Politics of division is as old as the Greek city-states (if not as old as human civilization), but the unique tendency of the modern Democratic party to sow discord and envy among Americans is a disturbing trend that deserves more attention.
The pope and Vatican often talk about promoting “solidarity between peoples”. Sowing discord and envy between segments of people is surely the opposite of this.
While not equating Democrats with the Occupy Wall Street movement, can anyone, for instance, ignore the similarity between their mantra of the 99% against the 1% and President Obama’s own insistence that wealthy Americans (i.e., those earning more than $250k a year) “pay their fair share”?
The examples of this class warfare sort of rhetoric are myriad, but Thomas Edsall at the New York Times does a good job of highlighting one aspect of the Democrat Party’s intention to completely write-off a whole “class” of Americans in the 2012 race, namely, white working class Americans (predominantly males):
For decades, Democrats have suffered continuous and increasingly severe losses among white voters. But preparations by Democratic operatives for the 2012 election make it clear for the first time that the party will explicitly abandon the white working class.
All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment — professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists — and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.
The entire article is worth reading, and I could comment on many of the points that Edsall makes, but instead I’d like to point out the clear harm that results when a political party largely decides to advocate for one segment of Americans even if that advocacy disadvantages the other segment.
Conservatives believe that their ideas and policies are good not just for one “set” or “class” of people, but for all people in a civil society. It’s pretty evident, however, that progressive policies which may temporarily advantage one group of people directly effect another group adversely, and that even the individual groups in such a system end up being harmed themselves as well.
Take, for instance, the breakdown of a marriage culture among those who are less educated and less wealthy. Efforts to redefine marriage and to further weaken it come primarily from wealthy, highly-educated Americans. And yet, paradoxically, these advocates of breaking down the marriage culture themselves are more likely to live in intact marriages. It is the poor and less educated who are most harmed by their broken (and absent) marriage experience.
I think it’s fairly obvious how efforts to redistribute wealth hurt individuals whose money is taken from them. But what is harder to grasp is how money, when taken from the wealthy, tends to go towards government bureaucracy and waste, instead of directly to people who would benefit from receving it. That’s the genius of private charity – it allows money and resources to pass from those who have much to those who have little without having to pass by a whole string of intermediary persons and institutions which take their “fair” share.
A fascinating (and as yet un-answered) question remains about how Democrats and progressives who promote pro-abortion and anti-family policies will fare among their Latino support base which is strongly pro-life and pro-family.
I could go on, but I hope I’ve piqued your interest enough to read Edsall’s piece for yourself.