History doesn’t simply repeat itself, it stutters.
Facing an increasingly difficult election in 2012, Obama finally announced a new policy designed to heat up his base by asking the wealthiest to help out (Can you spare a dime, brother?) But, if his past performance is any indication, it’s more titillation than a serious engagement (remember, he has a problem with commitment). The loyal opposition immediately denounced the new tax plan as class warfare. Well, duh! What else could they say? Of course it’s class warfare. Since Reagan, the middle class has been fighting a losing battle to survive.
And this is where history begins to stutter. You see, this isn’t the first time the wealthiest have accused a president of class warfare. Franklin Roosevelt was called a traitor to his class when he initiated the New Deal in 1932.
Roosevelt came to office at a desperate time, in the fourth year of a worldwide depression that raised the gravest doubts about the future of Western civilization. In the summer of 1932, economist John Maynard Keynes, when asked by a journalist, whether there had ever been anything before like the Great Depression, replied: “Yes, it was called the Dark Ages, and it lasted four hundred years.”
It’s been said that J. P. Morgan’s family kept newspapers with pictures of Roosevelt out of his sight, and in one Connecticut country club…mention of Roosevelt’s name was forbidden as a health measure against apoplexy. In Kansas, a man went down into his cyclone cellar and announced he would not emerge until Roosevelt was out of office. (While he was there, his wife ran off with a traveling salesman.) Does that craziness sound familiar? Tea, anyone?
Roosevelt, his critics maintained, had shown himself to be a man without principles. H. L. Mencken said, “If he became convinced tomorrow that coming out for cannibalism would get him the votes he so sorely needs, he would begin fattening a missionary in the White House backyard come Wednesday.”
And poor Eleanor Roosevelt– J. Edgar Hoover, the cross-dressing FBI chief, kept a 6000 page file on her subversive activities which consisted primarily of teaching poor children. How much more traitorous can you be?
Point being: The “classes” have fought wars before and it’s a worthy fight. So prepare yourself for that shrill chorus that’s sure to begin in boardrooms across America. We suggest earplugs. Warfare is so loud.