So Obama stirred up a bit of a problem for himself in the recent past with his painting of the working class as “bitter” though in truth he is about half right. People do not cling to religion or guns or bigotry out of frustration over their ejection from the American Dream race. They were already evangelical or NRA card carriers or Archie Bunkers. The loss of good jobs or the decimation of their small towns magnified traits that were already not so healthy into obsessions. Is small town America bitter? Disillusioned? Jaded? Yes. Have they all become right-wing talk radio aficionados? No. Anyone who is over the edge now was pretty close before, in my opinion as someone who grew up in a union town that lost its jobs to company union busting policies for the most part.
What’s interesting is that Obama should show his elitist nature now with the Democratic Convention still so far in the future. Not that Clinton has a chance to derail the “juggernaut for change” that is Obama but because it gives all the people who don’t want to vote for him more reason to believe that he is as phony as any other politico who cries in the wilderness, “Vote for me. I’m different!” You can’t be different and be a politician. At least not an electable one.
Obama is just like the rest of us who escaped our middle or lower class roots. We look down back and see the people and places we have left behind and think – “Man are those people stupid.” And why not? They are. They are the ones who thought high school was the best years of life and that college was a waste of time when good jobs were to be had right out the front door of the high school at whatever the local factory was. And that was when? 1950’s? ’60’s? ’70’s? Maybe the ’80’s still, here and there. But not for long and certainly not now. Sad thing is that there are still people foolishly believing that an education is something to waste and that a person can still make a living out of the high school door. I see evidence of that here in Alberta where there are young people job hopping in hopes of finding work that isn’t work or isn’t the mind numbing/soul withering suckholes that those of us who busted our guts getting degrees already knew. When the economy is job heavy, employers tiptoe softly and throw as much money into wages as they can but booms do not last and here in Alberta the first signs of a softening are already beginning. It won’t be long til the owners have control again and the little guys who haven’t any choice but to work the minimum wage part time jobs will be under thumbs again. And that is what Obama is talking about. People who live and die at the pleasure of the economy, and they know he is right when he calls them “bitter” and points out that the guns, church and bigotry are the things they use to distract themselves from their own responsibility. People never like it when you see through them. It will cost Obama in November.