Embracing class warfare?

For me, one of the most exciting things about the 2004 election was the emergence of John Edwards and his talk of Two Americas, a simplified version of the critique of the widening wealth gap. Well, he is back and his idealism is sounding sweeter than ever.

I loved this populism, so long dormant in the national political landscape since the days of William Jennings Bryan and, later, Robert M. La Follette and the Progressive Party (just imagine: the Republican party's progressive, radical left-wing).

They stood for the working class and farmers who had been so abused by the robber barons and political machines that ruled the capitalist oligarchy. La Follette, for example, was fiercely anti-war, recognizing that it was the ruling class that sent the poor to die for their own ambitions, cloaked in "national interest". Sound familiar? Consider La Follette's words:

And he warned: "The poor . . . who are always the ones called upon to rot in the trenches have no organized power. . . . But oh, Mr. President, at some time they will be heard. . . . There will come an awakening. They will have their day, and they will be heard."

I could just imagine a modern-day Fighting Bob listening to System of a Down's BYOB and knowingly smiling.

So, now we have a new populist, John Edwards. Let us embrace class warfare. There are more of us than there are of them, but it is our resignation and indifference that have allowed the oligarchy to continue to impose their will through a nominally democratic process. Edwards rethought his position on the war, and is now showing to be a very strong ally to the working class.

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