Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I can't say I disagree

I'm still confused as to the big whoop about these comments. They aren't anything that hasn't been said before (and by Bill Clinton himself, no less who once said "he reason (George H. W. Bush's tactic) works so well now is that you have all these economically insecure white people who are scared to death").

“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 going to 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.”

Who doesn't agree with this? There are plenty of people who grew up in small towns and know exactly the mentality that he's describing. It's not being elite--it's being frigging cognizant of the situation that many Americans, particularly working-class Americans, face and the situations that have led to such disdain. It's called "observation," people. Look it up.

Elitism is believing you're better than someone. Understanding is what happens when someone tries to seek the root cause of people's frustration. I think the quote above is an example of the latter.

And as Jon Stewart says at the end of this clip here (and I realize it's lengthy, but believe me it's worth it)...don't we want our president to be elite? Doesn't elite mean great? Haven't we settled for too long with someone who has pretended to be a regular-joe and has eroded the basic freedoms upon which this country was built in the meantime?

Touche, Jon Stewart. Touche.



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