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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Should We Be Offended by Obama's Comments?

Hey World,
I don't know about anyone else, but I wasn't all that offended by Obama's comments. I mean, I am not from a small-town. At a California fund-raiser, Obama said this in referring to Pennsylvanians without jobs:

"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."

On one hand, I could see where Obama was coming from. To me, he is implying that working-class folks tend to be religious, into gun culture, and they hate immigrants and trading with other countries. From my experience, some people who fit Obama's description are this way, but a middle-class or an upper-class person could be religious, trigger-happy, and xenophobic too.

I think that Obama may have been generalizing. It is a shame because Obama portrays himself as a representer of the everyman regardless of class, but of course there are those who will kick a person when he is down. CNN says Hillary Clinton was "taken aback" by Obama's statements, and John McCain said the comments were "elitist." Clinton and McCain are just happy no one is ragging on them. Clinton, especially, must be relieved that people have stopped talking about the Bosnia thing for awhile.

Even Obama admits that he didn't explain himself well, but it is true that people often turn to other sources when they are "bitter" or desperate. I'm not as sure about guns, but people often turn to religion. Also, Obama there are many points in history where working-class Americans hold anti-immigrant sentiments after losing their jobs.

Geez, give the man a break! And while you do, check out this Youtube video of Obama explaining his comments:

1 comment:

mike's spot said...

Man I've been battling this one with our classmates tooth and nail. even Prof L is giving me grief on it :)

when you say 'I wasn't all that offended by Obama's comments. I mean, I am not from a small-town.'

Obama shows a bit of true color I think. This doesn't offend most city dwellers, and thats who I think Obama's real voting base comes from.

He's a champion of everyone alright- so long as your not a rural moderate or conservative, who I thought Obama said he was going to reach out to? Cross party lines?

is that not happening now? did I miss the memo?

Obama let me down here. I may not have agreed with him philosophically on all issues, but I found this disappointing from someone who has been carried as such a phenomenal speaker.