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Far More Than "Bitter": Message from a Small Town Pennsylvanian


I am one of the "bitter" people living in a small steel town in Pennsylvania. My father passed away from the silt that he swallowed for forty years. My husband is withering away from the same cancer-causing dust he swallowed for nearly forty years too. The bills are mounting and our income decreasing. The blood, sweat and tears were not counted when they sent our small town livelihood over seas.

No one stepped in to give affordable health care to my disappearing husband. No one took the time to look at the dying towns that surround us. Hillary Clinton went to her middle class supporters and glanced, as all before her did, at the For Sale signs from foreclosures, and the growing homeless population in Pennsylvania.

I watched her do an Irish dance as she pressed the flesh of what is left of our so-called middle class, who may soon to become the new poor. Where is our Governor, who I am very disappointed in? Somewhere dancing with Hillary and looking at the subtle segregation that has quietly existed in this state -- and no one tries to bring about change.

Barack Obama sees us, he sees the poverty dressed up in lambs clothing. All around, people have downsized their lives because they don't earn a decent living wage after having made three, four or more times as much in the factories and mills that are nearly gone -- but not forgotten.

Looking out from most windows in every small town, they can see the skeletal remains of their once flourishing hometown. There are many that have stood by graves, and in unemployment lines, and watched their schools close, and fought to keep their homes -- and lost.

"Bitter" is a good word, to describe some of what I feel -- but "mad as hell" are a few better words.

On another note, I have a son that is on his way to Iraq for his third or forth tour. I am not only mad but scared. Why am I frustrated with Washington politics? That is a question that everyone that voted for Bush twice should be ashamed to answer. They have only to look into the mirror and see the cause of our frustration.

I am also saddened to watch the campaign tactics, the bashing and bruising of one another -- and the media putting their own twist on everything. Each candidate has to be dead tired and frustrated with the millions of opinions they face -- favorable and unfavorable -- everyday on this trying trail to the White House.

If you want to twist someone's words, try twisting Bush's and run a clean campaign.

I'm a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and soon to be a great grandmother who wants a positive change for America. Within the past forty-odd years I have told my children and grandchildren they can be anything they want to be. They were raised in a generation where black people were told education would help you become anything you desire. Those words were just hope with limits. The day I cast my vote for Barack Obama, that hope will be a reality with absolutely no limits. Thank God that I am alive to see Dr. King's dream come to fruition, and still young enough to appreciate and share it.