The Democratic Party has left behind the working class. From the time of the Great Depression the Democratic Party has been the party of workers. That solid voting block began to crack under Ronald Reagan as the “flower children” of the sixties took control of the levers of political power within the party bringing with them an agenda that didn’t fit. “Blue Dog” Democrats realized it. Ohio Congressman James Traficant realized it. In their words you hear the echoes of the lost voice of American worker.
“Mr. Speaker, the Gettysburg Address is 286 words. The Declaration of Independence is 1,322 words. Government regulations on the sale of cabbage are 27,000 words. Mr. Speaker, now if that is not enough to stuff your cabbage roll, regulations cost taxpayers $400 billion a year, $4,000 per every family each and every year, year in and year out. Unbelievable. It is so bad, if a dog urinates in a parking lot, the EPA declares it a wetland.” James Traficant – 1999.
Although America’s workers overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama in 2008, Obama announced his disdain for the working classes when he made his now famous comment about how they “cling to their guns and their bibles.” Over the past 7 ½ years Obama’s actions have matched his words. The Democratic Party has moved dramatically to the left placating its intellectual elite who deal in ideology rather than the practical issues that face working Americans every day. They have set themselves apart. Obama’s guns and bible comments were reiterated by Nancy Pelosi, former Democratic Speaker of the House, who said in a PBS interview this past July that this bloc of voters is too concerned about the three G’s…Guns, Gays, and God (referring to those who oppose abortion). Real Clear Politics, July 27, 2016.
Hillary Clinton gave a preview of her views of industrial America when she said they are going to put a lot of coal miners out of work. That wasn’t a misstatement. It is a true expression of the problem with today’s Democratic Party. Ideology comes before people. If your industry is not in tune with the elitist perception of what is a proper industry, you are out of luck. They don’t care. But not to worry. They will give you food stamps and welfare checks.
The Democratic Party is now the party of extreme elitists, financial and ideological. They are concerned about transgender bathrooms, who is baking a wedding cake for whom, the size of your Slurpee, school lunches that have a piece of ham and a carrot on the plate, safe places on college campuses, riding bikes to work instead of driving, not saying Merry Christmas, an unexplainable “whatever” with radical Islam, and most importantly, not offending anybody about anything. In other words, keep your mouth shut. The Democratic Party is worried about everything but the American worker.
And while they push their extreme and very weird agenda, they have climbed into bed with the biggest international corporations around, enriching both their party and themselves personally through crony capitalism and phony foundations while pushing the Trans Pacific Partnership. The net result of this agenda is exporting good jobs and importing cheap labor.
The reality is stark. Shrinking numbers of good full time jobs. Declining wages. Shrinking benefits. No job longevity. No training for what new a jobs being created. Rapidly rising prices notwithstanding phony inflation figures. And an arrogance that looks the other way.
So where does that leave the American worker who has to work two part-time jobs to get the necessities of life? Where does that leave the American worker who has lost his/her job to someone working for a quarter of the wages in Vietnam? Ask the Disney employees who were required to train their replacements from India because they would work cheaper…in clear violation of Federal Law.
In doing research for this essay, I did not find one article that discussed the issues at hand that weren’t phrased in terms of race and gender. It is described as a “white, male, blue collar worker” issue, with that term used a pejorative. The articles, mostly written by liberal journalists, refer to these folks as “uneducated.” And that description is not intended to be flattering. It is intended as an insult in the worst possible manner.
It is not a male issue or white issue. It is an issue rooted in the belief that what America’s workers do…the hard working folks who attended the school of hard knocks and reality…is not important. These jobs are dirty. Those who do them are lesser people than the movie stars and rock performers and athletes and industrial titans and media commentators with whom the Democratic political elite associate.
You won’t find an African American inner city unemployed young male at an Upper East Side New York cocktail party. You won’t find a single mother with three children who works a minimum wage job at a yacht party in the Hamptons. You won’t find a blue collar white male who lost his job at the age of fifty with no job prospects at a media red carpet event in Los Angeles. And no matter where you stand on immigration, you won’t find a young Hispanic immigrant, legal or otherwise, who is trying to learn English and make sense of difficult circumstances at the Cannes Film Festival.
But that’s okay…because the elite care. They say all the right things. And the rest of us have our guns and bibles.
Mark G. Mangie