Sunday, April 13, 2008

Driving a Wedge between Voters and Candidate, While Ignoring the Issue

It's no secret the Hillary Clinton campaign has been showing signs of desperation. It has become clear that members of the Clinton campaign follow Obama everywhere he goes, with the mission of trying to nab him in a public speaking gaffe.

This week, the Clinton camp tried to make a huge story out of this Barack Obama statement: "It's not surprising, then, [the working class] 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."

Hillary immediately held a press conferences chastising Barack, calling him an "elitist" and saying "People don't need a president who looks down on them...They need a president who stands up for them." She simply took Barack's words and twisted them against him. She gripes about "cling" being a demeaning word, and that the working-class are "optimistic" not "frustrated."

So this is what has become of our democratic process: when a politician speaks frankly and candidly, saying what many of us deep down recognize as bearing some truth, other politicians chastise him for the candidness. Heaven forbid, we hear some frankness from a politician, instead of watered down, sugar-coated, poll-approved, game-show-host platitudes.

And as much as the Hillary would like Barack's statement to be comparable to her "sniper-fire" gaffe, it's apples and oranges. Hillary was manipulating voters, trying to beef-up her national security credentials, and she repeated the Bosnian "sniper-fire" story several times.

With Obama's statement, he was simply trying to articulate the suffocation of powerlessness that the working class endure; and the directions the working class commonly go, attempting to puncture that suffocation.

It's all just a dispiriting attempt of driving a wedge between a candidate and potential voters (working-class), when there really needs to be a candid analysis of these marginalized people (working class), and the self-defeating attitudes that increase their marginalization.

So who is the demeaning elitist here?

The candidate attempting an honest discourse on the powerlessness of the working class?

Or the candidate who chastises the other candidate for attempting honest discourse on working class powerlessness, in a paternalistic gesture to steal working class votes.