The "bitter" vote

Was Obama on to something when he described the disenfranchised constituency? And are you bitter too? Members of Salon's community, Table Talk, give their perspective.

By Salon Staff

Published April 19, 2008 6:14PM (EDT)


I'm Bitter

comixchik - 02:59 pm Pacific Time - Apr 14, 2008

Presidential candidate Obama says:

"There has been a small "political flare-up because I said something that everybody knows is true, which is that there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my hometown in Illinois, who are bitter," Obama said Saturday morning at a town hall-style meeting at the university. "They are angry. They feel like they have been left behind. They feel like nobody is paying attention to what they're going through."

"So I said, well you know, when you're bitter you turn to what you can count on. So people, they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community. And they get mad about illegal immigrants who are coming over to this country."

Yeah, I'm kinda bitter. Bitter about the current administration trashing the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the country. I'm bitter over big shots on Wall Street bringing on the next depression with their greed. I'm bitter over the USA sliding farther and farther behind, while we pour money down a bottomless hole in Iraq. I'm bitter about people pouring in over the border, I'm bitter about spending more and more just to live, and making less and less while the CEO hauls it home in trucks.

Are you bitter too?

MLB - 03:03 pm Pacific Time - Apr 15, 2008 - #11 of 63

I want my country back.

I want jobs for all who need them and want them. My bil lost his job (after 24 years) to an engineer in India. He lost his job under Carly Fiorina's reign at HP. She completely destroyed the R&D segment of a very fine company - all for the almighty cheap buck. I don't know how he and my sister are surviving.

My DH has slogged through countless sales job that pay commission only. Slavery in America. He is not the only one. We live in a "right to fire for any or no reason" county. We're lucky I have a good job with benefits.

I want this war to stop. Yes, over 4000 American lives lost - but how many disfigured for life? Probably close to 100K. Doesn't account for the countless dead innocents in broken Iraq.

I want the triangulating to STOP. The excuses to stop. The games to stop. The lies to stop. Bitter does not even begin to say how I feel.

Giordana - 03:11 pm Pacific Time - Apr 15, 2008 - #12 of 63

I'm bitter that my expensive University degree has relegated me to call center hell. I'm bitter that call centers, computer help lines, and tech writing have been outsourced. One reason I decided to become a nurse is because that can't be outsourced, though labor can be (and often is) imported.

Chronica - 04:26 pm Pacific Time - Apr 15, 2008 - #14 of 63

Bitter is a choice. I was raised in a family in which, yeah, life can suck, but goddamnit, you make the best of it. Bitter to me implies a long-term disillusionment and resentment. Bitter implies passivity, resignation. Bitter is corrosive; it eats away at your dreams. Scratch bitter and you find despair. When I find myself feeling that way, I do something about it.

"Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you." – Jean-Paul Sartre

Now, pissed off, angry? Goddamn yes. Those emotions create the head of steam that pushes you forward.

Maybe we can use semantics to define bitterness any way we want. But this is what it means to me.

Best of Table Talk is an ongoing feature of Salon's vibrant community forum. Older posts of the week may be found in TT. Want to join the discussion? Sign up here.

Salon Staff

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