I mean seriously, you have to be fucking kidding me if you think that having Guam, of all places having a say for the presidential race is good for our democracy. Let me be the first to say, "Fuck Guam". I fully believe that if Hillary was set to win she would have said that it was important that their voices be heard.
I wonder if gynecologists are ever asked, "Hey if you're not doing anything this weekend, would you mind coming over and having a look at the wife's plumbing? You know, maybe give it a tweak here and there?"
Perhaps that's a little outlandish, but why is it then that people have no problems asking construction workers to come over and "give them a hand" over the weekend? You wouldn't ask your teacher/professor to come over and give you a lecture on Early American Romanticism. And yet. And yet I must go and install new locks into a friend's house. That is after turning down another offer to go and work a side job. Twice, in fact as if not working Saturday meant that I would want to do it Sunday instead. Let me make this quite clear. 40 hours a week is more than enough work for me. Weekends are spent doing yard work, getting shit faced and catching up on domestic matters.
Interesting conversation over at the Cedar Lounge about elitism and our presidential election as of late. But I think maybe that the more important question one about the white working class in particular feeling bitter versus being bitter.
Now for many, especially internationally the requirements of US Presidents (especially after Dubya) will be low. As Malcolm noted in the seventh comment here. And that is exactly where we go wrong. I would cite if I may, the an early comment left in Malcolm's old place which I not only stand by but feel to be my penultimate contribution (despite three plus postings so far about said upcoming election). Typos and all it really does mark out how I feel about the election and politics in my country.
But back to the comment. This post was supposed to be out before the Pennsylvanian primary finished but as happens the date has come and gone with nothing more than a sigh of exasperation as Hillary soldiers on and shows no signs of stopping no matter what. Obama may do better to take some hints from someone who has been in his position before and simply destroy the brain. I mean seriously tell me there's not a resemblance here.
You can see it in her eyes, those glasses she's gnawing on are only a placebo for her real desire. Suffice to say we must all remember to "organize, before they rise".
But I digress. The comment,
"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.”
To me this is one of the first honest things Obama has said on the campaign trail. If anyone wants to get upset by something that Obama said they should've been paying attention to this little snippet,
"Here's the thing, Missoula — I just like saying Missoula, by the way. It's a good name. Missoula. A lot of vowels."
Wow! Now that's leadership material, I know I'm convinced! Okay before I get too carried away with my own shit there are two things that need to be addressed. These are the topics Obama was addressing and the hype and accusations flying around Obama.
While I respect WBS I'm going to have to disagree with him on this one. Obama is an elitist. Let's be clear that just because C. Wright Mills writes something doesn't make it so. He wrote that Hungary '56 was the archetype of a Marxist uprising. Let me be quite clear. My family went out in '56. My wife's family went out in '56. We've met and dealt with a multitude of 56'ers. It may have been many things but it was not a Marxist uprising. But back to Obama and the power elites. I don't particularly care about the semantic particularities that pervade leftist blogs but lets be honest. If you're running for the highest office in the land you're an elitist. You may not be a member of the elite per se (that much I will begrudge) but once you attend an Ivy League school you leave your "common man" roots behind. Joe Blow is quite content to pay his mortgage, stow a little away for retirement and get shit faced on Friday nights, Sundays during football season and any particular day during National Hockey League play-offs (go Avs). Basically we're content to simply fuck up our own lives and leave everyone else alone. To be a politician is to be be extraordinary in the most basic sense that you want to screw with other people's lives. So yes Obama is an elitist, so what? That's like saying shit stinks. We may not like to acknowledge it, but we all know it's true.
Of more concern to me is the rhetoric that flies around Obama. In looking for his insightful comment about Missoula I came across a comment on his appearance in Missoula,"JC, (0.00 / 0)
Obama really IS another Kennedy [my emphasis]. So, if you young folks missed the Kennedys the first time around, go see Obama. He's the real deal. We loved the Kennedy's back then, and people now love Obama"
This is quite worrying to me. While Ted Kennedy may be quite safe for re-election I loathe and mistrust the Kennedy legacy. I don't particularly care about JFK's womanizing, though he did set the bar rather high. Of more concern to me is the secondary Kennedy brother. I reflect on Malcolm's post about RFK. To me the face of Jim Crow America is not the face of an overweight Alabama Sheriff but the face of a young and aspiring Kennedy. Yes RFK's rankling of Hoffa does chafe my ass in that he equated corrupt business unionism with the threat of communism and the threat of the general strike (which is a legitimate aspiration for labor IMO) thereby tarring all unions as red havens even though he knew otherwise. But my real issue with RFK is that while he was attorney general he approved letting J. Edgar Hoover loose upon Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement as a whole.
So although history in the main sense blames backwoods hillbillies we would well to remember that the Kennedy bhoys were quite content to suppress the civil rights movement when it suited them. It was only when resistance to civil rights become a liability did the Federal government crack on organizations like the KKK, ie pragmatism rather than principle. And that's fine, who are we to judge history?
Here's the the thing though. I've noted before how long time Democrats are dropping out of the party over their concerns about the party. Muddying the waters is of course the uniquely American idea that we are all middle class. But immigration is really muddying the waters. Now maybe I'm being hyper sensitive but when there are signs in my friend's yard all year round about stopping illegal immigration. Lifelong democratic voters who say they'll stay home before voting Republican defend Douglas Bruce in regards peasant comments. And extremely conservative Catholics say that we need a "revolution" (his words), I start to worry.
"Why?" you ask? Well as much as the term fascism is thrown around in terms of everything authoritarian it should be remembered that it does have rather specific connotations. Importantly it has to do with non-traditional conservative thought and hostility towards the left. I don't know if what I'm seeing counts as fascism. I wouldn't characterize the men I work with as fascist or even really authoritarian or reactionary. Men like my coworkers and friends have made up the back bone of the union movement for a generation. Maybe some would consider them as "Reagan Democrats" in our brave new world of infinite special interest groups. But it wasn't always as such and the fact that that term is getting a new and ever increasing demographic during a Democratic resurgence should be cause for worry.
My concern is not if we take to the barricades, but that when we do that it will not be in defense of the general ideals set forth by the Confederation but by those espoused by the National Syndicalists and their relative successors. Although to take that seriously, one would actually have to study fascism, conservatism, and liberalism and their place in society, something which we are ill prepared to do.