The death of a great liberal Democrat (small “l”, capital “D”)




Robert Edgar was a great, great man, one of the first politicians for whom the teenage me worked. The fields to which he gave his huge talent and boundless concern are almost excessive to list: Open Government, Civil Rights, Citizens' Rights, the politico-religious dialogue (he was a Unitarian cleric as well as a politician), non-violence. He was a very committed friend of Northern Ireland, and brought many, many issues of relevance to the Troubles of the 1970s and 80s to the awareness of his constituents in Pennsylvania, and to the floor of the US House of Representatives – this before the Hunger Strike captured the imagination of the US media, and before a lot of much better-funded groups and better-subsidised Representatives and Senators weighed in on the matter a few years later.

A great man, a great public servant, a great Liberal. Bob was the kind of American politician that we here in Europe very seldom get to see – the antithesis of the Palins, Gingriches, Robertsons and Santorums. I'm proud to have done a small part in keeping him in Congress in the face of the Neo-Con surge of the early 1980s. May he rest in peace, and in the immortality of his witness and achievements.


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