01/30/2008 10:55 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Letter To The South Carolina Voters Who Let John Edwards Down

Earlier today, someone who grew up as one of your own dropped out of the presidential race.

That would, of course, be John Edwards.

John, who grew up in and around mills that once dotted towns like yours, couldn't go on after a South Carolina primary finish where he received only 18 percent of the Democratic vote.

That came as no surprise, for when it comes to party politics, the main concentrations of Democrats left in South Carolina are African-Americans, the cultural liberals of Charleston and those in and around certain subcultures at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

But it is not people from those communities who I write this about, and for.

I write it to your attention, you economically struggling white male voters in those small South Carolina mill and textile towns.

Let me show you a symbol.


That dash may be the same dash you see when you open your checking account balance and see that you are overdrawn.

Why? Because the drain of manufacturing and service jobs has sucked up many of your town's employment centers. Sure, you have a job, but not like you did.

Or look on the other side of the river at the abandoned mill or clothing factory. How long has it been closed now? Ten years? Fifteen? Twenty?

These places closed because of free trade policies backed mostly by Republicans and conservative Democrats.

But the thing is, you, and perhaps your parents, have voted for these pricks for 44 years. Ever since 1964, when Lyndon Johnson signed a bill into law that you could not countenance.

And today, 44 years on, a presidential candidate with a similar raising as yours ended a quest for a Presidency in which he could have inspired policies that would economically re-energize towns such as yours.

But no, you didn't want to break your Republicanism, and re-register with a party that actually is on your side. And once re-registered, vote for John Edwards.

No, because, well, "John Edwards is a liberal."

Meanwhile, you are totally free to value that which you do.

Your guns. Your hunting dog. Your preacher. Your bass boat. Your reverence for your Confederate ancestors now a century in the ground. And those conservative talk show hosts that ostensibly take your side, but go back to their mansions at the close of their broadcast day.

But I have to tell you this, small town South Carolina white male Republican voters.

When it comes to enacting policies that would ease the risk of foreclosure, predatory lending, etc. -- and get your town running again, your guns, your hunting dog, your preacher, your bass boat, your Mama, your long-dead Confederate ancestors, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and others aren't going to help you.

John Edwards could have.

But no, you are still so stubbornly stuck with the notion that the Republicans are more like you, and are manlier than Democrats, that you refused to cross over and give a son of your soil the votes he needed to continue in this race.

John Edwards wanted to help you, and you let him down.

Shame on you.