All the talk on the right about “class warfare” would make you think that Karl Marx has risen from his grave to finally lead the proletariat revolution in the most industrialized country in the world. So what is the right trying to do, anyways? Who’s fears are right-wing demagogues like Karl Rove attempting to stir? Logically, it would appear that such fear-mongering is an attempt to turn the 1% into an extremely determined anti-Obama segment of our society (assuming they aren’t already).
But there has to be a broad constituent appeal to this argument, right? Strangely, it would appear so. It seems that the “class warfare” argument aimed at our president is perceived by different groups in the U.S. in different ways. For instance, the 1% take the class warfare argument to clearly mean class warfare aimed at them, the top 1% of the U.S. population in terms of wealth.
Those on the right of the political spectrum in the middling class of the U.S., on the other hand (those a part of the 99%), seem to interpret the class warfare argument as one that is aimed at themselves. That is, President Obama is attempting to steal from the middle class and give to the poor, a modern day Robin Hood. Appealing to reason doesn’t seem to be the solution to this messaging quagmire.
While President Obama has clearly stated that the highest earners in our society should be giving a little bit more to the system in the form of taxes, some within the middle class have only perceived President Obama’s attempts at economic justice as a radical redistribution of wealth targeted at the middle and upper classes of U.S. society. So it may be a tricky messaging situation for the Democratic Party.
Do you raise the annual income ceiling on the 1%, for purposes of taxation, so high as to pull more class warfare skeptics on board, sealing off a sizable tax base from future tax hikes, or do you ignore these individuals and continue to appeal to moderate America? Is this even an appropriate solution? Will any attempt by President Obama to move forward economic justice be met with approval by these right wing class warfare skeptics?
I think the answer to the last question is yes. The latest Republican loss-of-face over the payroll tax break extension has given the Obama administration and the Democratic Party a new foot to stand on in the debate over which party truly cares about the middle and working classes of America. This time, I hope neither squanders this great public relations victory.