when i'm hearing about this discussion of whether or not we the people are actually bitter, quoting barack obama, i don't understand what is so condescending about suggesting that "working class" voters are frustrated.
while i think he missed the mark in regards to guns and God, if anything, it's insanely elitist and out of touch to assume that people DON'T feel this way. because i hear variations on the bitter theme everywhere. i hear it in the hallways of my workplace, on the rapid transit, in conversations with relatives and friends. this is what my dad tells me that the guys he works with talk about.
(for the record, i've grown up hovering between the middle and working class. while my parents both have college degrees, my dad's been driving delivery trucks for the last 30-something years and wouldn't have it any other way).
we hear people blame it on the economy, on jobs going overseas, on "those people" being out to get them and hold them down, or "those people" moving into their neighborhoods, on the kids getting out of control.
maybe this is just a cleveland thing. because after all, we're really good at complaining and watching things go down the tubes for the last 30 years. but i do think it's more widespread than that.
because, as far as i can tell, a lot of us are pretty darn bitter right now, at least here in flyover territory where the politicians come in every four years, make lots of promises and pander to the right people and then forget about us.
there's no real period that we can trace our decline back to, or any one thing we can blame it on. there are so many factors at play and it's been a long time coming.
i think that the cynicism and disgust is pretty bipartisan. we all know how the democrats and those on the left feel about the republicans who've been running the show for the past 8 years, but i know there's a lot of bitter and disgusted conservatives as well, who feel like they got shafted. the agnostics and the atheists blame the christians, the conservative element blames those it considers degenerate.
either way, you'd have to be either doing really well or completely oblivious to think we're on the right track.
we're losing our jobs, the prices of everything are going up, so many people are really not doing well right now. this whole war thing is turning into a disaster and i feel ashamed that a president who claims that life is sacred has no problem with torturing people in the name of doing the right thing.
i see a lot of desperation all around me, much of it self-inflicted, but also a heavy dose of it just being hard times. and honestly, this is the first time i've ever heard any major political figure acknowledge that.
i try not to let the bitterness get to me, but it is hard. i am so leery of quick fixes, of large quantities of money being thrown at dubious projects and abstract goals, of promises to make this place better for "our children and our children's children." it gets old. i don't have a candidate to vote for that i believe in, which isn't surprising but is frustrating nonetheless. i feel overwhelmed by the despair i see in this city.
i'm glad in a way that i don't look for some person to fix everything, or expect all that much. that way i'm not disappointed.