The mainstream media is making much of the remark by Senator Barack Obama about the residents of small-town America being "bitter." Actually, I believe most Americans are "bitter" by now, and with good reason. We can begin with the fact that the last two presidential elections have not been decided by the good common sense of the voting public but by the arcane machinations and dirty tricks of the political party machinery.
First, let's explore the term, "bitter." On the scale of unhappiness, it is to be found somewhere beyond "disappointment," "disillusionment" and "desperation." Those terms have been common in recent years and with very good reason. However, as the situation of working America continues to deteriorate, we have certainly become "desperate" because nobody in government appears to truly know or care. However, being bitter does not denote surrender.
After seizing the 2000 election, George Bush, who promised to be "a uniter, not a divider," undertook policies which created the widest division in the United States since the Civil War -- not between states but between classes. Instantly, he began choosing "enemies" throughout the world of whom we should be aware and fearful. After the second and highly successful bombing of the World Trade Center, he immediately plunged the nation into a total war against an amorphous and disconnected "enemy" by attacking Afghanistan which appeared to be the home base of its leadership.
As it appeared that we were winning that war, though much was left to be done, we were bombarded by the fear machine regarding the other arch-enemy, Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq who was, we were told, prepared to attack us with nuclear weapons at any moment.
When we invaded Iraq and found no "weapons of mass destruction," we were told that the dreaded Al Qaida was there and we had to destroy them, (turns out Saddam hated Al Qaida and we found none), then we had to "establish democracy" despite our having killed a million or so Iraqi civilians and lost a couple of thousand more American troops.
We are now told that we may there another generation or two since Iraq is, by nature, a tribal nation rife with sectarian rivalry and does not want to become a united nation. (That, by the way, is why it was placed under a brutal dictatorship when the British left Mesopotamia.)
The President keeps telling us that our economy is going through a "rough patch" and we should suck it up while jobs continue to go off-shore, homes are being foreclosed, and children and elderly are dying needlessly for lack of medical care. Those who still have jobs are paying double for gasoline to get to work and retail prices are reaching for the sky because of the increased cost of getting merchandise from the factory or the docks to the stores. Meanwhile, the oil barons are being enriched beyond imagination by their windfall profits and the world is running out of fuel.
Recently we have been made aware of the fact that there are more hired mercenaries in Iraq than there are American troops. These hired guns are paid at a much higher rate than are our own soldiers, and the corporations who direct them, Blackwater and Halliburton subsidiaries or spin-offs, are pocketing huge profits, not only for fighting but for their no-bid "reconstruction" work. Kellogg, Brown & Root, a "former Halliburton" firm, is providing rotten food and contaminated water for our troops, courtesy of their slave-wage laborers from all over the world. We have no idea how many of these "civilian employees" have been killed, I suppose because the hired help doesn't matter.
Meanwhile, the leaders of Al Qaida are no longer in Afghanistan but have crossed the border into Pakistan but we can't go there because our leaders tell us that "Pakistan is our friend." However, the "extremist" Taliban organization is battling us in order to return that nation to the old, traditional ways of governing by tribal rules. The titular leader who was installed by us, Hamid Karzai, is so hated by the people that he is virtually a prisoner in the capital city and, even there, can move only with armed guard.
To the citizens of a nation that, a few short years ago, was a "shining city on a hill," it is a revolting development to find that we are hated throughout the world and can only find "allies" with the payment of sufficient amounts of money. And, yes, there is the problem of money! The entire cost of the Bush misadventure has been charged to our children, grandchildren, ad infinitum, and the American dollar is no longer an advantage on the world markets. Tourists from all over the world can come here to find bargains in our stores, but Americans cannot share in their pursuits because Americans have no money!
We lose our jobs, we lose our homes, we lose our sons and daughters in the war without end, and now many of us are losing our tempers! Some are old enough to remember the miseries of the Great Depression and we feel another one coming on as history is repeating itself. It seems that Herbert Hoover was also unconcerned about the plight of the ordinary American and intent on following his own Pied Piper. When the world-wide drought and food shortage hit, the United States was virtually destroyed. Now we are reading about food riots and shortages in other nations and the scientists are warning that another drought is in the making.
I don't know about Pennsylvania, Senator Obama, but I know about America, and we are not only bitter -- we are sick and tired of elected officials who are lying to us as they betray our trust and their oaths of office
We're mad as hell and we're not gonna take it any more!