Monday, April 14, 2008

Missing the point

I have mostly stayed clear of the presidential race on this blog because a) I assume everybody's pretty well sick of the subject, and b) I don't really have a dog in this fight. I have and will vote for Obama, but I'm not giving it up out of love. McCain is beneath consideration, and Billary (aka the two-headed beast) would be a lot like four more years of Bush, without the virtue of a quiet, heavily medicated presidential spouse. I can't vote for Nader because certain people would never speak to me again and that's too high a price to pay for a futile use of the franchise.

So, Obama is my only option, which is why I hate to see him being beaten up over his "guns and religion" remarks last week. (See and hear them in their proper context here.) I'm a native of this little corner of the redneck world, and I'd say he was right on target. Most of the poor and working class white folks I know are angry and resentful. And yes, that anger fuels both the gun fetish and the hateful, warped version of Christianity that has spread like rabies via the megachurches. (Dave Lindorff makes similar observations about another region here.)

What's funny about all this howling over Obama's armchair social analysis is that the same sort of sweeping generalizations are made all the time about the "pathology" of the black community, and everyone seems to think that's just fine. In fact, it's not possible to have a discussion in the mainstream media about race that does not include some pundit--often a white male with a six figure income--who bloviates at length about what's wrong with black people, and how poverty and discrimination made them that way. This is considered liberal and enlightened. But when Obama does it to whites, it's called snobbery.

What's sad here--and this is where I part company with Lindorff--is that Obama's blather and its fallout are as close as we can get to talking about the economic war being waged against working people in this country. The accusations of elitism against Obama are a diversionary tactic to avoid any real debate about workers' rights and how to combat the increasing gap between rich and poor.


Anonymous said...

Barack & Roll!, as the bumper sticker says.

BitterGrace said...

In spite of my misgivings, I am rooting for the guy, at least a little. Or maybe I'm just rooting for Michelle...