Monday, September 10, 2007

Edwards lives in his own America, separate from us

John Edwards exempts himself from sacrifices
Tribune Chronicle

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards is making it more and more clear that, in his mind, there indeed are ‘‘two Americas.’’ One of them is for the vast majority of us, who should make lifestyle changes simply because Edwards believes it’s the right thing to do. The other one is for Edwards, who seems to have decided that he is exempt from any such ethical mandates.

During a candidates’ forum held by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Edwards said that he believes ‘‘Americans are actually willing to sacrifice’’ in order to meet energy and environmental challenges. ‘‘One of the things they should be asked to do is drive more fuel-efficient vehicles,’’ he explained.

Edwards was asked if that means that Americans should give up the sport utility vehicles millions drive, in favor of smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. ‘‘Yes,’’ he replied. Later, he was asked how that suggestion can be reconciled with his own lifestyle. Specifically, his 28,000-square-foot mansion was mentioned.

‘‘I have no apologies whatsoever for what I’ve done with my life,’’ Edwards responded. He pointed out his humble beginnings and said he has worked hard to achieve his lifestyle.

We suspect that most SUV owners work hard, too. Many of them have pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps, and believe that they’ve earned a luxury or two in life.

But not according to Edwards. While he and his family use more energy and create more pollution than some entire neighborhoods elsewhere in America, it’s the rest of us who need to make sacrifices, in his mind.

It seems that Edwards does believe there are ‘‘two Americas’’ — one for him and one for the rest of us.