You go into 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…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.
This is Obama’s latest gaffe. He accidently told the truth that everyone knows: liberal elites don’t love Americans so much as they feel sorry for them. Flush with confidence after dodging the Rev. Wright bullet, Obama has fallen back on the old liberal standby: poor and middle class whites need to recognize their real interests are economic and similar to those of poor minorities. In other words, what they seem to think is important is in fact an illusion at best, a type of vice at worst.
This was Bill Clinton’s New Democrat formula; he wanted to unite the poor and middle class through broad government entitlements, and the key to this was to put the government in charge of health care. He wanted in effect to bribe the middle class to look the other way on government privileges for minorities, women, gays, and the like by making middle class whites part of the group feeding at the trough. Clinton knew that the old canard of “welfare queens getting rich” carries little weight among recipients of Medicare and Social Security, whose beneficiaries consist mostly of people who have worked hard most of their life. He wanted to promote this thinking among younger working people, as well.
Obama’s whining about the mass hysteria of Pennsylvania’s poor whites is obviously selective and results-oriented. Obama is calculating and contradictory in his rhetoric. Obama cares quite a bit about social issues, in particular those involving race. He knows that man does not live by bread alone. That’s why liberal wedge issues are often symbolic in nature and have little to do with over-turning capitalism. It’s why Obama retreats into vague generalities about “hope.” It’s why rich Hollywood moguls and hundred-millionaires like the Clintons support raising taxes on the “rich.” As liberal globalists, they are scared of the the gun-toting Christian peasantry, care a lot about gay marriage, are wedded to sexual politics and feminism, and are very concerned with showing their moral superiority to poor whites by supporting things like affirmative action.
What Obama’s really saying is that the social issues of his supporters are legitimate, while those of whites are the illegitimate epiphenomena of fear, hatred, and resentment against their declining power as a group. Black rage is good; “angry white men” are bad. He wants poor whites only to consider economics (in Obama’s mind the primary culprit), while he wants poor blacks to consider all of their resentments, as their economic circumstances, racism, and the like are all rooted in the same economic forces in his Marxist reasoning. Rich whites, finally, should only consider the wedge social issues of the Democratic Party. In spite of his reputation for sophistication, his philosophy is typical for a politician: whatever you do, vote for him.
It’s why Obama asks us in his great race speech to forgive the rantings of a Reverend Wright, even as we must recognize the intrinsic evil of his white grandmother’s representative fear of black criminals. As for the elephant in the room–the liberal program’s privileging of minority groups against whites–for Obama it’s just a question of understanding and recognizing your own collective guilt. It’s the right thing; economic interests must take a back seat. (Once again, moral considerations must trump economic ones when the power of minorities is involved.) There is also a hedge; Obama promises a payout from the coffers of even richer whites, so he’s really dodging the issue suggesting it won’t be a big problem. Rich whitey will raise all boats, black and poor white alike.
Remember his speech, “Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze – a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many.” It’s apparent from his on-again/off-again concern for social issues that Obama only employs his economic rhetoric selectively. Everyone is well within their rights to vote for him for any reason. The poor are promised a payout. They should think with their wallets. Wealthier whites, however, should embrace “hope” and vote for Obama, even if it will hurt their bottom line.