Monday, April 21, 2008

For all those who go around saying,
"Don't be bitter...Reconsider!!!"

A friend of mine in high school actually used to USE that stupid saying, and every time I heard him say that, I wanted to hit him. I'm not one of these smiley-faced people who sees everything with an Eternally Optimistic this post is gonna more-than-effectively demonstrate...

This whole flap over Prezzidential Candidate Barack Obama's using the word "Bitter" to describe a substantial segment of Americans has created one of the biggest issues (or non-issues, depending on how you look at it), that I've ever seen. It's almost as if it was "a slow news week" recently, and the media hopped all over this "Bitter" thing. Obama himself says he mis-spoke, but did he really? I don't think so. I think people in this country are bitter. Or, at least, realistic. And sometimes the boundary between the two tends to evaporate. Meantime, Mr. Obama's been doing some fancy back-pedaling away from that 'bitter' remark lately, and I'm a little disappointed in him.

I am, if a politically ideology is to be applied here, a MODERATE. In short, I don't fully trust any one party, any one rhetoric, any one news source, any one politician. I am 54, white, fairly liberal about some things, fairly intolerant of some other things. I have no criminal record, grew up in a conservative western state, now live in a somewhat less-conservative state, in a small town, was a part of the work force from age 16 until age 50, and while I don't love everything about my country, America is still As Good As It Gets. But, yeah, I could get bitter about stuff. There's plenty to be bitter about. So maybe when Mr. Obama used the word "Bitter", he coulda been aiming his comments straight at me as well as multitudinous others in my social strata.

"Bitterness" is a weird condition; most of the time, people who feel that way pretty much have to shove that feeling back into their psyches, because after all, it's difficult to co-exist with your fellow humans if your bitterness manifests itself all of the time. But I'm sure that at times, EVERYONE is bitter about something. I try not to let myself get "down" too much; one of my strong points is an ability to adapt, and to try and make the best of things. If I think too long about things that REALLY IRRITATE me, I'll become, well, really irritated! Which means that if I decided to "tear along the dotted line" and peer inside, I'm sure I could find PLENTY of stuff to be bitter about...for instance...

*THIS WASTEFUL WAR: The zillions of dollars we've WASTED in the Iraq war. And continue to waste. Along with the lives of our troops who continue to DIE over there.
*PRESIDENTIAL INEPTITUDE: Our President's arrogant attitude toward those who decry the war, his total disregard for the American People in this matter, and his unwillingness to listen to other points of view.
*THIS FUTILE WAR: Fighting the War in Iraq in order to preserve that country's borders, while at the same time, NOT BEING ABLE TO SECURE OUR OWN BORDERS.
*BANG BANG: The needless deaths in our country caused by TOO MANY HANDGUNS in the hands of the WRONG people, while the NRA cries, "GUN RIGHTS! GUN RIGHTS!"
*SELL MY SOUL FOR A TANKFUL: Skyrocketing gasoline prices, which result in raising the prices of Everything Else; but I suppose that means the nation's infrastructure will last a while longer when No One Can Afford To Drive At All...say, isn't that Wasteful War we're in being fought in an area that PRODUCES oil? Of Course, oil interests have nothing to do with us fighting that war over there. Rrrrrright...
*ETERNAL REVENUE SERVICE: The continual rejection by Congress of the FLAT TAX which is the ONLY way paying taxes can be made totally fair for every citizen in this country, rich or poor.
*HARD LABOR: The by-now fashionable practice of outsourcing labor to myriad foreign countries which results in American workers losing their good-paying jobs...
*"ROLLING BACK" PRICES: Chain-stores like Wal-Mart who portray themselves as good citizens who, all the while, support the concept of "Outsourcing" so that they can undersell everyone else...and who feast on laid-off American workers by hiring them at a small fraction of what they used to earn.
*DON'T THEY TAKE AN OATH? And then there's the Politicians themselves; more often than not, self-serving demagogues who spend their time deluging the political electorate with negative, he-said-she-said campaigning, and then once in office, proceeding to immerse themselves in scandal, shady practices, pork-barrel projects, filibustering, sexual deviations, graft, corruption; seems like almost every month, a different politician's in trouble for something...and all the while, I and perhaps many others ask, "aren't these guys supposed to be SMARTER than that?"
*TAKE TWO AND CALL ME IN THE MORNING: I once saw a little old lady just ahead of me at the pharmacy counter, who bought $600 dollars worth of Prescriptions for the coming month...I'm sure that dollar amount ate into what little funds she may have had left over for food. Absolutely shameful. People having to choose between drugs to keep them alive and food that keeps them alive. Whaddaya do if yer in her shoes?

Down here on the Oregon Coast, Salmon Fishermen are wondering how they're gonna make a living, now that the Government has basically STOPPED Salmon Fishing for the rest of the year. Potential re-possession of fishing boats, fishermen in financial ruin...the mills down here died years ago, and the economy suffered as people migrated elsewhere, in search of some way, ANY way, to make a living. Where I live, a county-operated mental health clinic was closed last year, and due to falling tax rolls (due to layoffs), school districts here are having to cut back expenses. Meanwhile, the Pawn Shops are doing a brisk business.

Back up in North Idaho, where I lived for a lotta years, the mines and mills have pretty much gone kaput, while Millionaires buy former mill land and use it for overpriced golf courses & various other things that cater to rich outsiders who couldn't care less about the history of that area...and if you're still not bitter, well, all you need do is pick up your local newspaper (published more often than not by a downsized staff) and you'll read about layoffs all over the place, rising prices, rising crime rates, more and more senseless shootings, more and more meth and crack-addled lowlifes stealing, shooting, and taking life from innocent people, and on and on and on, and it just doesn't stop...

So, yeah, I think there's BITTERNESS out there, all right, and I'm a little disappointed that Mr. Obama has since danced around this issue, saying he mis-spoke...NO, HE DIDN'T, and when he originally SAID that, I think he was trying to ram home a very important point, which is, that there's lots of disgruntled voters out there who are basically SICK and TIRED of the status quo, which is my sentiment exactly. But, I've also come to think that no matter who's in charge, this stuff is just gonna keep on happening, regardless of WHO is in office. And if those Bitter people cling to church, family, or anything else they hold dear, it's only NATURAL...because in this world, if you don't cling to something, yer gonna LOSE YER MIND.

I'm sure I'll catch a lot of flak for this post, but it's something I've been thinking about for a while now, and seeing tonight's coverage of The Prezzidential Candidates as they get ready to do battle in the Pennsylvania Primary sorta just crystallized everything. It could be a bitter battle...


Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

You won't catch any flak from me! I've been harping on the subject since the comment was made. Great post!

11:34 AM  
Blogger Idaho Escapee said...

Marianne, I am so disgusted with politics in general, and my feelings run so deep on this, that I HAD to 'let it out'...I went back over the post, thinking about editing it, or leaving out some portions out of it altogether...and maybe I should have, but this all HAS to be said somewhere...Look, I don't want to endure Hillary for the next four years, but I'm losing confidence in Obama; too many generalized promises from a guy who's beginning to sound like Moses...I just don't know anymore...

5:17 PM  

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