William Haupt III
The author is a contributor to The Center Square
“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”
– Winston S. Churchill
It’s a common meme with pundits, pollsters, the media and the political class that Americans have never been so divided both politically and socially. But if we turn back the chapters in our history from the Revolution to Independence Hall in Philadelphia, we quickly disabuse all such notions.
American historians conclude that the division in the colonies was about equal for those who sided with the Patriots and the British Crown. The consequences for choosing one side or another was as fierce as a debate between progressive Socialists and Tea party Republicans on a budget bill.
For weeks at the 1787 Constitutional Convention, delegates were locked in disagreement over how the 13 states would be represented in a central government. Roger Sherman saved the day, proposing a bicameral legislature with two houses. The Great Compromise saved the Convention.
Since the U.S. was the first nation founded by Enlightenment, the country has endured deep divisions between its political parties. And this includes industrialization, the Civil War, immigration, women’s suffrage, entering two Great Wars, civil rights protests in the 1960s, gay rights, abortion and a vast myriad of sociopolitical battles.
Since the election of President George W. Bush, all we have heard about is “partisan polarization.” But that is a shallow assessment of the chasm between those for whom society and its institutions are working and those for whom society and its institutions are not working; and those who say nothing works.
Since America has always been a right-of-center nation, as millennials send more socialists and progressives to Congress, the less the needs of the moderate Democrats and Republicans are served. Thusly, America’s established institutions are being tailored to serve those who are now far left of center and are not serving the necessaries of moderates, independents or Republicans.
If we examine the rhetoric coming out of the Democratic Party and we follow the money trail, it is easy to see how deceptive the Democratic Party has become in serving different masters. While throwing bones to the underclasses to appease them, they have been shuffling big bucks to the upper class.
“I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”
– Will Rogers
The Democratic Party used to be considered the party of labor and the middle class. But since the 1980s, Democrats have pursued a platform supported by their more affluent members that prioritizes education over labor. With programs like Race to the Top and Common Core, they have been encouraging education over the trades and blue collar professions as a fix-all for class inequity.
With the Democrats stumbling in the polls and the midterms under way, President Joe Biden and the left are reaching deep inside their bag of tricks to make points with members of their coalition for whom their system works. They need to convince their coalition of wealthy upper class liberal college educated professionals, climate control police and other special interests to keep them in office.
“Our goal is to end the production and purchase of gas-powered vehicles by 2035.”
– Joe Biden
These last few weeks, we’ve seen examples of how special interests are being served over those of the majority. President Biden is persistent in making the working middle class pay for the education of the upper-class. This simply transfers cash from the less well-off taxpayers to those that are well-off.
President Biden’s plan to “cancel” student debt is redistribution of wealth. His proposal would cost taxpayers $450 billion. This is simply making all taxpayers pay off student loans. This includes people who never took out loans, or went to college. But it works well for wealthy Democratic Party donors.
A recent Moneywatch report asserts President Biden’s “student loan forgiveness plan” will only benefit the wealthy and the educated members of his party. They note, over two-thirds of debt forgiveness would help people in the top 60% income bracket who earn $82,400+ per year or more. And the majority of this group are young educated professional Democrats for whom this system works.
With inflation haunting them, progressives needed a boost before the midterms, and they passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which is a gift to elite party members. It gives tax credits to companies and buyers of electric cars, buyers of heat pumps, water heaters, solar panels and expensive green energy products that are not affordable or practical for the middle class, but profitable to market.
The $60 billion for “environmental justice” is a catch-all phrase to justify the $380 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act that will wind up in the pockets of company executives, stockholders and those well-off enough to buy electric vehicles. That is another gift to the wealthy Democrats since environmentalists are disproportionately wealthier and support far left politics like global warming.
Semiconductor manufacturers have made nearly $250 billion in profits in the last five years. Yet Congress passed the CHIPS Act, which will send billions of dollars to American manufacturers for scientific research to expand their sales and profits. While the bill might help to improve the U.S. semiconductor chip shortage, the money goes to manufacturers and it comes from the taxpayers.
Despite their rhetoric about being for the little guy, Democrats have been the originators of most of these regressive ideas. Their coalition now consists entirely of those for whom the system works; wealthy college-educated and environmentals and other recipients of federal and state largesse.
According to IRS data, Democrats have become the party of the wealthy. About 65% of taxpayers in many Democratic districts have a household income of $500,000 or more. Transversely, approximately 75% of taxpayers in Republican dominant districts have household incomes of less than $100,000.
President Herbert Hoover told us, “Honor is not the exclusive property of any political party.” Today’s political divide is being enforced by patronizing the needs and desires of those for whom the system works at the expense of those on the outside looking in. Every piece of legislation President Biden’s Congress has passed has been “political payback and pay-ahead” to sustain a system that works for Democrats.
This last election pitted rich Democrats against blue-collar Republicans. This indicates that the left achieved its goal of bringing young wealthy educated liberals into the party without losing support from identity groups. The question is: How long can Democrats continue to patronize every special interest group before middle class voters realize they are getting nothing for their tax dollars or their vote? We’ll find out this election.
“The more people who are dependent on government handouts, the more votes the left can depend on for an ever-expanding welfare state.”