds it discomfiting that when the two of them were alone, Mrs. Edwards was concerned about her children, her husband, and her country, rather than about herself.

Discomfiting? DISCOMFITING? I found that statement comforting, inspiring, courageous and the most admirable displays of motherhood, devoted spouse and above all, patriotism and love of country that I have ever heard in my life. Bravo! Elizabeth Edwards, Bravo!

That alone assures me that this country needs you as our First Lady of our Land. Needs you desperately.

Mr. Carney miscast Senator Edwards by phrasing his statement that it "was Edwards claim that by soldiering on while his wife has incurable cancer, he would be proving that he could deal with the pressure of being president."

Excuse me, Mr. Carney. That is not an accurate portrayal of what Senator Edwards said.

At all.

I understand that in an editorial, you, who must have risen to that high post by miraculous intervention, have the right to express your opinion. You do not have the right to rephrase actual statements.

Mr. Edwards simply stated that Presidents must be able to deal with sometimes unfortunate occurrences in ones personal life and not be distracted enough to impact the performance of his duties. Which is the case. And that if he was to run for the office, he had to be prepared to do just that.

I found that his realization of this and willingness to face this incredibly reassuring. He understands this as did Lincoln, Roosevelt, and a number of other courageous Presidents.

That, Mr. Carney, is how voters will react to this sentiment. A courageous man and woman who are so devoted to their country and to commit to their dreams for the betterment of their country that they are willing to continue on, despite all odds, despite all obstacles, to lead this country onto a better pathway. A better pathway to health care for all, a better pathway to the elimination of poverty not only for the people of this country, but the elimination of poverty for all the impoverished in the world because they know that that is the crux of the problem of the resentment and violence and hate that is displayed towards this country. Just to mention a couple of the inspiring themes of Senator Edwards candidacy.

Mr. Carney goes on to posit that this will impact the commitment of donors, political activists, and regular voters as to whether Edwards will stay in the race.

I say it will impact it, and will impact it tremendously positively. If they are this committed, then it will inspire great commitment and devotion to them.

Mr. Carney then goes on with this utterly ridiculous and ignorant statement:

It is certainly true that with effective treatment, Elizabeth Edwards could live many years. But it is also true that even the best treatment isn't always effective, and that bone cancer is particularly lethal.

Mr. Carney, I realize you are not a medical professional, but as the Editor of a major publication, I would think that you might manage to make an inquiry from a medical professional before stating something not only misleading, but an outright falsity. Elizabeth Edwards has breast cancer, not bone cancer. Because it has metastasized and spread to the bones of her ribs does not make it bone cancer. It is still breast cancer, and, as such, is still highly treatable and not a death sentence.

I know. My sister died of bone cancer only a year ago. Bone cancer is a death sentence. A very quick death sentence. My sister died only about six months after diagnosis.

Breast cancer which has spread is not necessarily a death sentence and can be successfully treated if not cured.

How dare you, Mr. Carney, to imply otherwise by the simple display of your utter ignorance?

Edwards' supporters, and surely many average Americans, have to be wondering at what point the candidate will decide that his duties as husband and father to three children, including a 6 and 8 year old, trump his duty to his country and the cause of winning the White House.
Tell me, Mr. Carney, at what point does the soldier being sent to Iraq decide that his duties as husband and father to his ailing wife and children, even small children, trump his duty to his country? Huh?

At what point, asshole?

That soldier has no option, other than desertion and court-martial, to do his duty to his country.

Senator Edwards has nothing compelling him to endure his presidential campaign. He has worked hard to become a very wealthy man after starting life as a poor boy living in a mill village in a small South Carolina town. He never has to work another day in his life.

As Elizabeth Edwards said, if his campaign was all about John Edwards, it would be easy to give up his campaign faced with the daunting fate that awaits him and his wife and their family. It would be very easy.

They have not chosen that easy route. They have chosen the hard route. Similar to that hard route that each and every soldier that is being sent into the meat-grinder that is Iraq is being faced with every single day that and they will continue to be faced with should a Republican president be elected. The hard route that too many may possibly be faced with, albeit hopefully for a shorter period, should one of the other Democratic candidates be elected. John Edwards will end this war and he has said he will end it and start withdrawing troops significantly and immediately.

Yes, Mr. Carney. Senator Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards have decided to "soldier" on, and by doing so, are displaying the most courageous, inspiring, and patriotic actions of anyone I have ever seen in my lifetime.

I, for one, do not think they have it in them to do any less, no matter what the future holds.

If that does not earn them the admiration, respect, stalwart support and the votes of their fellow Americans, then this country no longer deserves people of this stature as leaders.

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