’08 Election Slime Report: Chapter 2

I’m not enjoying the Democratic primary campaign.

I wish Clinton and Obama would just tell us why we should vote for them, rather than harping on why we should not vote for the other guy/gal.

But as you know, Jones’ First Law of Social Interaction (Bullies always win) has a corollary: Negative campaigning works. So now Clinton is giving Obama shit because he said this:

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest,” he said, “the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them… 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.”

To me, this seems like an obviously true statement. Doesn’t it to you? I mean, take religion for example. Let’s use Christianity, because that’s the one all the candidates have to pander to. It got started among the dirt-poor in the ancient Roman Empire. The early Christians were the conquered “citizens” of Rome who were consigned to having nothing, and doomed to stay that way, while the Emperor had the ancient equivalent of hot tubs and plasma televisions. For the little guy, life was a hardscrabble forty years, followed by a short illness or a fatal accident and then back to dust.

Along comes Jesus with his promise of a kingdom in the afterlife, open to all, free of want and pain. Your lot in this life is less than irrelevant to your chance for eternal happiness in heaven. In fact, the worse things are for you here, the better they’ll be in heaven, as long as you shut up and accept your lot in life. Throw in a little ritual hocus pocus and is it any wonder people would cling to it? Like, what else would helpless, powerless, dispossessed people have to cling to? Their brutal work in the fields and mines and shops of ancient Rome, where they earned just enough to slowly starve themselves and their families to death?

As the wealth in the United States continues to be stolen and given to the rich, as the middle class is slowly turned into the lower class, then the working poor, and finally The Poor, it’s no wonder that some look for solace in their beautiful fantasy of God’s love, redemption and eternal, ecstatic life in heaven. Who’d go along with all those rules and restrictions and requirements if they weren’t desperate for something to give them hope?

I applaud the fact that there is a politician in this race with the brains to see this reality and the balls to speak of it in public. What Obama said to me with those words is “The economic policies of this government are making people desperate, and it’s got to stop. We have to give folks a way to earn a decent living, have some self-respect, educate their children and keep some hope for a dignified old age. Then they won’t have to cling to fantasies, however beautiful.”

I just hope we don’t crucify him for saying it.

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6 Replies to “’08 Election Slime Report: Chapter 2”

  1. Well, this is why I was originally supporting Edwards, because of his emphasis on poverty, from whence all evils spring.

    It’s amazing to me that in this day and age, that the old “life is a veil of tears, suffer and your reward will be in heaven” chestnut still works so well on so many people that might otherwise stand up and demand that their government represent them with the enthusiasm that they otherwise reserve for the wealthy.

  2. I see very little relevance in this race to our regular lives. Gas and other “necessities” for our economy are becoming unaffordable and the dialogue is about going to church and other non-sense. This race reminds me of 2000. At least in 2004 there were discussions about terror and war (I didn’t like the outcome of the election- but there was some semblance of relevancy).

    I intend to vote for Obama, but cant muster much enthusiasm…..

  3. I agree with Steve (except I’m hoping for Hillary, but will of course, vote for Obama)

    Two wars and one on the way with Iran, the economy is in the tank and will be as far as the eye can see, drugs in our drinking water, rotten, poisonous products being imported from China, etc., etc., etc., and all the media can talk about is that Obama drinks orange juice and is a poor bowler and Hillary cackles too much, blah, blah, blah.

    I think Bush’s greatest and most enduring legacy will be that he *redefined* what reality is.

    There’s the real reality that’s happening all around us, but we are all living in some weird parallel universe while the real reality is slowly killing us.

    I don’t get it.

  4. If Obama is the real deal, I fear for him. People do not like change.

    As for Hilary, it’s great that she’s a woman and paid her dues, but she’s a Kerry-McCain hybrid without a penis. She will definitely maintain the status quo. Obama might not, and that could be dangerous for him.

    I believe that I’m with Steve on this one. I think it’s the same old song and dance, they just changed the tempo a little and someone different is singing the song.

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