A caller to a radio program this morning complained that Clinton’s and Obama’s plan for changing our broken health care system, calling them extreme leftists. Then, he called them socialists and brought up their desire for redistribution of wealth. Redistribution of wealth to the middle and lower classes is a bad thing, apparently.
But let’s look at what’s gone on under Republican economic policies since the 1980s. Have the lower and middle classes increased their percentage of national wealth? No, but the top 1% and 10% certainly have. The difference between top holders of wealth and bottom holders of wealth has never been greater than it is today.
Guess how that’s happened. The rich have had their taxes reduced year after year. The non-rich haven’t seen their taxes reduced by a similar rate. So most of us have continued to pay taxes and the rich have increased their wealth. Hmmm. Seems like redistribution of wealth has been occurring, except it’s from the bottom up.
The thing is, Republicans need boogeymen. Whether its socialists or terrorists or abortionists, some group of people have to be vilified to help Republicans feel good. They need an ‘other’ to point blame at for things they don’t like. Republicans developed language in the past 30 years to convince voters that the rich shouldn’t have to pay their fair share of maintaining our country’s infrastructure. They couched such language in threatening terms of the creeping effects of evil socialism.
No such thing has happened, of course. But now millions of people are convinced that the rich pay too much and insurance companies denying medical care is a good thing. The election this November should come down to a candidate representing change and hope and a candidate representing a continuation of 20th century fear-mongering politics.