Ken Neal, a long-time Tulsa World editorial writer, scored some points in our book Sunday with a column on the significance of Sen. Barack Obama's "bitter" comment. As you may recall, Obama spoke about working class bitterness in a recent speech, comments that have been attacked far and wide.
Neal points out, however, that a good deal of recent politics has centered on bitterness. He writes, "The success of the Republican Party…has been built on citizen unhappiness, even bitterness, with government."
Later, Neal correctly notes that the private school movement has been driven by unhappiness over government-mandated integration issues, another source of bitterness exploited by the Republicans.
What about taxes? From the "bitter" point of view, they are always bad, Neal points out, because they fund "unnecessary" government programs, even when those programs serve the public interest. Again, the right-wing politicos push the bitterness theme to their political advantage.
The Democrats, Neal adds, don't always help. Their ineptness and stupidity sometimes makes things worse.
Despite it all, Neal concludes, the American system works pretty well, even when the politicians play games.