My dad liked to recount a conversation he overheard back in the 1960s, when he was working for American Airlines in Tulsa, Okla, and flying home to the Bronx for free with a complementary first-class ticket. The two oilmen in the row ahead of him on one flight were upset because several of their union workers were heading to New York City on vacation in the same section.
“You can’t tell the difference between them and us any more,” one lamented to the other, according to dad.
The WWII veteran recounted the conversation to me from time to illustrate why he felt the rich and entitled could not be trusted, because they didn’t believe in the idea “we’re all in this together” as Americans. I learned to judge people by the content of their character, rather than their credit scores, years later at the Columbia University School of Journalism. However, the repugnant behavior of elites like Donald Trump and the reptilian Koch Brothers – who have been waging class warfare against the faltering middle class since 1980 or so – often reminds me of my dad’s convictions about income and class in America.
Their detestable behavior has made me a huge fan of both Democratic Socialism and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. I’ve got a “Sanders” bumper sticker on my Toyota FJ Cruiser, but I have to be realistic about his nonexistent chance to win the presidency in a general election even as the polls show him closing in on Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
Bernie is a much better human being than Duh-Donald – his Republican doppleganger – but enjoys the same unfavorable political trajectory. Both are immensely popular in their respective partisan primaries and completely unelectable in a general election.
Because the vast majority of U.S. voters are still too stupid and lazy to distinguish between extreme totalitarian forms of socialism – like Communism – and Sander’s laudable and desirable Democratic Socialism, which is embraced by the highly evolved social democracies of northern Europe.
Studies by The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development have repeatedly found that people on this planet are happiest in those nations. Mostly because their governments protect them from the excesses of parasitical businesses like JP Morgan Chase and silver spoon mofos like Dah-Donald, a fake tough guy who thinks it’s cool to publicly humiliate his employees.
The same imbecile voters who buy into the fiction about Communism and Democratic Socialism being one and the same are equally incapable of grasping the concept that there are extreme forms of capitalism which are even more undesirable than Communism. They include slavery, company towns, piracy, collusion, trusts, predatory lending, peonage, monopolies, and indentured servitude.
These extremes exist at the heart of the conservative thinking of the silver spoons mofos who believe they should be able to take whatever they can overpower, greed is good, and all profit is moral.
What’s it all mean?
It means U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D – Mass) – who shares Bernie’s views about the evils of predatory capitalism and big banks, but is not a socialist – needs to get off her friggn ass and get in the goddamn race already. Because she is electable. Incredibly electable.
This is her time. Not Hillary’s or even Bernie’s – bless his heart.
It’s her race to win or lose. Not the horde of wanna Wall Street lackeys like Joe Biden and the other political hookers in the GOP presidential clown car.
.What am I tryng to say?
Let me break it down:
-Let’s friggin go Liz.
-Quit your stalling.
-The Fragile Middle Class needs you.
-Chop, fuggin, chop.
America’s middle class is struggling to recover from both The Great Recession and the decades of unequal economic growth which preceded it, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data last year by the Center for American Progress. Middle class household balance sheets remain well below their pre-recession levels because the wealthiest Americans have hogged the income growth created since 2009 in this nation, which is looking more and more like the old coal-mining company towns of the early 1900s every day.
The median household income in the United States is now less than it was in 1989 — nearly a quarter of a century ago. Meanwhile, the rich are balling and the inherently American concepts of a level playing field, workplace meritocracy, equal accountability under the law, and fair play have been tossed into the dustbin of history by our contemptible elites.
“The clearest indicator of the continuing struggles of the middle class has been the failure of the national median income to rebound to pre-recession levels and its overall decline over the past 14 years,” according to The Center for American Progress. “In 2013, the typical middle-class household earned an income of $51,939, which was (nearly) $4,500 below what they earned before the start of the Great Recession in 2007.”
Hillary Clinton is not the person to turn that around. She’s a shill for an American caste system that embraces one set of rules and laws for the children of the wealthy – like her own precious, weak and sheltered Chelsea – and another for everyone else’s kids. Chelsea being the completely unqualified wannabee journalist who recently resigned from a position as a national correspondent at MSNBC she never would have been offered if not for mommy and daddy’s influence.
Never mind the long line of qualified journos who have earned such a position by actually paying their dues in the godforsaken news industry, whose wanton exploitation of its own now rivals only that of migrant farm labor.
Chelsea was joined on her privileged perch at MSBC by fellow silver spoons Meghan McCain, the daughter of former GOP presidential candidate John McCain, and Jennifer Hager Bush, the daughter of the idiot president who attacked Iraq after Saudi Arabia launched the 9/11 attacks.
The three princesses possess the equivalent of one shared journalism brain nbetween them. It’s the human equivalent of a single cylinder, 40 horsepower, Briggs and Stratton lawnmower engine with a fouled sparkplug.
Case in point, Chelsea’s big “get” as a scribe – a hard-hitting series that blew the lid off the vegetarian foods industry (below right). Thanks to her courageous reporting the world now knows that vegetables are not meat and and can be good for you. Some of them are green, too.
In short, she sucked bigtime as a journo. All three princesses did. Mostly because they sought to avoid interacting with normal people whenever possible in the mistaken belief that debt is an infectious disease.
The three didn’t deserve to be newsroom interns, much less national correspondents. Sadly, talent and hard work are no longer qualities which matter when evaluating the sons and daughters of this nation’s self-appointed financial and political aristocracy.
