Kathryn, with regards to your e-mailers who figure we’re all dancing conga lines at Mrs Edwards’ cancer, you’re right: Who thinks like that?
From my limited contact with her in the 2004 election, I’d say Elizabeth Edwards was one of the nicest things about that election: She was very warm and genuine and likeable. I wish her only the best.
But, even if she weren’t warm, genuine, etc, common decency requires us to wish her well in such circumstances, not just for her sake but for ours. At a certain level, politics is a banal reductio: communists and socialists can shrivel human experience to politics alone, but conservatives of all people should understand that life is about all the other stuff, and in the end the personal is not political. For your sad e-mailer to think anyone here wishes cancer on Mrs Edwards is not just a decadent projection of his own fantasies but a kind of democratic illiteracy. He doesn’t understand that ultimately you cannot function in a free society if you think 50 per cent of your neighbors are the enemy.