Home: What Unites Us as a Nation

At Commonwealth Club’s book signing event in Santa Clara Convention Center, the former Senator and Vice President Candidate John Edwards talked to a roomful enthusiastic crowd about his new book Home, and how our homes shape the ways of our lives and unite us as a nation.

The conversation with John Edwards quickly turned into political discussions. Many questions from the audience surrounded the issues of housing, energy crisis, healthcare, immigration, etc. In particular, people were most interested in his political future. When asked which room in his home is his favorite and which room in the White House, John Edwards answered “the kitchen” for the former and “don’t know YET” for the later.

In his short speech, John Edwards said that America at its best is much better than it is today. Being the most powerful country in the world, the United States has the responsibility to lead and should be a natural rallying point that provides a stabilizing force for the world. However, the US has lost its credibility to lead, and it has many severe consequences.

“The next President of the United States,” said John Edwards, “has the challenge to restore America as a moral leader – to lead by example and lead with integrity. If we do right things for right reasons, be moral and just, it will have good consequences.”

He talked about his plans to develop affordable housing that transcends ethnic and class boundaries for American people, conserve energy consumption at a global level, and deliver a universal healthcare that goes beyond providing access and reducing marginal cost.

He also emphasized that the next President should travel all over the world and meet people, not just the heads of states. I was impressed when I heard him say that there are 3 billion people in the world who live on less than $2 a day and America has responsibility to do something about it.

I particularly like his theme of “One America” and his view on globalization. At the book signing, he took time to talk to people and personalize his autograph. Although I don’t know much about politics, I was convinced that John Edwards would make a good President of the United States. I am glad I was courageous enough to tell him in person!

5 thoughts on “Home: What Unites Us as a Nation

  1. The subject you bring up ‘Home: What Unites Us as a Nation’ is not an easy one to relate to in many cases. There are so many different ‘Homes’ in America where folks live that even starting to define them in the large categories isn’t a task that is even close too easy let alone Unite us as a nation.

    For Home is where the heart is for some and Home is where all the evil in the world is for others. Many Homes have no kids, many homes have no married adults, many have a single parent, many have un married parents, many have married parents.

    There are many that have no so called home, many rent, many are purchasing a home, many live in Ghettoes, many live in wealthy areas, many live in poor neighborhoods, and many live in the middle class suburbs, and many live in apartments, condos, and other dwellings in cities.

    So what’s a home?

    So what’s wealth?

    So What’s value?

    So what’s living a good life?

    So what’s living a bad life?

    So which is better to live a good life or living a bad life?

    So What’s important?

    So what’s being united with others?

    So what’s others?

    So what’s a family?

    So what’s a community?

    So what’s a region?

    So what’s knowledge?

    So what’s beneficial?

    So is it beneficial to have a pet?

    So is it beneficial to have sex?

    So is it beneficial that I stop here?

    So what unites us as a country? You do.

  2. Richard,

    You brought up very good questions! I agree, for people who grew up in unhappy or brokend homes (there are so many!), it’s hard for them to relate to what home can united us as a nation.

    From what I read from the book Home, which is a collections of stories of homes from different contributors, the central theme is that home is a place where American people, no matter their background, no matter their circumcises, can build a great future. It’s a sense of home that unites us as a nation.

    I really like you last question: So what unites us as a country? You do!

  3. Helen, glad you got to see/hear John Edwards. He is a rare gem on the political stage: someone who actually cares about average people and our role in the world as part of the world community. OK, so that may have sounded rather unspecific, but I think the point I’m trying to make is that if you become familiar with who John Edwards is and what he stands for, you see that he is someone with his heart in the right place, his feet on the ground, and his mind ready to lead.

    Yeah, I know. Gush, gush, gush. All I know is, for maybe the first time in my life (well, second, since I supported him in 2004) there is a candidate I am absolutely thrilled to vote for.

    About his book, Home, I really thought when I first got the book that it was not going to interest me that much. It’s a collection of essays by different people about how their childhood homes influenced their lives and I thought, “Wow! What a boring topic.” I picked it up anyway, because I got to have it signed and because the proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity and (I think it’s called) the International Rescue Committee.

    I have to tell you, I was wrong about the book. It’s really interesting. Some of it seems almost too positive to me. I keep wondering if the people are leaving out the unpleasant parts of their childhoods. What I like about it, though, are all the stories of how one life experience or another inspired someone to do something for others. It’s uplifting and comforting.

  4. AstroGirl,

    Thanks for sharing your view. You know what, at the talk, I was really inspired by him, even though I tried to be suspicious. Now that I see your comment, it confirmed my intuition. I agree with you he seems a person whose heart in the right place, whose feet on the ground, and whose mind ready to lead. I hope he wins in 2008!

    Regarding the book, my husband said he wouldn’t want to read the book even though he really likes John Edwards. But when I brought the book home, he is the one who couldn’t put it down!

  5. Helen, I’m not reading b\w the lines, but I too like this Edwards dude. The way he announced his campaign and his stand on a variety of issues holds a lot of promise. Nice post !