A presidential candidate made me smile. No, seriously.

So don’t get me wrong — I’m still pissed off at Edwards. At this point, I also honestly don’t know who I’m going to vote for in the primaries, because all the Dems either suck or are pissing me off or both. But all the same, I thought that this was pretty fucking cool:

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards told high school students Tuesday that the United States has a moral and legal obligation to treat women as equals to men.

During a brief appearance at Merrimack High School, several members of a women’s studies class asked the former North Carolina senator to identify and propose solutions to the most prominent issues surrounding women’s rights.

Edwards said the issues he has focused on, such as ending poverty and creating universal health care coverage, are women’s issues because they affect more women than men.

“I want to be the president who is the most aggressive about enforcing our laws against discrimination against women,” he said. “It’s about time we actually treat women equally in the United States of America as a moral matter and matter of equality under the law.”

This almost makes me forgive him. Well, a little bit. At the very least it reminds me of why I had enough hope in him to get pissed off in the first place.

And the best thing is, I can’t decide which is cooler: the fact that a male presidential candidate is taking the time to talk to high school students (with their impressionable minds and all) about women’s issues as though they are of extreme importance and women’s rights as though they have not yet been achieved, or the fact that there’s a high school out there with a women’s studies class. Either way, it’s a win.

0 thoughts on “A presidential candidate made me smile. No, seriously.

  1. Cara Post author

    You know, I really don’t get the whole Kucinich infatuation. So the dude wants to end the war and has the best plan for health care. That’s cool. But to me he’s still a self-important, self-righteous douche. And I’m sick of hearing about all of his H.R. bills that never even made it to the floor. I know that I shouldn’t be focusing on a candidate’s personality in making my voting decisions, but there are times that it can’t be helped. There’s something about him that just grates on me.

    On a much easier to defend note, though, his history regarding reproductive rights is deeply troubling to me. He says that he’s pro-choice now, but listen to him talk about abortion and you’ll see why I’m not convinced. It’s quite the display of squirming and avoidance. And obviously reproductive rights are right there at the top of my list of issues that I care most about. When Hillary Clinton sounds better on issues of choice that you do, you’ve got yourself a major problem.

  2. rich

    He’s pro-choice, no strings attached, but wants to direct more funds toward contraception and education measure to lessen the need for abortion (I’m aware that he flip flopped on the issue, but given his other views, I think he’s reliable in this arena). The only one who doesn’t define marriage as “between a man and a woman,” supports marriage over civil unions for the LGBT community, and is outright far more liberal than his competition. Decriminalizing marijuana is a huge thing that I support; the amount spent on trial and incarceration for marijuana is ridiculous, and represents a huge cost burden on the U.S. that is simply unnecessary for a completely non-violent crime (and no, I don’t smoke pot). He’s consistently been against, and voted against, the Patriot Act. He’s a hardline gun control advocate and his stance on illegal immigration makes the most sense. Add the things you mentioned, and he lines up with most of my views. (He has repeatedly voted to outlaw flag burning though, which I don’t agree with, even in post 9/11 fear culture). Plus, he’s the only candidate to have ever seen extra terrestrial life, major points for that.
    By the way, the thing about his personality that grates against you, which I completely agree with you about, a good friend of mine put it best: he is best characterized as “squirrelly.”

  3. Cara Post author

    All of the candidates talk about wanting to reduce unplanned pregnancies. Obviously I agree. It’s also a very mainstream message. I want a candidate who both wants to reduce unplanned pregnancies and is also willing to say “A woman’s decision about whether to become a parent is one of the most important life decisions that she can face. She should be able to make it with her family, her doctor, and consistent with her religious and moral values. Government and politicians should not make it for her. This freedom is central to the full equality and dignity of women.” (Edwards). That’s a lot stronger than Kucinich: “There is no denying the fact that most Americans are uncomfortable with abortions and feel there are too many of them. At the same time, the vast majority of Americans recognize that there are circumstances in which a woman and her doctor should be allowed to make this decision without government intervention.”
    Also, Edwards openly supports publicly funded abortions for low-income women. Which is instant win. I do agree that politicians can have a genuine change of heart on an issue. I don’t think that Kucinich is quite there yet. In the extremely unlikely case that Kucinich became president, I don’t think that he would try to hurt abortion rights. But I don’t think that he would go out on a limb for them, either.
    I have also heard Kucinich say extremely little about women’s issues. Where as candidates like Edwards and Obama discuss them regularly. Sorry. Not my guy!

  4. rich

    Kucinich says this: “A woman’s right-to-choose must be protected as essential to personal privacy and gender equality. Only those who agree to uphold Roe v. Wade should be nominated for the Supreme Court.” I know Kucinich has voted against publicly funded abortions in the past, but recently he has been very dodgy about whether or not he would support such measures; perhaps I missed it, and if you happen to know what his stance on that is, that would be great. Ha, and you don’t have to apologize if Kucinich isn’t your man, he’s not getting the ticket anyways.

  5. Cara Post author

    I don’t. But I think that being dodgy on a stance that is held by most hardcore liberals would indicate that he is probably against it. Seeing how liberal his base is, I imagine he would want to tout that stance. It’s not like he normally shies away from putting himself out there with very liberal and very unpopular views.

  6. Roy

    I also honestly don’t know who I’m going to vote for in the primaries

    I know what you mean. I’m having that same pro… Oh.



  7. fellow-ette

    JE gets so passionate when he talks about equality and civil rights. Even at the BGLTSA forum where veryone thought he would flop, he came out swinging with righetous indignation.
    I know he really cares, he’s appropriately leftist on most issues, and he’s very angry about the direction our country is going in without being hysterical. I feel like Obama’s problem is that his rhetoric of hope and bipartisanship doesn’t emphasize how fucked up things have gotten in the last eight years. Kucinich is great, I just wish he would take himself a bit more seriously so he could influence the debate more.


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