Some people have said writers such as me are guilty of allowing politically adroit and once upon a time relevant personas such as Edwin Edwards too much living space in my head.
Trust me: I don’t wish to allow Edwin Edwards residency in my mind. I’d gladly evict the man if he’d promise to keep away from the spotlight he needs to appear as an acceptable political idiosyncrasy.
Unfortunately some people will never be allowed to rest in peace. Elvis, Bruce Lee and Ronald Reagan are emblematic of celebrities dug up, dragged out and propped up whenever somebody needs an example of how things were better done in the old days. When you have no better exemplar of your alleged abilities than those you can point to in a Wikipedia entry; you have a problem. The first words to get thrown in your face will amount to: “Are you really kidding me?”
Stephanie Grace, a journalist I respect and admire for her experience and wordcraft, published a column in The Advocate, 2-21-2014. She titled it: “Edwards could be a hoot as candidate”. In the column Ms. Grace expertly balances the issue of Edwin running with pro versus con (pardon the pun please) and adroitly states how this could end: “A serious Edwards campaign, in fact, could be a real downer…”
“Could be a real downer”? Yeah; I guess. But, I’d say it would definitely be more a loser than a downer. Louisiana would lose style and credibility points once more.
Edwin Edwards is old news. Old news along with unrefrigerated three day old fish wrapped in moldy socks couldn’t be any less representative of life in our state. We need to be seen as dynamic, vibrant and active. Not arthritic, bombastic and arterially hardening as represented by octogenarians confusing impending senility with virility and stale humor as indicative of relevance and witty repartee concerning issues.
Many of us are weary of being entertained by politically adept buffoons such as now hold high governmental office. We really want mature, measured representation of our goals and efforts and don’t want to send anymore clown princes to Washington to pad their own pockets and gain more celebrity. The idea of having to listen to Edwards’ dated and hackneyed efforts to entertain us saddens us tremendously. I equate it to watching the same episode of a failed sitcom over and over again or watching just one episode of “The Governor’s Wife”, ever again.
The course of Louisiana’s future is something we should be approaching seriously for the next few years. Edwards has embarrassed himself but he has more dragged Louisiana’s reputation back into the mud just as we were looking to get our noses above the murk. I know we have others share that assessment as well, but Edwin is the topic du jour.
While Louisiana is becoming noted across the land as the Sportsman’s Paradise based on shows such as Swamp People, Swamp Pawn and others. It’s always with a tongue-in-cheek approach to the populace where the producers seem to search for and premier the more comical members of the culture. Call it stereotypical but being asked by family in other parts of the nation to please say “Choot’ ‘em” and scream, “Aiyee, Laissez les Bontemps roulez!” with a “Coonie” accent is getting a little stale. Louisiana has much more to offer.
What’s more to the point is we need to stop feeding Edwin’s addiction to notoriety. Being an enabler only drives the addict further into his addiction because you feed his need for drama. And if it’s one thing Louisiana politics doesn’t need is anymore retrograde, manufactured drama.
In conclusion, I’ll simply state it’s time to let the old man go away. We don’t need to be encouraging his behaviors anymore. Ms. Grace, again in response to your final paragraph stating: “A serious Edwards campaign, in fact, could be a real downer. But a campaign staged for our entertainment? Who knows? It could be just the ticket.”
I must ask (more politely than above): “Are you kidding me? This wouldn’t be a campaign as much as it’s a campy butt pain.”
Thanks for listening