Home > Uncategorized > A Plutocratic Scare Tactic

A Plutocratic Scare Tactic

There was a column in the Washington Post the other day, that purported to explain how the Tea Party adherents were voting against their own interests, and backing the rich elite. He went on to say that all those people who contribute to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce were an example of “the common man voluntarily giving money to make the rich richer. He went on, citing talking point after talking point, carrying the Democrat’s message that the rich are bad, and that they are stealing elections. The author of the column, Dana Milbank, and the rest of the kooky left, weaves a tapestry of rich and powerful professional politicians conspiring to erode our republic and replace it with a plutocracy. The problem is that it is a tapestry woven out of whole cloth, designed to frighten, not educate. So let me.

Milbank mentions a list of people that he suggest are the elite, not worthy of populist support. Linda McMahon, Ron Johnson, Rick Snyder, Carl Paladino, Rick Scott all make the rogues list of wealthy politicians. He also tosses in Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman. So let’s see what these people have in common. McMahon has the wrestling money, Ron Johnson, manufacturing executive. Snyder is the former head of Gateway computers and Paldino is a developer. Scott made his money in health care, and Fiorina in HP.

Then he goes on to mock the well educated, claiming that guys like Joe Miller, Yale Law; Rand Paul, Duke Medical; and Ken Buck from Colorado, Princeton, are hardly anti-elite. Then he rags on the people working with the Tea Party, citing their previous political work as somehow being a bad thing. This from one of Obama’s (Columbia, Harvard Law)biggest supporters. Apparently, it’s OK to be elitist, if you’re a Democrat elitist. Like John Kerry, Yale, or Ted Kennedy, Harvard.

A couple of things got lost in Milbank’s screed. First, I wrote a blog about money and party affiliation a while back. The short version: money is spread roughly equally, but the democrats represent wealthier districts. Conservatives give more to charity. Read it for yourself at http://thedeadrepublic.wordpress.com/2010/05/28/rich-versus-poor-the-democrats-canard/ The second thing that got lost is how the people on Milbank’s hit list got wealthy. They earned it. Every single person on Milbank’s list worked for their money. Unlike the richest US Senator, John Kerry, who married into money, or Ted Kennedy, who was born into it.

Apparently, what Milbank really objects to is hard work and success, preferring the more patrician route of inheritance or marrying well. And this is really the core issue. The democrats would like to scare us, by claiming that the economy will fail, or health care will disappear, or the world will die, all to be averted if we would only vote for them. And then, if we don’t fall for that, they call us stupid. Obama came out and just last week and said that one reason democrats are faring poorly is that the administration didn’t explain things well enough. The Harvard guys get it, us dummies, not so much.

And the latest tactic: a plutocracy! This from the same people that insist on calling America a democracy. I’m surprised that they now pay attention to almost Aristotelian distinctions in forms of government. A plutocracy is a government by the wealthy. All democrats are now opposed to a plutocracy, as much as to a meritocracy, I suppose. But let’s look at some facts.

The U.S. Senate is the world’s most exclusive millionaire’s club. That includes both parties. I can’t think of a single poor Senator. The House is where you go to get rich. And the Presidency? Who was the last poor president? Hell, who was the last middle-class president? Lincoln? Tyler? Fillmore?

Since the dawn of America, politics has been played by the wealthy, for a couple of reasons. One is that they have the time for it. Most of the erst of us have to feed our families and clothe and house them. Another is that they have the money for it. Being a politician costs money. In some cases, it pays, but let’s leave that for another day. Washington and Jefferson weren’t impoverished men looking to start a class war; neither were the Lees or Hamilton. They were wealthy, prosperous men. Instead of castigating the wealthy, we should be encouraging the emulation of them.

Remember that poverty is not inherently noble, nor is wealth necessarily immoral. The founding fathers of this country were wealthy, white, and western civilized men. Just the way the left paints the Tea Partiers and republicans. One can only imagine how the media would have portrayed the revolutionaries of 1776. And finally, remember that these rich, powerful landowners were the men who pledged “our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” to the cause of American exceptionalism.

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