The same kind of bullshit elitist thinking which convinced Hillary to place her pampered little girl in this undeserved reporting position also played a role in her own attempts to conceal emails from public view when she was Secretary of State. In short: “the rules don’t apply to me and mine.”
And that my frends is why Hillary is not fit to be president, in a nutshell. Not whether her genitalia is external or internal.
Leadership is still done by example on this planet, when it’s done at all. Sadly, Hillary appears to be one of those people who just can’t handle privilege. She was transformed by her time in the White House from a champion of working Americans into a Princess Di wannabee (left)
Today, Hillary bears almost no resemblance to the crusading First Lady who fought heroically for healthcare reform during her husband’s first term and delivered a watershed speech entitled “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” to the United Nations in 1995.
She simply does not seem to be capable of leading by example. Even worse, she no longer even appears to understand why it’s expected of her.
Hillary is all about her own privilege these days, which makes her an enemy of the hardworking middle class – regardless of political affiliation. Not it’s champion.
The notion that a woman who is so baroness-like when dealing with the members of her personal security details somehow deserves to be the first female president in U.S. history is ridiculous.
Hillary has become the Shannon Faulkner of American politics as her desire to be the first female president in U.S. history has come to overshadow any pretense of personal commitment to making this nation a better place by taking on the human locusts of Wall Street. Faulkner (below right) being the wealthy and overfed teen who was so infatuated with creating a name for herself that she pushed herself forward as the first first female cadet in the history of The Citadel military academy in 1993, even though she lacked the fundamental physical fitness and personal discipline to succeed in the traditionally all-male setting.
Meanwhile, there were literally thousands of more qualified females nationwide who were deprived of the same opportunity by her sense of silver spoon entitlement. Once those hardworking young ladies got the chance – after Faulkner had set the concept of female equality back a few years – they rapidly made gender irrelevant at The Citadel.
We need Liz to do the same thing in the White House. Liz being a former restaurant waitress who is a true champion of the middle class; the daughter of a janitor who nearly died from overwork; and co-author of an influential book called “The Fragile Middle Class: Americans in Debt.” It was published back in 2001 when she was a Harvard professor specializing in bankruptcy law.
The academic book was dry as hell – hardly recommended reading for the Reality TV crowd – but the data in it were powerful. One of the key findings was that medical bills were so out of control they had become one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcies in a nation where Wall Street was rapidly transforming a medical industry devoted to healing into one devoted to blood money profit growth.
It’s not the kind of book anyone writes to get rich. It’s the kind of book you write to provide a service to your fellow Americans. In short, it’s my idea of paying some dues for a presidential hopeful.
It also proves that Liz has been about others for a long goddamn time. Which is why I’m not going to end this column with the tired and self-aggrandizing catchphrase “Run Liz Run.” As in the “Run Jessie Run” of former presidential candidate Jesse Jackson or the “Run Ben Run” ripoff of that slogan by current poser presidential candidate Ben Carson.
It’s not Liz’s job to be a novelty – to be the first female president. It’s her job to be the champion of the faltering middle class. To be the shears that cut Wall Street’s nuts off and impoverish those who have enriched themselves by conducting economic warfare against the decent working families of this nation.
In short, it’s her job to be so goddamn good that no one even thinks of gender again when discussing presidential hopefuls.
Which is why if I were to coin a phrase for Liz embodying the expectations of the beleaguered middle class it would be something more along the lines: “Get to Cutting Woman.”
Because the Trumps and Kochs of this nation deserve nothing less.
In short: make these elitist sonsabitches poor. Then let’s see how they stack up with the overworked Americans they’ve been looking down on for so long. With so little justification.
Because the silver spoon mofos who started this class warfare nonsense did so because it made them feel good to hurt their fellow Americans. And they ain’t worth shit.
Forrty years ago the rich kids riding the subway in New York City were so frightened of the children of the working class they began tearing holes in their brand new jeans in a desperate bid to blend-in with us. Along the way, they fostered a short-lived fashion trend.
It’s time for the children of the rich to be frightened again like that.
Because their idiot parents started this class warfare fracas when they decided being rich would be more fun if the poor and middle class weren’t quite so saucy.
In this nation, that kind of fake tough-guy sucker punch merits a brutal response. Liz needs to be that response.
She needs to show our nation’s pathetic elites that they have a lot more to worry about than who’s sitting beside them in First Class after they choose to open the Pandora’s Box that is class warfare.
Because the beneficiaries of the status quo can’t afford to lose even once when it comes to class warfare. Whereas those of us in the poor and middle class are comprised of more durable stuff.
See the fate of Czar Nicholas of Russia and his family, the fate of King Louis XVI of France and his family, the plight of the beneficiaries of the status quo in Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge decided they’d had enough; and that of former Lybian strongman Moammar Gadhafi and his family.
There’s a reason most elites don’t play the class warfare game.
It’s called “self preservation.”
Disclaimer: The Cynical Times is a nonprofit news website run by veteran journalists who have been forced out of the mainstream news media as its been taken over by private equity firms and hedge funds. They write and report solely for the faltering middle class and embrace the salty and direct language of blue collar workplaces and communities, while rejecting the assumption that all educated discourse must be nonconfrontational. They do so because this assumption has allowed misinformation sites like Faux News to hijack working class voters who have no other reason to support its viewpoints, which advance monied interests at their expense.