"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them," Obama said. "And it's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
I know I'm going to get ripped to shreads for this, but here's my take on this comment. First of all, I would have to concede that it is a poorly worded statement. It comes off more like an insult than insight, but what I believe Obama was trying to express with this comment was that, in small towns where the economy is tough, people tend to hold onto ideas/philosophies that don't offer them much help to better their situation. When your most pressing concern is how to feed your family, are gun control and religious affiliations of the candidates really something you should be focusing on? When corporate America closes down factories in our heartland because there is no governmental regulation in place giving them incentives to do business here at home, forcing millions of "working class Americans" out of work, causing people to lose their homes, food and gas prices rising, interest rates plummeting - when all of this is going on, should we really be worried about guns/abortion/illegal immigration?
And don't think for a single second that Democrats are the only ones who realize this. Republicans realize it, and take full advantage of it to futher their own cause. "I'm just like you. I believe in the same God, go to the same church. I hunt. I'm all for gun rights and damn those illegals who are taking your jobs!" Meanwhile, they are distracting people from the real issues, but when someone points it out, they are labeled as "elitist", "un-American" or unsympathetic to the plight of the common man. Now, as I stated above, the comment was poorly worded and if it's true that he thought his mic was supposed to be off, probably taken way out of context, however, my point still stands.