Thursday, May 15, 2008

We, the Elites

With all this political correctness, let's start defining some of our terms, those special words we so like to fling around. Bluebery has been kind enough to give us the definition of the words "cracker" and "hillbilly." In case you missed it here it is again. "Cracker" means poor white. That's it folks. I think it carries with it the slight sense of the uneducated. Often poor whites don't get much education, since every hand that can do any work, is put to work. Often this means taking fairly young kids out of school to help in the farming or care for younger children, so an adult can get a wage earning job. Often poor whites remain somewhat isolated, and they see the "other" the stranger, the outsider, as threatening. Though the term "cracker" isn't necessarily a description of a racist, I have never know a cracker who wasn't a racist. K. has been equating my use of the word "cracker" with "racist," and in the since that the crackers in my family were indeed racist to their core, and completely unapologetic about it, that has been mostly my experience with crackers. My third husband's family was cracker to it's core. They were from the Ozark mountains, mostly from the area around Fayetteville, Arkansas. The third ex was the first in his family to go to college. He was an honor student where he got B. A. Degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow for his Master's Degree at the University of Utah, and got his PhD in creative writing from the University of Denver. He is now the Chairman of the English Department at Southwest Missouri State University. He is not a cracker. He is not a racist. But the rest of his family, yes, they were crackers.

Next a word that K. likes to use as a mild insult, and something to be avoided, is the word elitist or elite. Dictionary definition is "to be the best in a society or category because of power, talent, or wealth." I would add education, but I believe that is implied, for the most part. Unless we're talking about our current President, who has a background of incredibly obscene wealth, he attended the best schools, and has the world's most powerful position. But to me this man is in no way elite. He is stupid, boorish, ignorant, foolish, a braying ass in every way--this does not make him seem elite.

To me the Clinton's personify the word elite. Bill's early years were difficult, but he managed to rise above it, to get the great education, and his ambition took him on the path to elected office as the Governor of Arkansas and then the Presidency. Hillary's upbringing was solidly middle class, but she managed to get a first class education, a law degree, as did Bill, and then she married a man as ambitious as she. They personify the definition of elite. They are very wealthy. So, back to the begining. Smart, well educated, top job, and rich, equals elite. This word is not an insult. But to be elite, and pretend you aren't is disingenuous. That's a nice way of saying it's a lie.

Barack Obama did not have any of the advantages of the current President, or the past First Lady . And just to make his path to the top a little more challenging, he is black (in case any of you hadn't noticed) and the child of a divorced, single mother and raised by his white grandmother. This fact alone makes his achievement near miraculous. He and his wife have recently paid off their student loans. But even Barack is elite. He is the best. Brilliant, well educated, gifted with intelligence, talent and eloquence. And with his great education under his belt, he became a community organizer. He wrote a couple of very good books. He was elected to the Senate, and now he is running for President. Despite the fact that he wasn't particularly well known (and is not taking lobbyist or big corporate donations) has managed to gain such enthusiastic support across the country, energized the first generation of young and first-time voters since the 1960's, and is poised to gain the nomination to run for President against the best know brand in the Democratic party since the Roosevelts. He is raising money from millions of small donors. And Senator Clinton is borrowing from herself to finance a campaign that can't raise money. This would lead me to conclude that maybe managing our nation's budget might be a challenge for her. Now I know Hillary isn't entirely responsible for every little decision that is made in her campaign, but it is her campaign. I think she has surrounded herself with second-raters--an ineffective staff, men and women with bloated egos and salary's to match. Why are the Clinton's having trouble raising money? All Bill has to do is give a few speeches and they are back in business.

I have said over and over that whoever gets the democratic nomination, will get my support and my vote. I should not have to say that again. I'm also allowed the right to express my thoughts, feelings, and words on the topic. This is my blog space. If you really really hate what I have to say, it's a great big blogosphere. Until we have a nominee, I support Senator Obama. To that end, I will keep on talking, arguing, criticizing his opponents, and I'm sure, in so doing, will enrage some of you. You are free to disagree with me, but not to be too disagreeable. So please, no comments longer than the post, OK? I welcome your comments and god knows, I'm long winded, but if your comment is longer than my piece, send it to me in an email, please.