FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Class Warfare: The Opiate of the Masses
By: Brian Sikma
On Wednesday night, Americans were treated to a more substantive evening of the Democratic National Convention as keynote speakers rose to defend the policies of the last four years and attempted to convince listeners that they were indeed better off than they were four years ago. But instead of ticking off a list of economic indicators showing improvement, two main speakers, former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, shamelessly whipped the crowd into a frenzy with the rhetoric and reasoning of class warfare. In encouraging Americans to believe in the make-believe Obama America where all is well and hope and change are still just around the corner, Warren – and to a slightly more modest degree Clinton – divided the American public into classes and then pitted them against one another.
Instead of being irked by the blatant attempt to turn Americans against Americans, the convention crowd sat in rapt attention cheering applause lines with a zeal and devotion normally associated with religious events. And well that may be since God had trouble showing up at the convention with nearly half of the delegates booing His comeback mention in an amended party platform.
It is unfortunate that the Democratic Party has become so radicalized by the far Left that mentions of God have become controversial. But it should come as no surprise really, since the elites in charge have long espoused the fashionable saying of Karl Marx that religion is the “opiate of the masses.” Judging from the strategy of the Obama campaign and the speeches and crowd response at the DNC, it appears that class warfare is also an opiate of the masses.
Class warfare assumes that the best way to motivate a voter is to appeal to greed. It squashes success instead of attempting to give opportunity to all. It undermines personal responsibility, assaults individual dignity, and assumes an arrogance that would be repudiated under other circumstances. In short, it is politically addicting, fiscally unsustainable, economically untenable, and morally destructive.
The platitudes of shared prosperity echoed by speaker after speaker at the DNC are a false pretense. The liberal reforms of the past four years are not about shared prosperity but mandated mediocrity. It is not shared prosperity when Americans are told that in order to help their country they must unquestioningly accept a government takeover their lives, their jobs, and their future. That is called sharecropping on the government collective and that is not the American Dream of liberty and opportunity.
A classic example of class warfare politics in action is the Obama Administration’s attempt to provide consumer-oriented financial reforms. Amidst the mortgage meltdown that put many American homeowners upside down on their mortgages were calls for the system to be reformed. Suddenly, those who had been pushing for reform of mortgage practices since the start of excess in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were finding themselves in the majority. But the new converts to reform refused to recognize it was government financial malpractice that encouraged Americans to gamble their financial security on mortgages they couldn’t handle.
Seizing the opportunity presented by the crisis, the Obama Administration’s class warfare as policy mentality led it to double down on government solutions to the problem. Instead of admitting it was misguided government policies that encouraged the crisis and fanned the flames of fiscal instability, another layer of government mandating a new round of regulations on banks and other institutions was created. Victims of the financial crisis were told by the very entity – government bureaucrats – who helped ruin their family finances that this time around government would get it right.
So far, however, the only thing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has managed to do is grandstand, issue press releases, and penalize financial institutions by imposing burdens it becomes to costly for the financial institutions to oppose. No one can fault the Bureau for being short on action, action it has but action that does nothing to really help secure the financial standing of American consumers. If any other institution in America played consumers for fools as much as the federal government, investigators would swoop in to shut down the fraud.
Class warfare is all Democrats have right now because if they actually had to rely on facts to make their case there would be no case to make in their defense. Expect to hear a lot about how the Obama Administration launched this program or that program, changed this policy or shaped that executive order, to take on the big special interests and defend the little guy. Don’t buy it. Because behind every story like that is a failure of some other big government program that this Administration would prefer to forget.
The old saw that you can tell a politician is lying when he opens his mouth especially applies when the rhetoric that emerges is classic class warfare.