Normally, I try to ignore media coverage and advertising as it pertains to this year’s presidential election, but it’s not always easy. This year’s campaign has been particularly negative on both sides, but what chaps my hide more than anything else is the pitting of the rich against the poor. I find it sickening!
When President Obama was elected almost four years ago, the rallying cry of change could be heard around the world. Folks seemed to think that we would somehow evolve because voters put a black man into the Oval Office. If anything though, I think this country became MORE divided, and only a tiny part of that division resulted from old black versus white prejudices. The majority of the division as I saw it then (and still see it today) had everything to do with rich versus poor — the haves versus the have-nots.
Now, before I go any deeper into my commentary, I need to remind folks that although I don’t consider my family “poor”, we earn well under 200% of the U.S. poverty line for a family our size. We’re the kind of family that gets held up as “poor” and “suffering” by President Obama’s crowd, and we’re the folks that are held up as “slackers” and the “people that MY taxes pay for” by others who feed into this class warfare nonsense. To be clear, I view us as rich. My view of rich, however, has absolutely NOTHING to do with money.
Despite the fact that my government thinks I’m poor, I absolutely refuse to play into the idea that rich people are evil, money is bad, and capitalism is as destructive to civilized society as war, famine, or pandemic. I can’t do anything about others who allow themselves to be lured into the game. I can, however, refuse to play it myself.
How many of us have heard folks say things like, “I’m tired of MY tax dollars paying for THEM to sit around and do nothing,”, or, “She’s out of touch with reality because SHE never had to work and SHE has money.”? We’ve all heard those kinds of remarks, and I truly feel that it’s comments like those that are crafted to divide us. Dividing us by race, religion, and gender is old news. Pitting the rich against the poor seems all the rage these days, and I’m disgusted by it!
And just as I start to calm down, someone has to throw some more fuel on the fire. There’s a political ad for President Obama that’s particularly bad about stirring the pot. The voice over guy goes on and on about why we should hate Mitt Romney because he made however many millions of dollars and only paid 14% in “taxes”. Annoying voice over guy continues by pointing out that it’s unfair that rich people get to pay less taxes than the middle class, and this is supposed to somehow make us infuriated and ready to vote for President Obama.
Well guess what, annoying voice over guy, I’m not falling for it! So what if Mr. Romney paid 14% in federal income taxes (because I’m sure that’s what they’re talking about.) We don’t have to hate the rich guy just because he paid something similar in income taxes to what we’re SUPPOSED to pay. And if you think that 14% in federal income taxes is all that a rich guy like Mr. Romney pays, you just don’t get it! I remember hearing Jack Spirko at The Survival Podcast read a list of taxes that we all pay. It took him about five minutes to read the list, and regardless of how much income tax a person pays, we all still pay more than our “fair share”.
And what’s wrong with making a lot of money in this country anyway? Seriously! To me, it makes as much sense as hating your neighbor because he has managed to buy “your” dream car. Rather than being jealous, rather than hating the man for his success, why not just get off your duff and earn some more money so you can buy your own dream car if it’s that important to you? Just like it’s not the government’s responsibility to solve all our problems and level the playing field, it’s also not the business of the government and the President to continue to divide this country along ANY line. When you encourage people to hate each other, nothing good ever comes of it.
Don’t get me wrong. Mr. Romney has been just as ugly and divisive in this campaign. I don’t care who it’s coming from. I say ENOUGH ALREADY! Never has it been more important that we reach out to our neighbors building relationships and community as it is today. Dividing people into the haves and the have-nots teaches ALL of us to rely on anyone or anything but ourselves.
If you’re walking the path to liberty with me, please, please don’t fall victim to the us versus them game. Only a very small group of people win at that game, and they all live in Washington D.C.