The latest dust-up out there on the campaign trail has to do with Senator Obama's remarks that Americans are "bitter" about our government's lack of interest in our well-being and, therefore, many people tend to vote (sometimes against their own economic best interests) on hot-button issues like abortion, gay rights, gun control, etc.
Senator Clinton was quick to accuse him of being "out of touch" with the people, saying that was "not [her] experience." Senator McCain weighed in more or less along the same lines, accusing Obama of being "elitist". I understand that being an "elitist" is a very bad thing in America; I would like to know why that is. I would also like to know what planet Senators Clinton and McCain have been on for the last eight years!! Their responses to Obama's remarks amaze me.
First of all, the very fact that George Bush is in the White House today is proof positive that Senator Obama is right. Many, many people voted for Bush against their own economic best interests which is, like, totally unacceptable from the standpoint of capitalist political theory, but it happened. Middle America voted for Bush because he was not Bill Clinton. They voted for Bush because he was a "good Christian," faithful to his wife and a nice guy. They voted on the issues: abortion, guns, homosexuality, war .... whatever. It seems to me that the majority of people who voted for Bush voted against their own economic interest. His whole economic theory is based on taking from the poor and the middle classes and giving to the rich. Lord knows he was telling the truth about that because it is exactly what this administration has done. Unlike President Reagan, the Bushies don't even pretend that any of that wealth will "trickle" back down to the masses.
The fact that Bush did as well as he did in 2000 was puzzling to me. The fact that he was reelected in 2004 was downright baffling, not to mention depressing. But, it happened! A lot of non-rich people voted for Bush "on the issues".
Frankly, I understand that. I am one of those "bitter" Americans who believes that very few people in Washington (or our state capitals either) care about what is good for us. From my perspective, Senator Obama is right. Americans are bitter. We believe that our government officials don't give a flying fig about our welfare or our opinion. Many people have retreated into a sort of politically defensive mode where they either do not vote at all or they base their votes on issues of religion or morality rather than economics and contemporary political realities. If that is what Senator Obama said, I think his analysis is spot on.
I, personally, find that sad and somewhat fearsome. I think we should be angry to the point of outrage over the abuses our government has committed. In the Sixties people took to the streets in protest over government abuses that pale beside the lies and deceit of this administration. Where is the rage? I think the answer is that many Americans are not merely bitter, they feel hopeless. Our elected officials and their un-elected "advisers" who are running the government are so arrogant they think they can manipulate us into continuing to vote for them no matter what they do, so long as they adhere to "conservative" positions on social issues. Unfortunately, for the last couple of election cycles that has proved to be absolutely true.
It will remain to be seen how well America tolerates Senator Obama's truth-telling. I am not optimistic. Americans prefer politics (and pretty much all other reality) sugar-coated. We don't care for the unvarnished truth about the things that are wrong with our country and our world. That is because once we understand the truth, we will bear some responsibility for doing something about it.
God forbid that Americans should ever be responsible for anything!
As long as We The People continue to abdicate our responsibility for holding our elected officials (the people who work for us) accountable for their actions and as long as we continue to refuse to listen to the truth when courageous people stand up and try to tell it to us, then we deserve whatever happens. As long as we continue to behave like immature children, we will attract leaders who will continue to take advantage of us. Our Republic needs an informed, involved, committed and vigilant electorate. The fact is we have bad leaders because we are lazy, immature, ignorant voters.
I think Senator Obama may be intentionally trying to yank our chains in order to wake us up. Vice President Gore is doing the same thing, ringing the alarm bells and trying to alert America to the reality of the environmental problems we face. Like latter day Paul Reveres they are spreading the word that something a hell of a lot worse than the British is coming. Americans are ignoring the warnings.
All I can say is God have mercy on America.