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Conservatives Divide and Conquer the Middle Class

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Did you ever wonder why Wall Street bankers think they are worth $100 million bonuses? They think they are worth it because they have skewed the concentration of wealth in the United States. They are getting away with ripping off the middle class, and few of them have gone to prison for their behavior. Every so often, though, they overstep, and then we all get to see and feel the consequences directly.

September 15, 2008 was a day that will live in infamy, because it was the day that the global financial system finally began to collapse. Thirty years of conservatives dividing and conquering the middle class had resulted in such excess that the system could no longer support the greed, and many Americans had their retirement plans crushed. As usual, the rich got richer and the rest of us were left to our own devices for surviving financial crisis.

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin has provided us with another case in point. Instead of simply taking on his state budget crisis honorably, he decided that he would attack a century of Americans joining the middle class through collective bargaining rights by attacking those rights. If he is allowed to succeed, he will be a hero of Wall Street gluttons, who don’t think they should share with those of us who do the work.

Of course, taking away collective bargaining in Wisconsin will have no immediate effect on Wisconsin’s budget, but as their public servants are weaker in bargaining over the long term and are pushed out of the middle class, the rich will get richer in Wisconsin. If Governor Walker succeeds, he’s a likely Republican presidential candidate in the near future.

conservatives have had a thirty year run of dividing and conquering the middle class. The result has been a concentration of wealth in America that rivals the days of Teapot Dome and the steel and railroad robber barons in the late 19th Century.

How do they do it? It’s very simple. They turn average citizens against one another over matters that don’t concern the wealthy, diverting attention from their real agenda and fragmenting their opposition.Their favorite tactic is to divide and conquer over social issues like gay rights and abortion. Just watch or listen to the major conservative media outlets and you will see that a huge proportion of their time is spent on abortion and gay rights. What the heck do they think they’re selling?

All you have to do is watch iconic movies like In the Heat of the Night or Dirty Dancing to understand the consequences of making abortion illegal. Before Roe v. Wade we had lots of abortions in the United States. We caused major portions of our healthcare community to be felons, and traumatized coat hanger-wielding sorority sisters for life because of the consequences of trying to help girls in trouble.

We should more reasonably fight the scourges of sex trafficking and abuse of women, but instead the conservatives have too many of us believing that we will stop abortion by making it illegal. We already know that doesn’t work, but fighting over it keeps us from paying attention to how they’re ripping us off.

Then there’s the favorite issue of gay rights. Is it any of our business what people do in the privacy of their bedroom? Is there any one reading this who isn’t ashamed of something they have done sexually? Why do any of us have to be ashamed of our own sexuality?

The irony is that a recent study revealed that 40% of Americans have experienced anal sex, and yet God has not destroyed the United States of America. What is happening? The conservatives are making us think about something that doesn’t matter so that their smoke-and-mirrors media machine will keep our attention away from what matters to them: the ability to rip us off without interruption.

The truth is that conservatives don’t care about lower taxes for most of us. They just don’t want to pay their fair share. We could solve the Social Security solvency “crisis” in a New York minute if we simply taxed everyone on an equal percentage of our income. But no, if you earn over $106,800, you don’t pay any Social Security tax on the overage. So New York investment bankers with $100 million bonuses pay practically none of their income for Social Security, even though they’ve reaped the biggest benefit from our system of wealth distribution in the United States. How is that fair?

The next time you hear Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, or Glenn Beck shouting about abortion, gay rights, or Social Security solvency, think about how many cigars and yachts you’ve bought for the fat cats! They want you to think those are the real issues, and they are paid handsomely to keep you stirred up and looking the other way!

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  • JohnDoe

    Thank you for sharing this. One person whom I was reminded of during this was George Carlin, who said this in his early 90’s specials on HBO. He also went even further in 2005 and 2008 with this subject. People at the time didn’t believe him when he talked about the wealthy corporate interest class in this country controlling the media, the politicians, and US, the people.

  • Arch Conservative

    The world is what it is and while it is undeniably admirable, noble and I might add necessary to show concern for the welfare of your fellow man, it may be that some have determined that the best course of action is to temper that sentiment with behavior based on the realization that doing one’s utmost to adapt to the world as it is will yield the most success and peace of mind in this life, regardless of how one measures such things.

    That’s what I was thinking anyhow.

  • Curious, no one has taken this discussion any further. It’s so obvious, I guess no one feels they can deny it with any plausability.

  • I think the overall premise of the article is pretty accurate. Both Bush II election campaigns focused on social issues and the Rovians made a special effort to lure in the religious fundies which had the effect of carrying Bush over the top. However, when the rubber met the road, neither Bush administration, nor Congress pushed the social agenda forward in any significant way. There was in fact a lot of scuttlebutt regarding how the Bushies thumbed their noses at the fundies and went on their merry way getting us into 2 wars and wrecking the economy all to sate the greed of their rich benefactors, Bush’s beloved base.

    McCain and his minions failed to adequately lure back the fundies, and they made a host of other gaffs, chief among them, the bringing on of Sister Sarah as the Veep candidate. Their ineptitude coupled with the ground swell for Obama killed their chances.

    But the worm is turning. All the as yet cagily undeclared Republican presidential candidates who have been doing their dance in Iowa over the last several days have unraveled all the old social garbage, and are waving their morality flags high. Even the reptilian, thrice married Newt is out there spouting about morality – even suggesting that his peccadillos were the result of his hard work and passion for our beloved country. He is truly the crapmeister.

    Pawlenty, Huckabee and others are carting out all the old saws of same sex marriage, abortion rights – even revisiting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – to stir up their righteous fan base.

    And it IS a diversion. They don’t want their minions to worry their simple, god fearing, little minds on all that Wall Street curfuffle, or the bankers and corporate mucky-mucks soaking up hundreds of billions of our dollars.

    Rather, they are taking pains to remind them that Obama isn’t really one of us, that he has been tinged by his madrasah schooling and unduly influenced by the Mau Mau revolt. (Mau Maus? – WTF!) They want their admiring flock to be reminded of Dems and their godless, secular eliteness. Well, it worked before. I guess they think – What the hell, right? Let’s go down that road again, just like in the good old days.


  • Andrew and Baronius. Thank you for your comments. The discussion of such topics among patriotic Americans is what makes the USA strong.

  • Baronius

    My problem with this article – aside from disagreeing with it – is that it presents social issues as a distraction, then goes on to argue those social issues. If you want to claim that the conservatives are social-issues dupes being led by greedy manipulators, then by all means do so. It’s not awfully original, and the article presents no evidence in support of that idea, but you can argue it if you want. What doesn’t make sense is to then go on and fight over the social issues. Why let yourself be distracted over these “distractions”? Obviously, because they’re not distractions; they’re important issues to you. It’s reasonable then to assume that they’re equally important to the other side.

  • Andrew

    I think this analysis is spot on. Thanks for sharing! 🙂