For those who came in late -- I do not believe the world is governed by Left versus Right, Liberal versus Conservative, Democrat versus Republican. I believe the world is governed by Up or Down, Dominant versus Submissive, those who make the rules versus those who have to live by the rules made. I have said you learn a lot about people by how they treat people they don't need. The salesperson at the store. The waitress who brings you your drink. Your neighbor who you only see when you are out walking your dog. Are you decent to them, or do you stiff them and shaft them when the opportunity comes up just because you can? It is from the callous disregard of common humanity, that you have no obligation to do right by anyone because you have to Look Out For Number One, that ALL the world's ills can be traced. Poverty. Racism. Sexism. And, of course, that old standby that never goes out of style, class warfare. Damn the rich, they get all the unfair breaks instead of struggling like we do. Damn the poor, they are lazy bums who want to be given success instead of earning it like we do.
Let's set the Wayback Machine for about, say, 2010. I'm thinking specifically about when the Obama juggernaut was pushing Obamacare through Congress for the third time. There was some reasoned debate, and a lot more screaming and hollering of political points that could fit on a bumper sticker but not in respectful, logical, constructive methods. A lot of people for whom the debate was just basic philosophical points was that Obamacare was to help the have-nots of society, and anyone that couldn't see that was some sort of greedy capitalist pig. Now, it's not the point they are making that I'm taking issue with. After all, they are considering things and made that conclusion, they have every right to feel that regardless of whether I think it is right or wrong. The part I want to take issue with is the method employed. It's class warfare.
The reason class warfare works is because it is easy. When you have an economy in the toilet, not enough jobs, not enough money, not enough time to do things other than make more money just to survive at the expense of anything you can do that you enjoy, resentment builds. The populous becomes a ticking time bomb that can blow up in the face of the current regime. Back in 1979, Ronald Reagan successfully used this to get elected over Jimmy Carter because of a campaign slogan that was one simple question -- Are you better off now than you were four years ago? People answered, "No," and Carter lost.
The problem with this is an oversimplification. People vote against things, not for them. Reagan was a referendum on Carter, and Carter lost. Reagan, however, wasn't necessarily the best alternative. He successfully got businesses to reinvest in American enterprises and jobs by lowering taxes. At the same time, though, government spending skyrocketed on pipe dreams like the Star Wars missile defense system. People didn't consider what the change would bring, they just wanted change. Be careful what you wish for, you may get it.
This also became Bill Clinton's edge. Bush Sr. was President when the excesses of the Reagan 80's started catching up with everyone. The economy went in the toilet. Clinton simply pointed to Bush seeming asleep at the switch, and he won in a walk. (Clinton also had the edge in that people were spending money like crazy to build businesses in the newly emerging Internet Age. Anyone could have been President and the economy would have been great as everyone chased those rainbows. This is why I ignore the fed -- they have NO control over the economy. If they did, it would not be this wildly variable.)
Obama is facing four years in office with sharply polarizing results. There's Obamacare. There's the bailouts. There's the bailouts of the bailouts (GM paid off their bailout with funds from a second bailout that got a lot less press). There's criticism of how he's handling foreign affairs. There's how his plans to rebuild the economy haven't worked.
As a result, the R's and their mouthpieces are seizing on this to bang the class warfare drums and get people to enlist in their personal army of putting them back in the ruling house. Obama is being criticized for his "evolving" views on gay marriage. Now, don't get me wrong, I see Obama's stance as jumping before he was pushed. When VP Biden opened his mouth, Obama HAD to say something. So he picked a stance that would garner him the most support that he needed among the group that got him in office to begin with.
Now, yes, I think it was political opportunism. But so is the response. Mickey Kaus over at The Daily Caller is saying, "In the aftermath of Obama’s gay marriage flip, pundits seem to have concluded that Obama’s Democratic party has indeed given up on white working class voters. They’ve been dropped from the winning coalition, which is now composed of three main groups: “young people, college-educated whites (especially women), and minorities,” according to Ron Brownstein."
Folks, I ask you -- does that or does that NOT sound like stirring up class warfare?
Let's take a quick look at the Presidential Platform survey that I got. Here are some of the sample questions on it:
Do you believe Barack Obama has used the presidency and the powers of his office to look out for the concerns and interests of Americans like you?
Do you believe Congress should block President Obama's efforts to raise the federal debt ceiling for borrowing and demand real cuts to federal spending?
Has the Obama Administration done enough to counter Iran's drive to acquire a nuclear weapon?
Please notice that these questions are just asking for an immediate, gut reaction from the person. There are no ideas being presented, no alternatives whatsoever, ever question can be summed up as, "Do you think Obama sucks?" And they are all questions reflecting people's personal interests. It asks if you are happy with Obama's position on abortion and such, but doesn't mention it's the R's who deny funding to Planned Parenthood and try to convince people that abstinence-only education is the best option. Look at his faults, dwell on his faults, don't you dare look at ours.
This is why I say the election is going to be the worst I've witnessed. When Mondale ran against Reagan in 1984, his whole campaign was about issues and what he planned to do about it. Others have targeted things the others have done wrong and offered plans, some outlandish, but still some sort of idea to pull things out. Obama did this himself in 2008. Now, the election is being targeted at vague individual feelings. Obama is trying to remind everyone how much they should love him. Romney is attacking the general stances of the D's without providing anything concrete about himself (I have a fiver that says the first thing Romney does if he becomes President is put the gag order back on clinics to keep them from discussing abortion). Obama has baggage. But so does Romney, especially on legalized abortion, considering an illegal procedure killed his sister-in-law and his family hushed it up.
The only safe place they can battle without exposing their own shortcomings is a battlefield where others volunteer to fight for them.
This pits the philosophical (Obama supporters) against the practical (Romney supporters). It's not that one side is better than the other. It's that each side is being presented with validation, that what they think is right, and we have to keep the others from changing those values held dear.
Lost in all this is that the values won't change. The things people hold dear are still there, the difference is the approach. And that approach is being used by a bunch of power hungry dipshits to pit people against each other just so they can pluck the strings that hold the world.
This is going to be bad. Because no matter who wins, we citizens will be the ultimate losers.