- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 12, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I’ve just finished speaking with many of my colleagues and family members who live and work in the Carolinas, where a few reside in Raleigh. Tobacco Road is hot these days, but not just because of the heat wave. Locals in the Research Triangle specifically, and in North Carolina generally, are hopping mad over the federal indictment of their native son, former Sen. John Edwards.

It’s funny, instead of heads shaking over how far Mr. Edwards has fallen, I listened to reactions more along the lines of “comeuppance” — Mr. Edwards has finally received what he had coming to him.

You see, for years before John Edwards became senator, he was a well-known trial attorney, netting millions by shaking down businesses and insurance companies. That trial attorney lifestyle allowed Mr. Edwards and his family to live comfortably and never have a care in the world.

No one would begrudge their fellow American for making a living, but it was how John Edwards sold himself and his entire public life that causes many Carolinians and Americans to doubt everything about his “everyman” run at the White House.

Here was a person who mocked the “haves” in the name of the “have-nots.” He ridiculed ostentatious and excessive living. In short, Mr. Edwards heralded himself as the messiah of the masses — ready to renew America and unite the two countries we had become. What poppycock.

The irony here is we and the media knew of Mr. Edwards‘ hypocrisy fairly early on. From the $400 haircuts to the lavish spending, to the now million-dollar hush campaign Mr. Edwards set up to conceal the illegitimate child he fathered with his New Age girlfriend. This makes former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger look tame, doesn’t it?

John Edwards wished he was the character he played in front of the cameras for those 22 months running on vice- and presidential tickets. He could only hope to understand the plight of workers struggling to make ends meet. And yet, we now learn that he had absolutely no clue what hardship was, in economic or any other form.

This is the problem I have with liberals today. Sure, John Edwards was just one man, just as Mr. Schwarzenegger can’t speak for all conservatives (even though he wasn’t conservative by any means. A Republican, yes, but no conservative). But Mr. Edwards did what liberals from Walter Mondale to Bill Clinton to John Kerry to even Barack Obama do — they pretend to know the struggles of everyday Americans, yet continue to send their children to private school and reap the spoils of these voters who think “change” will come.

Change won’t come with them. For theirs is an agenda that is designed to keep Americans dreaming, yet never to wake up. Economy not rebounding? Let’s spend more. I know what you need. Just vote for me. The other party is for Big Business, Big Oil, you fill in the blank here. Me, I’m for the Little Guy.

Replaying the campaign of Mr. Edwards, it was almost comical. He started with coats and ties, then ditched them for more pedestrian wear. Then he held press conferences at homeless shelters, poverty drives and the like. Yet did Mr. Edwards spend 1 cent of that $900,000 campaign money on helping his fellow man? Hardly. He knew that if anyone found out about his other life, his vaunted public life would be ruined. How would that help unite the “two Americas”? I’m sure he felt in his heart of hearts he was doing the right thing, covering up so he could continue to fight for the cause of liberals. Please.

The arrogance of John Edwards oozes under our feet and into the streets of Washington. I would like to think that if Mr. Edwards had to do it all over again, he would change. He would have remained faithful to his wife, to his campaign, to his cause. I’d like to think that, but given the depths of selfishness we’ve now seen him stoop, I’m not so sure.

Armstrong Williams is on Sirius Power 128, 7 to 8 p.m. and 4 to 5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arightside, and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/arightside. Read his content on RightSideWire.com.

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