Hillary Hits Homer! Republicans Yak, Yak, Yak!
What’s wrong with the media? Too many avowed Republican talking heads making much ado about nothing!
I take it all back! Hillary, the bloom is back on your rose for me. What a speech!
Last night in Denver Hillary Clinton gave the speech of a lifetime and rocked the house. She hit EXACTLY the right notes about where things stand and how her fellow Democrats should view this election. It’s about the issues, stupid! In a well crafted address she pointed out issue by issue how important this election is to Democrats and this nation. Going even one step forward in a show of remarkable humility, she drew the focus of her followers–and indeed of all Democrats and citizens–to the plight of those “who have been ignored” by their government during the horrible Bush years. She reminded everyone in the hall and all of those watching in our homes that electing John McCain would bring four long years of the same cold-hearted regard for the hard working, under-appreciated people of this nation.
I would like to echo her sentiment by pointing out to my readers that this election is not about Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. The Republicans and talking heads on television will try to take us there, but it is about US. Who will take care of US? In expressing support for the failed Bush policies, McCain admits that he is not much interested in that. Can you feel the trickle? I can’t. While many, especially independents, look past the political parties when making their choices, those of us who have watched for years understand that the policy positions of the two political parties are what really set the course for the handling of our Nation’s affairs. The Republicans particularly don’t like to talk about this and work hard every election year to muddy the waters with hot button issues that divide the working class from each other and provide victory for big business and the ultra rich. It may be race. It may be civil rights. It may be women’s issues. It may be religious differences. They have time and time again used these issues to get hard working Americans to vote against their own best interest. It’s time for an uprising of the People! It’s the economy, stupid!
It’s always the economy. If you’re worried about security issues, it’s still the economy. Without a strong and vibrant economy, we will not be able to afford the kind of military we need in an uncertain world to defend ourselves. Look at where we are right now: bogged down in Iraq, failing to stop a resurgent Taliban/terrorist movement in Afghanistan, not to mention only being able to “talk tough” to the Russians and North Koreans who know we are too hamstrung to back up the rhetoric. In Texas vernacular it’s called letting your mouth overload your ass. You’d think a President from Texas would know better. But let’s face it, even the Senator from Arizona who would be president doesn’t know better.
Now to the second point of today’s thoughts, the Republicans’ yacking about the lack of love showed by Hillary Clinton toward Barack Obama. What a bunch of crap! If she had come out and talked glowingly of him as if they were reconciled lovers, the same Republicans–Joe Scarborough, Pat Buchanan, Mike Murphy, then Tucker Carlson–would have accused her of being disingenuous. Only Andrea Mitchell rightly pointed this out.
That being said, before we dismiss the entirely expected Republican attack on Hillary’s brilliant speech, that old rascal Pat Buchanan said something outside the context of the speech that I feel we Democrats have ignored for far too long at our own peril. Buchanan asserted that among those white, Catholic, blue-collar Democrats there is a sense of resentment about the Obamas. While these resentments could be dismissed as pure racism, I think Buchanan makes a valid point. As these hard-working white middle Americans have toiled at their jobs, just like the parents of both Barack and Michelle Obama, they have not seen their children reap the same benefits. In an attempt to rectify the long-standing mistreatment of minority populations in our country, we have ignored the same long-standing mistreatment felt by poor white people. This group has been left behind not only by the survival-of-the-fittest Republican philosophy, but also by the bend-over-backward-to-address-our-great-national-shame mentality of the Democrats.
I guess this became clear to me this morning when Mr. Buchanan put it forth because of an over-the-fence chat I had with my next-door neighbor just yesterday afternoon. I have always wondered why people like my neighbors, a hard-working white couple who are barely getting by in this supposedly great Texas economy, would support and vote for Republicans. It has never made sense to me. It’s illogical, and I hate illogical things.
It was the middle of the afternoon and I was taking my dogs out in the back yard to do their thing, and I noticed him tending to his wilting tomato plants. We got to talking, and he confided to me that he was having a hard time getting enough work to keep him busy even though he’s a crack auto mechanic. He complained that illegal immigrants were getting the catch-as-catch-can work that he would normally get and it was really hurting his family. His anger was directed fully at the illegal immigrants, so I pointed out – I think rightfully so – that if the employers wouldn’t hire them, they wouldn’t come. He allowed how that was right, and then turned his attention to his next complaint about how things are going: how it seems that minorities are able to get assistance from the various government agencies when in need, but we as white people are often turned away.
He had me there due to my own difficulty in getting help once I was forced into early retirement by a layoff and then again when the same thing happened to my wife last year. Even though I am a proud Vietnam-era veteran of the US Army, I was initially turned down at the VA Hospital when I lost my job and insurance because I had made too much money the year before as a teacher, even though I was suddenly in the position of making none.
These truths are self-evident in modern America, all men are not created equal. If the Democrats want to get this crucial and truly Democratic constituency back, they are going to have to address their issues. I see it this way: it’s time that white people in need have access to the same kind of support systems that minorities have. I’m not talking about the governmental entities themselves. Organizations like the NAACP and LULAC, through years of necessity, have made it their business to help their constituencies gain access to the programs that have always been there to help the truly needy. For poor white people in the same situation, there is no organization to help them navigate their way through the mountainous paperwork required. So most just give up. This premise applies across the board to other areas of resentment harbored by good-natured, hard-working white Americans who find themselves in the pinch, denying their children access to quality higher education due to racial quotas and qualification difficulties due to prior better circumstances.
Even though I now have reached the status of old white man, I have long worked for and believed in racial equality and fair play. I have supported affirmative action because I knew that in my home region nothing else would work. But it’s time for some fine tuning. And if we don’t address this issue head on as Democrats of every color and ethnicity, we will continue to be divided and conquered by Republicans who figured this out 30 years ago.
On a brighter note, YAY, HILLARY! Job well done! You made me doubly proud to be a Democrat last night, and I expect to feel even more proud of my party affiliation after Bill joins the chorus tonight. Let’s fight hard! On to November!