Sunday, April 13, 2008

In the quote now heard around the blogosphere, Sen. Obama used the following words to describe the people who live in economically depressed small towns in Pennsylvania and the Midwest:

You go into some of 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. So it's not surprising then that 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.

There is so much intelligent analysis of these words in other places that I'm surprised you would look to this site for my take--but you have, so I will reward you.

Summary: This is an amazingly disgusting observation to be made by anybody. This guy is a "serious" Presidential contender???

This was a statement made to explain why Obama may have difficulty connecting with small-town America. . .made in front of a roomful of wealthy big-city liberals. (As has been reported in several places)

His answer: it's about jobs. Please keep that in mind as you read the above statement--his starting point is with JOBS, and all the other thoughts extend from "there ain't no jobs"!

So, for more details:

If you are from a small town and believe in religion, it's not because you were taught to believe in it by loving parents and attentive Sunday-school teachers. You don't believe in your chosen religion because of the feeling of community it gives you with the larger world or because of the guidance it provides you to live your life in a quality manner. No, if you are from a small town and believe in religion. . .it's because it's the only thing you have left to "cling to. . .to explain your frustrations" since the government has failed to provide JOBS for the last 25 years. So in Barack's world, belief in religion is a FALL-BACK position that is being forced unto the small-town because of the government's inability to provide JOBS. In his world, we're all born to be economically-based thinkers. . .but when there's a bad local economy, only THEN do we turn to our values and look to our communities for strength.

To me, that's a little backwards.

About the guns. . .small-town folk "cling to guns. . .as a way to explain their frustrations" over a lack of jobs. You know, here I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say there's no way he meant to conjure up an image of a bitter lunatic in small-town USA that puts his rifle in bed beside him at night, lovingly patting the stock while whispering "maybe tomorrow is the day I'll use you as a way to explain my frustrations." So it's inappropriate word choice, right? TELL ME HOW THAT CAN BE ALLOWED AS PRESIDENT??? The media loves Bush and his stutters and his literogenesis and his numerous other verbal fumbles. . .but at least he's never said something this remarkably out of line! It's about seasoning, my friends--and Obama doesn't have it yet.

"Antipathy to people who aren't like them". . .hello kettle, it's pot. Have you seen Minister Wright?

But I digress. . .small-town people concern themselves far more with the "value" of a person than with their looks. Yes, there may be an initial "getting to know" period where caution is the exercise of the day in relations between small-towners and a newcomer. But I guarantee you that a predominately white small town would be as suspicious as me, a caucasian big-city type who has moved all over the place in pursuit of my job, as they would a black person, a hispanic person, or an asian person newly residing in the area. That suspicion would only subside when they got to know me and my family, and took stock of our value TO THE COMMUNITY. The problem that visitors or big-city types face when dealing with a small town is that the town doesn't get to know you, so they never get past suspicious. That's not antipathy, by the way. . .in fact it's far from it. I don't know that small-towners actually harbor ANY antipathy towards anything, with the possible exceptions of those who attack this country and talking heads who look down on the value of a small-town community.

Hmmm. . .maybe Obama does sense "anitpathy" when he visits a midwestern town. . .

Again, I digress. Regardless of what the sense of greeting is between small-towners and those who aren't "like them" in some capacity, I assure you that same greeting existed more than 25 years ago, before the JOBS supposedly ran away.

Anti-immigrant sentiment as a way to explain frustrations over a lack of jobs (I'm assuming he's talking about illegal immigration here)? Of course, small-towners could never think of a thing like NATIONAL SECURITY as a reason to hold anti-immigrant sentiment. That would be far too nuanced of a position for a small-town person to have. . .if you're an aloof liberal that has never taken the time to get to know the people in a particular small town. This was the generalization that REALLY got my blood boiling. Why can't small-town America hold anti-immigrant sentiment for the same reasons that several non-small-town Americans do? Why does it have to be about explaining bitterness generated from a lack of jobs?

One answer: Obama doesn't think that small-town people can look at problems in the same manner that city folks do.

Call that elitism if you want. There is most definitely a degree of "down his nose" in these comments and what they mean. To try to boil down the psychosis of small-town America into "well, it's about jobs" is just demeaning to an unbelievable level!

It could NEVER be about the candidate himself, right? I mean, Obama certainly couldn't stand in front of a room of wealthy liberal supporters and tell them that "small town America" won't support him because they look for substance in their leaders. . .and he's got none.

Or that "they" believe in God regardless of the economic climate, which make them unlikely converts to "the movement"?

And certainly, Obama could never say that because small-town midwesterners understand the issues that affect their lives, like the second amendment, illegal immigration, and free-trade agreements, they know that Obama is at odds with them politically.

No, he couldn't say those things. So instead, he explains that "they", these victims of deception by the government for the last 25 years. . .well, they have their beliefs--for all the wrong reasons, mind you, but they have their beliefs. And they don't believe that the government can fix anything. So they'll stick with what they know. And that leaves Obama on the outside, not because of anything he's said or done, but because of how closed-minded "they" are.

Poor Obama. He's really the victim here, of course. He's trying to lead a country full of people who have been duped into false beliefs by the last 25 years of government.

Has the American electorate ever put a victim in the White House?

Does Obama think we want to now?


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