Monday, April 14, 2008

Are We Bitter? Yes We Are!

Cross posted at Bitter Americans.

Sunday night I participated in a phone poll in regards to Barack Obama's recent comments about people in small Pennsylvania towns. It was obviously being conducted by a group that supports Hillary Clinton. The questions were blatantly leading, and there was a significant bias against Obama.

Up to this point I was leaning strongly towards voting for Obama, and his comments and this subsequent phone call only solidified my position.

This is where my father works. He is one of the lucky ones. He got into the union when he was 18 because his father was already in. For the past 32 years he has worked in this mill, save for the half a dozen times he was laid off or on strike. But I mean it when I say he is lucky. He always had work, even if it was pretty awful at times, and now he's planning to retire. He'll be 52.

However it wasn't uncommon to see my neighbor's dad sitting on the porch when we got home from school. He was out of work more often than not. The same sad story applied to most of the families on my street. And most of our families, too. When I first started dating SOB his mother was on unemployment from her engineering job at a mill, and she has two master's degrees. There wasn't much you could do to keep you safe.

By the time I was graduating high school there wasn't any more mill work to be had. Eleven years later the kids from my class are still pumping gas or making pizzas at the same jobs they got junior year. More than one person's career goal was to be an assistant manager at a fast food joint or Denny's type establishment.

Which is why I got the fuck out of Dodge.

So are people bitter out there? You bet. Especially when someone who either got out or wasn't there to begin with comes around. And even though I'll still be casting my vote for Obama next Tuesday, I'm betting some other residents of the Keystone state won't be.

That's what makes me bitter.

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2 comments:

Trey said...

Some of us are proud of our bitterness!

Bitter Americans
http://www.bitteramericans.com

Arizaphale said...

I think I need to check out Obama's comments before I comment :-)

On a personal note, I was born in a mining town in the NE of England and every time I go back there I thank God in his heaven that my father got a scholarship to university and then a lecturing post in Australia when I was one. Other family members who stayed have moved from the coal pits to the aluminum smelters as the economic climate turned. It is the most godforsaken place....