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The "Bitter" Truth of American Politics

Why is it that white politicians only get in trouble when they tell a lie, and even then it's only 50-50 that they'll be caught, but African-American politicians get in trouble when they tell the truth?

Anyone who doesn't think that Barack Obama was speaking the truth when he referred to the bitterness in rural small-town America, is either hopelessly naive or cynically seeking political advantage (Senators Clinton and McCain take note).  The economic dislocations of the past few decades have engendered resentments that manifest themselves in a variety ways including not only closer ties to religious communities, but also racism, homophobia, and hostility toward hispanic immigrants.

Did Obama phrase his statement perfectly?  No, probably not.  But war rages in Iraq (did anyone happen to notice that 17 American soldiers died in Iraq this week?), we are in the midst of a global environmental crisis, our economy is in shambles, our health care system desperately needs reform, and dozens of other important issues beg for our attention.  And instead, our political leaders and televisions talking heads are parsing the meaning of the word "bitter."

I am SO sick of this process.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
ogre_san
Apr. 15th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC)
Still trying to sort out the meaning of this. Considering into the mix McCain's lies, and Hillary's lies, and the (feh) Administration's lies, right now it boils down to this, based on the consequences of said actions up until now:

If you're a Republican: It's ok to lie.

If you're a Democrat: It's not ok to lie.

If you're Barack Obama: It's not ok to tell the truth.

davidbcoe
Apr. 15th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
Sounds about right to me.
kmarkhoover
Apr. 15th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
Anyone who thinks bitterness doesn't exist in rural America has obviously never lived in rural America. I have. It's real and don't let anyone tell you differently.
davidbcoe
Apr. 15th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the comment, Mark. I had a discussion with a couple of readers on my other blog site (wordpress) and have come to believe that I was wrong to limit these generalizations to rural Americans. There's bitterness in the inner cities, there's bitterness in working class suburbs across America. And there's bigotry all over. I do think that economic dislocations have a lot to do with it, but I think that the bitterness fostered by war and economic distress reach into every corner of America. One of the legacies of George Bush.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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