Two Americas

米国, 2004年, ジョン·エドワーズ

John Edwards, an American presidential candidate in 2004 and 2008, was in the news this week after prosecutors dropped corruption charges against him.

Edwards is a former trial lawyer and a ‘self-made’ millionaire. From 1999 to 2005 he was senator for North Carolina, and in 2004 he was the Democratic candidate for vice-president. His political career ended in a sex scandal in 2008.

In both his presidential campaigns, he used a “Two Americas” speech about America’s haves and have-nots (rich people and poor people).

The speech also highlighted his own humble beginnings. (highlight = emphasise; humble = modest)

This is Edwards’ address to the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He uses a very anecdotal style, particularly at 8:13, where he talks about his childhood. (anecdotal = based on personal experience)

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I grew up in a small town in rural North Carolina, a place called Robbins.

My father, he worked in a mill all his life, and I still remember vividly the men and women who worked in that mill with him. I can see them. Some of them had lint in their hair; some of them had grease on their faces. They worked hard, and they tried to put a little money away so that their kids and their grand-kids could have a better life.

The truth is, they’re just like the auto workers, the office workers, the teachers and the shop keepers on main streets all across this country.

My mother had a number of jobs. She worked at the post office so she and my father could have health care. She owned her own small business. She refinished furniture to help pay for my education.

I have had such incredible opportunities in my life. I was blessed to be the first person in my family to be able to go to college. I worked my way through, and I had opportunities beyond my wildest dreams.

And the heart of this campaign – your campaign, our campaign – is to make sure all Americans have exactly the same kind opportunities that I had no matter where you live, no matter who your family is, no matter what the colour of your skin is.

This is the America we believe in.

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“Perhaps Edwards’ largest lasting legacy is his ‘Two Americas’ speech, an address that perhaps best encapsulates the frustrations and anger coursing through the American electorate at the moment — and one that President Obama would do well to read and adapt for his own 2012 re-election campaign. (The term ‘Two Americas’ was actually created by longtime Edwards aide Christina Reynolds.)”
What John Edwards can teach Barack Obama (The Washington Post, October 17th 2011)

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