I posted this on the John Edwards' official campaign blog on November 23, 2003:
I came to the USA twelve years ago. I am a US citizen and I vote. This country is a self-proclaimed beacon of democracy, technologically most advanced country in the world, the home of feminism and the sexual revolution. At least that’s what I thought before I arrived here. After a dozen years, I still cannot understand how conservative and deeply religious this country is. How can a democratic country have capital punishment and no universal health coverage? How can Republican party be considered legitimate, even mainstream? A party with the record, the platform, and the retoric like the GOP, would be teetering at the edge of illegality in places like Germany where people are sensitive to such ideologies for historical reasons. Yes, I have to admit, I am very liberal. European-style liberal democrat. Born and raised in an openly anti-Communist family in a Communist country. In normal times and places, I would consider Dennis Kucinich to be too right-wing for my tastes. But, the journey from here to the kind of society I would like to live in is going to be a long and difficult one. I am pragmatic. I understand that a society cannot make sudden leaps in ideology. One needs to move in the right direction one step at the time, tiny steps at that, and let the people see for themselves that the overall direction is good. Right now, the direction is in reverse. Party in charge is trying to move us back, to Middle Ages, to feudalism. How can they? What’s the motivation? Did they mis-read the fairy tales and all want to be kings and princes and get to sleep with Cinderella? Don’t they understand that such a trip back in time would render almost all of us poor knaves, paupers dying of plague at the age of thirty? There is much mention these days of Bush-haters. I do not consider myself to be one. I find it difficult to hate anyone. I am a Bush-fearer. When he first announced his candidacy I had a strong feeling of déjà vu, of Germany, early 1930s…. Perhaps I am too sensitive, son of a Holocaust survivor. My grandparents are just two of 42 family mambers I never got to meet because they perished in concentration camps. Perhaps I am over-reacting. But still, I am afraid both for my personal safety and for the state of the World my kids will have to live in. I do not need to go into details about stuff that everyone’s been writing for three years now: War on Terrorism that gives terrorists reason to recruit more, Clear Skies Initiative that is designed to pollute, No Child Left Behind that is designed to leave all children behind, Patriot Act that is designed to spy on and arrest all the real patriots, "ease of tax burden" that allows the wealthy not to pay their dues to the society for the infrastructure we need to all live and work in this country, tax cuts that starve the services programs which, when valiantly picked-up by the States bancrupted state budgets. There is much to be afraid of. Many true conservatives are dis-illusioned with Bush because he ignores the core values of conservativism: fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal freedoms. How can we stop this insanity? Revolution is out of question and quite impossible. Impeachment would be hard to do, as all the damning evidence is tightly held by the secretive Administration. We have to go the legal, democratic way - elect a Democrat for President, more Democrats in Congress, more Democrats for governors, mayors, state legislatures, school boards…. Many people like Bush, but will go for a Democrat if they like him MORE, and if the proposed policies are more in tune with what America is all about. Nine candidates are hoping to get in the White House next year. Can they do it? Which one has the greatest chance to get elected and, once elected to perform all the necessary damage control? Which of the nine candidates can appeal not just to voters in New England, but also in the South, in Florida, Texas, Alaska, Hawaii, Mid-West, South-West, West Coast? Which of the nine candidates can appeal to most whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, men, women, young and old? Which of the nine candidates can appeal to bleeding-heart liberals, to core Democrats, to regular third-party voters, to Independents, Reformists, Libertarians, Socialists, even moderate Republicans? Which of the nine candidates cannot be perceived as a Washington insider, a big no-no this year, yet has sufficient experience in government, in making laws and applying laws? Which of the nine candidates best knows what are the real problems facing the poor, facing the middle class, facing the rich, and will propose legislation keeping all of us in mind? Which of the nine candidates has no skeletons in the closet that the Rove propaganda machine can pull out? Which of the nine candidates has done the least negative campaigning and will easily collect activists from other campaigns if nominated? Which of the nine candidates can trounce Bush in debates? Which of the nine candidates has the most detailed, best thought-through plan in which the numbers add up, and that can pass through a GOP-dominated Congress? Which of the nine candidates has personal charisma to woo the voters who do not care to get too well informed about the issues? Which of the nine candidates does not take donations from any lobbyists or special interest groups and will, thus, be free to govern for the people once elected? Which of the nine candidates most fiercely fights to take the money out of politics so we can have a multi-party democracy again? Which of the nine candidates has made education a number one priority, so in the future we will have educated and informed electorate that is much less likely to fall for the lies and slogans of the Republican party? Which of the nine candidates can win and then do good? Take a long hard look at all nine of them and try to answer the questions listed above. Even if you use the process of elimination, there is only one candidate that’s left in the end, only one who satisfies all the criteria listed above. That candidate is John Edwards. Forget the pundits in their incestual circles. See for yourself. Support the one and only who can do the job. Thanks. My children thank you, too.
Bora Zivkovic is hiding from Aschcroft, just in case, somewhere in North Carolina. If Bush gets re-elected, Bora will apply to NASA to be sent to the relative safety of the Moon.