EPIPHANY

Your place for social commentary

Bitter and out of Control

Last week, Barack Obama said that the working class was bitter and I am just fine with that. Whenever a Presidential candidate places emphasis on the wrong word in a sentence, stutters when the teleprompter malfunctions, or sheds a tear when asked a question, we are forced to watch it over and over again on the news. With this latest technique of overkill being used to report on the remaining Presidential candidates, I was not surprised when Obama’s reference to the working class as bitter made headlines. I was surprised, however, at people’s reaction to his comment. The more and more I listened, the more and more I began to realize; I am bitter, and I am glad someone finally said it. Unfortunately, a number of people took this opportunity to say how out of touch Obama was with working class citizens and that he should be ashamed of himself. How are we going to address the bitter sentiment that people feel if we are so quick to dismiss it?

One does not have to be working class in order to be bitter about what is going on around them. For instance, I can protest my cost of living increasing and the value of my dollar decreasing. I can stand on a mountain top and shout “can’t you see that when you reduce funding for education, health research, and tease us with cuts in the interest rate-something I still don’t understand-I will become bitter! So yes, I am bitter. But, I think that in this situation, people are bitter because they have little or no control over negative economic circumstances some of us may be forced to deal with. If one works hard, they expect to see certain results; an increase in savings, a cushion for retirement, and comfort in knowing that one took the necessary steps now to plan for his or her future. No one wants to see the blueprint he or she is following for the American dream backfire beyond their control. Therefore, I think a number of us are bitter because we have lost control over the dealings of “big government.” As human beings, if we lose control over something we will try to compensate for it somewhere else. Think about countless number of times we clean our house because we feel a sense of disorder around us. We read self-hope books that tell us to “take control of your money,” “take control of your love life,” and “take control of your career” with the hope of removing variables one can not manage. How is one to feel if we take control yet still fall victim to issues such as lay-offs, budget cuts, and the rising foreclosure market? I am not a political or economic analyst, but I keep asking myself, how do I take control when I don’t’ feel like my voice is being heard?

I know, I have gone on and on about this for a number weeks, but I can’t help but wonder about my future if someone does not address the economic inequities that so many people are facing today. Hillary Clinton said Obama was “elitist and divisive” and others have called Obama’s remarks “condescending, negative, and hurtful.” Although I don’t completely agree with full context of his statement, I must admit that I am bitter about the economic welfare of this country. I am bitter and feel that I am losing control over my own wellbeing if I don’t take a stand. Sometimes the truth is hard to swallow. But, before we dismiss Obama’s comments as a blunder of words, shouldn’t we ask ourselves are we really bitter? And if so, how did we get there?

Hopefully, not bitter for much longer,

kp

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April 13, 2008 - Posted by | Opinion, Politics, Society

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