Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Why Edwards isn't cutting it

At The American Prospect Online my colleague Garance Franke-Ruta has quite the brilliant piece about why the John Edwards presidential campaign can't seem to get much traction among low-income groups, despite the candidate's anti-poverty platform.

According to Garance, people who earn low wages are savvy enough to know that the real path out of poverty will open only when more people who look like them assume positions of power. Hence the outsized appeal, among these voters, of Hillary Clinton (women are overrepresented in the low-wage cohort) and Barack Obama (poverty having endured as a problem for African Americans).

Here's a taste from GFR of how it got that way:

As the nobility and controversy of the civil rights era gave way to the controversy without nobility of the identity politics era, politicians learned to shy away from genuine challenges to the social order while simultaneously seeking to claim the moral mantle of historical daring. Today's goal, as Edwards' tour shows, is to be noble without being in the least controversial.


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