Plutocracy: The New Manifest Destiny | Purpose, Inc. | Big Think
Over the summer, I had the opportunity to be at the historic K’s Hamburger in Troy, Ohio. For generations, republican presidential candidates have been stumping at this little hamburger shop in Troy’s picturesque downtown. The line to get into Governor Mitt Romney’s rally there last June was long as dozens of people waited in the heat for their turn to pass through tight security. As a pro-gay marriage, pro-social programs, pro-choice activist, I chatted with a few of his supporters.
One of the people I spoke with was a young African American man, dressed like most everyone else in line—t-shirt and jeans. He said that he supported Governor Romney wholeheartedly, and that the media uproar over the alleged off-shore accounts scored bonus points. He wanted to know how to hide his money, too.
This man shared the sentiments of so many Romney supporters I’ve spoken with: the desire to join the 1-percent. It’s an exclusive club with benefits that are unimaginable to the average American. As Romney himself said, “We’re not the party of the rich. We’re the party of the people who want to get rich.”
Despite what some pundits may argue, there is no class war in America. The issue is more complicated than that. America is not facing a war of rich against poor, but a war of values. There are billionaires, Warren Buffett and George Soros, who advocate stronger social safety nets and outcry that they should be paying more in taxes to help the poor. And then there are working class Americans, increasingly vulnerable to the global economy and continued deregulation, supporting a candidate who views them as the hand-out hungry and self-pitying 47-percent. (Though Romney apologized for this leaked “gaffe,” his campaign platform, which included abolishing “immoral” FEMA, reflects this ideology.)