Thursday, January 26, 2012

We Don't 'Envy' the Rich; We've Got a Problem with Callous Selfishness

Enough with the 'class warfare' whine!


It actually amazes me that whenever the wealth, or income inequality is even mentioned, the retort from those who are either rich, work for the rich or who think one day they might be rich is 'class warfare'.

Of course its not 'class warfare' to denigrate the poor.

Nor is it 'class warfare' to erroneously conflate food stamps and poverty with minorities (principally, blacks and Hispanics).

It's not even 'class warfare' to refer to those receiving public assistance to be living off of someone else's money.

And of course, its not 'class warfare' to suggest that because those of us who get refunds on our tax returns don't pay taxes!

No, it's not 'class warfare'. Many of us admire the rich. A preponderance of Americans want to be rich - or at least comfortable. We don't hate wealth. Americans loathe selfishness. It's callousness with which we have a problem.

Call those who feel this way 'the left', 'liberals', 'socialist' or whatever way you want to denigrate us, the fact is, we have problems envisioning someone in office who campaigns as if the poor don't exist. Or, who if they admit their existence, they are viewed as 'the problem' and the 'cause' of America's problems. And, they are those toward whom we have minimal (if any) responsibility.

It's not the rich. It's the selfish.

Proof? There was, at one time, a rich politician whom young, poor and the middle class absolutely adored. He was wealthy and he came from a wealthy family. He counted the rich and celebrities among his friends and supporters. And there wasn't a poor person who resented or 'envied' him. He spent the kind of time among the poor, learning about their lives and their conditions and spoke about what he learned with humility, gentleness, respect and compassion.

He spoke to the poor all over the country. Poor Appalachian whites, poor blacks in Harlem, migrant farm workers in California. He visited their homes. He got in the dirt with the children. He asked them about their diet. He talked to them about their hopes, their dreams, their fears.

All across the country...

The day after President's State of the Union address, Mitt Romney said he spent the day talking with eight people who were unemployed or who have lost their homes to foreclosure, in Florida. 


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