Tag Archives: elitism
The recent campaign spat over Senator Obama’s remarks about “bitter” Americans has blown into a full force whirlwind of campaign attacks and defenses leading up to the Pennsylvania primary. While both sides are right in attacking and defending statements made in the campaign – we are now lowering the level of debate to a point that is in the disinterest of all those involved. This campaign is now at the point where the in-fighting between Clinton and Obama has reached proportions that could do serious damage to the Democratic Party and our chances in the 2008 election.
I do not write this as a Obama or Clinton supporter. I am writing this out of my complete frustration over the lowbrow debate that has arisen in this campaign. What Barack Obama said is a logical, truthful, and accurate argument about the alienation of a large part of American society. This argument was explored in-depth in the book What’s the Matter With Kansas. His phrasing was poor, which has consistently been the down fall of Democrats (see everything that spilled out of John Kerry’s mouth). At this point this debate could have developed into one of the larger socio-economic issues that alienate certain groups – a debate Clinton could have engaged Obama in respectively and intelligently.
Instead, by fault of both candidates, they picked the easy political route. Clinton attacked, joining with McCain, calling Obama an elitist. Obama retorted – Hillary claimed she duck hunted – Obama stood silent – Hillary made an ad. Obama did not take the high road of Hope and annihilate Clinton’s initial steps with a powerful defense of his thoughts, but rather engaged with dirty quotes – a poor political choice.
Now the two are doing what Democrats do best. They are destroying each other. They have started a slippery-slope of accusations wherein they are attempting to out-common each other. Their attempts to appear “in sync” with the American people are foolish at this point. It is one thing to participate in campaign events to reach out to voters, but to do so in the context of “being a common person” is ridiculous. Both sides are opening themselves up for the Republicans favorite arsenal of attacks… the same ones that has held them in power for so long. This time we are writing their talking points and ads for them – pro bono.
This could have been an excellent chance to demonstrate how Bush/McCain Republicans are out of touch with small-town America, and engage each other in a debate on how to address the frustration and anxiety of the people many of us know. A situation of dialogue appears to be a false hope… just like the one wherein Al Gore is our President. What scares me is that in 4 years I don’t want to have to watch Obama or Hillary on SNL postulating what could have been.
Stop. Stop with this horrendous line of attack. One or both of the candidates must rise above their strategists and their handlers to roll back the damage done in the past week. Obama – you may succeed at taking the nomination, but your integrity has taken a hit – a large part of that is due to your inability to see opportunity in a mistake. Clinton – you may win at any price, but you will lose the election if you continue to run attacks befitting of Rove. Stop. This also goes for surrogates across the nation. Engaging your fellow Democrats in this debate will not help your candidate come November… be apart of the positive dialogue and put pressure on your candidate to stop. Please, for the sake of my sanity. Stop.
“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. Â And they fell through the Clinton Administration and the BushÂ Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonnaÂ regenerateÂ and they have not. Â 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”
It’s now been more than a week since Barack Obama uttered those words. Â In the intervening time, Hillary Clinton and John McCain have bashed him as an elitist and Obama himself has said that he chose his words poorly. Â Maybe if the goal is to win a presidential campaign, he did, but if the goal is to tell the truth, he was right-on. (more…)