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Erin Kotecki Vest Headshot

Elitist My Ass

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It has been awhile since I've been back to my hometown near Detroit, Michigan. I took the kids there in early 2007; the cold and unemployment were a stark reminder of why I left.

The abandoned buildings. For Sale signs. The way the road goes from smooth to bumpy when you cross the state line. Boarded up windows, failed 'revitalization' efforts. Friends laid off. Friends looking for work. Friends moving to get work. Family leaving, family staying, family commuting to other states for part-time jobs and part-time pay.

Make no mistake, I LOVE my hometown. I LOVE the Midwest. I think anyone and everyone should live and work and grow in these cities and towns-but understand when I tell you that Senator Barack Obama is DEAD ON when he talks about the bitterness of residents.

Are you hearing me?

This former Midwest girl is telling you Obama is not being 'elite' or 'out of touch' -he could NOT be MORE in touch. He's LISTENING and understanding that many of us who moved away and many of us that stayed are angry, frustrated, disappointed, disillusioned, and UNEMPLOYED.

In what world do Obama's remarks constitute 'looking down on'? I'm sorry, Senator Clinton-but are you HIGH? I am watching you right now, speaking in Indiana on CNN, and you are 'somewhat taken aback' by what Senator Obama said. Are you unaware that when life is as bad as it can possibly be, people turn to religion? Are you unaware that frustrated individuals tend to take up arms when they feel their very well being threatened by their surroundings?

Senator Clinton, let me be as clear as I possibly can here:

Barack Obama is giving voice to millions of us by speaking the TRUTH. He's simply vocalizing exactly what I hear from my uncle, from my high school friend, from my former teacher, from my now re-located parents. He is speaking about what he's heard, what he's been told, what he has seen.

Senator Obama's remarks reminds me yet again that he is one of us. He GETS IT. He knows that I LEFT Detroit. I AM BITTER. I AM PISSED OFF. THERE ARE NO JOBS IN MY HOMETOWN. I couldn't move my family back there if I WANTED TO.

When I do take trips back home it is depressing. My husband NEVER wants to visit because he can't stand how dejected everyone is and how run down the whole place seems. Are there some amazing neighborhoods and jobs-- of course. Is it horrible everywhere -- of course not. Is it worse there than in many other places in the US-damn right.

Do you think I like living 3-thousand miles away from my family and friends? Do you think it's fun for me to watch everyone I know get laid off, go into bankruptcy, lose their house, work two low paying jobs, move into their parents home? Do you think I am NOT bitter about any of this?

Spin it. Go ahead. Talk about how those remarks make him seem elite and condescending. It is so absurd that it only confirms for me that you and Senator McCain are COMPLETELY OUT OF TOUCH with what REAL Americans think and do and want.

I would suggest, however, that you take your rhetoric elsewhere. Because the more you yap about Obama being 'elite' -- while he's talking about how we really feel and you're releasing $109 million tax returns -- the more stupid you look.