Homes that have been on the market for years. Friends, neighbors out of work. With not a prayer of finding work. Others - fully trained, well-educated - not-so-proudly doing part-time tasks for minimum wage. Still others doing the unthinkable - taking food stamps, as a last resort. Factories everywhere shuttered. Forever. Here in Southwest Virginia, mines being shut down right and left. Prices skyrocketing. Hopes crushed.
While Obama and the media celebrate a dramatic reduction in the unemployment rate last month (to a disgraceful 7.8%), the average American knows that it can't be right. It's missing the mark. There are too many people - millions upon millions - who are suffering. And there are no real signs that it's going to get better. If present course is maintained.
So, comes to us a political TV spot that encapsulates the mood of the nation, circa October, 2012. In it, not a word is spoken. One needn't be. The feeling is expressed. Profoundly. Devastatingly. Heartbreakingly.
"The Dinner Table":
A father who is out of work, who no longer has any sense of self-worth, and knows that he soon will not be able to provide for his family. A shame in his eyes that says, I'm so sorry. And a wife who looks to him with pleading eyes, wanting to know where they might get their next meal. And at her kids - apprehensively, appallingly - wondering what will happen to them.
What's going to happen to us?
7.8% unemployment and Barack Obama is jubilant.
The rest of America?
We're scared to death.
What's happening to our once great - and proud - country?