What Do The Simple Folk Do?
"It is true I am amused about this notion of elitist."
Barack Obama, CNN, April 16, 2008
Yes, blogging has changed everything. At a soignee fundraiser, closed to the press, a blogger for the Huffington Post recorded a speech given by a candidate she supports, Barack Obama. These are the words which have casused the great Bitterness Debate -
“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Obama's analysis of the economics of the situation is accurate. Where he falls down, and opens himself to charges of elitism and snobbery, is his odd lack of empathy for working and blue-collar people. Poor people - people he grew up with, met as a community organizer in the Chicago ghetto - he can understand. Indeed, it's the explanation for his long term relationship with a hater like Rev. Wright. Liberation Theology both blames the capitalist government for all the ills of the descendents of slaves, while simultaneously exaulting their natural superiority, which makes it problematic how they continue to be so exploited. No, it's working class people he looks down on as Archie Bunkers.
His words sneer at their affirmative choices. People of all ages and stations have a fulfilling relationship with God. Rural people hunt and fish, and enjoy the forest and stream as a treasure, a balm available to all. They have good cause to be angry that their government will not enforce immigration laws, as they are outbid for painting and roofing jobs to support their family. Some may be bitter, some may be exasperated. But they do not cherish their First and Second Amendment Rights as a crutch; rather, they would go to church or the rod & gun club whether economic times are good or bad - because they like it. They aren't inferior to the people you organized in Chicago, or the hoi polloi you solicit donations from, Senator - they're different.
Simple people, Sen. Obama. It's a regular person thing - you wouldn't understand, Senator.