What Barack Obama Thinks Of Rural America: Bitter, Gun-Toting Xenophobes
Is anyone really surprised? I mean, this is a member of Rev. Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright’s flock.
…when he spoke to a group of his wealthier Golden State backers at a San Francisco fund-raiser last Sunday, Barack Obama took a shot at explaining the yawning cultural gap that separates a Turkeyfoot from a Marin County. “You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them,” Obama said. “And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then 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.”
Obama made a problematic judgment call in trying to explain working class culture to a much wealthier audience. He described blue collar Pennsylvanians with a series of what in the eyes of creamy Californians might be considered pure negatives: guns, clinging to religion, antipathy, xenophobia.
Given that Barack Obama was recently in my home state of mostly-white, mostly-working class citizens I can’t help but feel that he’s talking about me too. So let me enlighten Obama as to his misconceptions about us rural yokels.
We cling to guns not because we’re bitter but because we still believe – strike that, we still know – that private gun ownership is a right afforded to us by our constitution. We’re not anti-immigrant or xenophobic, we’re against millions of people being able to stroll across our borders and partake in the benefits of being American while flouting the laws our elected leaders passed and taking on almost none of the burdens of citizenship. We may be skeptical of people who aren’t like us, but then who isn’t? Is Obama really suggesting that a gun-loving conservative from middle America would be welcomed in, say, Berkeley? Perhaps we should talk to the Berkeley Marine recruiters about the topic of liberal tolerance for people who aren’t like them.
And while I, personally, am not religious I know that my fellow rubes practice their strongly-held religious beliefs as a way of edifying their moral code, creating a sense of community and passing their beliefs and standards on to future generations. That the churches of places like Pennsylvania and North Dakota seem alien to someone used to the booming diatribes of hatred and bigotry that come from the pulpits of the Rev. Wrights of the world is hardly our fault.
And as for anti-trade, I don’t doubt that many of my fellow rural Americans don’t believe as I do and are skeptical of free trade. But I certainly don’t see where Barack Obama, who has spent a good deal of this campaign season castigating free trade agreements as having lost this country jobs and wealth, gets off criticizing anyone for being “anti-trade.”
Personally, I don’t know what’s worse. That Barack Obama said these arrogant things about people like me, or that he thought he could say them to a bunch of rich liberals in California without it getting back to us backwoods, out-of-the-mainstream rubes.