Obama's remark about hard times and desperate people turning to guns or religion may have been expressed more sensitively, but the point he makes is accurate. Anger hides in the off-beaten corners of our society, even as it stalks us on our streets. Hard pressed and up against the wall, folks can turn to extreme private rights - such as guns, and it's only a breath away from right-wing religion - all of it, a champion of the down-and-out, channeling their sorrow into often destructive pathways.
I surely hope folks of intelligence and compassion will see in these remarks an accurate description of desperate people longing for meaning and power.
For those with power and wealth, for those with the means to effect positive change in their status, it's difficult to imagine what powerlessness feels like; how maddening it is to see your life's saving slip away, an ill child suffer for want of medical care because the family has no insurance, to see the future as a looming darkness and to live with unpaid bills, humiliating letters and late-night phone calls threatening suit and foreclosure, or whatever else is needed to intimidate those who live on the margins.
Obama is right, and I hope that Senator Clinton, herself a champion of the poor and the struggling middle class, refrains from attack, and helps call the nation's attention to the plight of millions, marshaling our resources and resolve to rebuild the middle class, rescue millions from the edge of poverty, rebuild our economic engines and thereby lessen the temptation to dysfunctional expressions of power and religion.
Obama is right!