Here is a Kos diary from Joy Busey that needs some air. It echoes a lot of the things I think are or were missing from the media in what the John Edwards campaign was all about. No, it doesn't really apply to me because I am in much better shape than Joy and I was able to send some money to John. It does reflect how I feel about the message of populism and progressive action that John was trying to get out. I am not poor but I did come from such roots as did John. My father's family were railroad people and my mother's were coal miners. Many of my relatives are still battling the conditions of poverty and joblessness in Southern Appalachia but my reasons for supporting John and his message are not personal because they affect my family but personal because they affect my world. The following post from Joy is important because it is from the heart and it is important because it is true and painful for anyone with any sense of right and wrong to read.
John Edwards found his voice and his mission this time around, going for his own heartfelt vision. He gave me a little hope that maybe I could finally have a voice and a vote that counts. But I’m poor, like most of the people he’s championed. I kept meaning to send $10 when I got paid, but every time I got paid I had to keep the electricity on or the phone on or the car running or the farm out of foreclosure. I just never had a single extra cent, always behind. So I couldn’t help him, no matter how much he needed my help. All I could do was talk - stand by him in real life and on the internet…
I failed. That’s nothing new.
This is the inevitable result in a skewed system that was ramped forward to extend the season so long as to effectively forbid anyone who couldn’t raise bazillions from staying in. John championed the poor - like me - and we couldn’t give him what he needed. This result is no surprise.
They don’t see us, they don’t hear us. We get platitudes and lip service when they want to play to the cheap seats, but we don’t count . They talk about a ‘maybe’ recession coming for their millionaire and billionaire friends - we’ve been in a full-fledged depression for years, but nobody cares. This is Southern Appalachia.
It’s not our country, it’s just the place we happen to be and we’ve no way out. We’ve no health care, no way to keep up with inflation, our jobs have gone to India and China. 3 of 5 people in this region qualifies for Medicaid and food stamps, but only 1 of 5 gets them because there’s not enough to go around. Our children go to war because they’ve no hope to go to college. We hope they can do better somewhere else, because we’ve nothing here to offer them. Hope… we hope a lot, it’s about all we’ve got. Our hopes are always dashed in the end.
When whatever faceless, interchangeable Dem takes over next year, they will try to force me to buy worthless health insurance and pretend that somehow solved the “health care crisis” they won’t admit exists. But I can’t afford worthless insurance and can’t beat the cap on Medicaid, so they’ll fine me if I show up at the ER. All that does is force me not to seek medical care - I’ll have to die at home unattended. Already told grandson to bury me on the mountain where they buried the nameless, faceless prisoners who died building this railroad as slave labor back in 1908. Told him not to mark it or tell the gub’ment. They didn’t care when I was alive, they’ve no business pretending to care when I die. Then hopefully he’ll let the farm go, move somewhere where he’s got half a chance at life.
Economic Eugenics. Apparently the Democratic Party has no problem with that, the only voice I ever hoped to have just quit because - as James McMurtry sings so poignantly - we can’t make it here anymore. The first song following the hourly news on my regional NPR. We’re all in the same boat here.
So here’s my not earth-shattering announcement: I quit too.
h/t to Susie