People with first-hand knowledge of working-class life consistently have more credible and insightful things to say about the crafting of social policy. This pattern has become obvious in my HLS classes, and the observation helped me choose a candidate in the Democratic presidential primary: Senator John Edwards. The race is not over, and I strongly feel that our fellow lawyer is the contender best suited to carry America to victory and healing in November.Edwards offers not only the charisma and speaking skills of a successful plaintiff’s attorney, but also a compelling personal story and specific plans for reforming our nation. His working-class childhood helped shape his priorities and strengths today. Edwards survived a nasty Republican smear campaign to win election to the Senate from North Carolina, providing him training for the battles ahead. His detailed policy agenda focuses on bridging the class divide in our nation, starting in the crucial area of educational inequity. Rather than testing students into oblivion and using vouchers to shirk reform, Edwards proposes to help struggling students succeed by providing federal funds to expand after-school programs and school community service initiatives, decrease the size of high schools, expand college outreach efforts, and attract high-quality young teachers to troubled districts, as well as to subsidize one year of public college for every interested student. He also would expand health care coverage to reach every uninsured child. A much fuller description of Edwards’s platform, including job initiatives, homeland security plans, and an eleven-point civil rights agenda, is available at www.johnedwards2004.com. Edwards’s style and substance can appeal to everyone in America, from the command centers of American liberalism to the red states of his and my native South, and everywhere in between. His intense sincerity will help drive his message home, and I believe he is the candidate best equipped to beat Bush in the general election. Please join me in supporting John Edwards for President. Our time is now.
–Amanda C. Goad, 2L