Thursday, October 17, 2013
Redefining American Class Warfare (II)
--Alex Castellanos, CNN
Castellanos’ words, quoted in the immediately preceding blog entry, echo a much earlier discussion of how Obama parallels Roosevelt’s poor job creation record, along with Roosevelt’s brilliant political path covering that failure. Both use interest-group-based coalition building. Both rely on “the best and brightest” out of academia. Both preach class warfare, and both practice enlarging government.
For Roosevelt, it was easy to to unite his special interest groups in class warfare against the Republican “old order” of country club WASP businessmen, especially those in industry and finance. The Great Depression “old order” truly had failed the working class, farmers, veterans, the elderly, and others.
But today, Obama represents--he does not battle against--the new upper class of meritocracy winners: our progressive establishment, our top university graduates, New York Times-reading national elite.
Q: So why do Democrats engage in class warfare against their party’s own base?
A: Our elite understands 1) privilege comes with obligations to share wealth, and the rich and their lawyers make out o.k. in any case, 2) meritocracy does open doors for some bright, hard-working lower caste members, keeping the class warfare temperature down, 3) catering to the disadvantaged masses seems a sound re-election strategy, 4) enough “old order” Republicans exist for Democrats to carry on as if Roosevelt’s class warfare enemies of 80 years ago had never gone away, and 5) if Democrats don’t continue the class warfare that underpins socialism, someone else will pick up the cudgel (as Roosevelt did in the 1930s, when he took the fight away from Communists).
“Old order” Republicans--country club WASP businessmen--provide progressive Democrats a symbolic, desirably unattractive cover target for the party's true enemy--the masses of white males and their spouses centered in small businesses, the South, in churches, in rural areas, and in traditional American culture.
Democrats’ enemy, in other words, is the Nixon-Reagan-Bush “silent majority” that opposed “crime in the streets,” forced bussing, affirmative action, women’s lib, welfare queens, abortion, illegal immigration, and America’s youth-based cultural revolution. Subtle Republican appeals to white racism helped hold the white tribe together through most elections from 1968 to 2004. Race worked for Republicans.
But not since Barack Obama pulled enough unmarried women, minorities, and youth together with his progressive elite to put white males and their spouses in their place. The worm has turned.
So race no longer is the answer for Republicans, nor did economics work for Republicans in 2012. Instead race (allied with feminism, adding in youth culture including gay rights) helped Democrats win last year.
Here’s why it’s time for Republicans to take up the mantle of class warfare against the meritocratic elite, to fight under a new banner for the bottom 75% now that Democrats are the upper class:
1. People need jobs that the Democrats’ inefficient, monopoly big government focused on protecting itself doesn’t provide.
2. Buying off blocs of voters with racial (or gender) appeals doesn’t work when the other party offers jobs (Romney’s pitch didn’t connect; the Republicans’ bad).
3. Flattening America by spreading power to the private sector and to the people--drawing upon the hard work and creativity of tens of millions --is the surest path to prosperity. People want to work and will if able to do so, as they did from 1941 to 2000.
The new establishment will protect their privileges, they will fight back hard, but Republican class warfare on behalf of the people against the national elite represents our nation’s best hope; our path to a brighter future.