Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bitter and Proud Of It

This knock-down-drag-out presidential race hit the national media with a news flash last weekend via some comments from Barack Obama: there's a heap of unhappy, frustrated and old-fashioned Bitter Americans.

A web site was quickly made (Bitter Americans) and they have a t-shirt for you.

And one writer for the Huffington Post proudly claims the Bitter landscape and says:

Are we bitter? Hell, yes. We've been hung out to dry for so long we've come to feel like somebody's ragged, abandoned laundry. All those election year promises? We're worse off now than we were eight years ago-- and we didn't do all that well during the Clinton years. We thought we had a chance then, but attention to poverty-detail was diverted to extra-marital Scandalgate. Even a president with self-control and honesty issues has to survive, ya know. In the heat of the GOP/Ken Starr/Clinton Impeachment wars, we were left hanging on the line.

So we're easily led to acting out. To acting out in rage. And, since we've figured out we can't win the battle to improve our lot in American life, we latch on to any Gotcha! War we feel we can win. The GOP has been masterful at identifying that need of ours and feeding it. If they can redirect our rage (Don't pay any attention to that poverty behind the curtain!), make us focus on pseudo-morality wars, we'll direct all that rage against the candidate they tell us is the root of all evil. We vote for the guy who tells us "All Muslims are evil terrorists and we gotta fight 'em there so we don't have to fight 'em here!", "Homosexual unions will destroy the American Family!", "They're going to take away all your guns!", "God wants you to vote for me--He loathes liberals (and, by the way, they've even declared war on Christmas)!", "Women who want reproductive rights left to themselves, their partners, their doctors and their God are all baby killers!", and "Illegal immigrants are getting all those (factory and tech?) jobs you used to have--and some of them are terrorists!" If we don't vote the Right way, the "other guy", that anti-American, troop-hatin', anti-Christian liberal, will take away what little we've got left. Damned if we'll lose that battle.

We're desperate. We need to believe we can win something. If we can't hope for even a small version of the American Dream, then we'll buy into any fight that makes us feel we have some power left."

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