Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Structure Weak at its Very Center

Middle America
by Charlie Leck

Lou Dobbs is starting to drive me crazy! Do you know who he is? He's one of the evening news celebrities on CNN. I actually agree with him most of the time; however, he's gotten so bombastic in his approach that he's starting to resemble all the idiots who are on the air over at FOX News. I can barely stand watching his show any more – and that's what it is – a show – and not really a newscast.

I think CNN must have been feeling some ratings pressure in its battle with FOX News. They've gone the way of more volume, more cynicism and more hard opinions on issues. Dobbs is followed in the evening by Rick Sanchez, with a show called Out in the Open. Sanchez so resembles the characters over on FOX that I cannot watch his show either. He does more shouting than Bill O'Reilly. What is CNN coming to? Why are they doing this?

Nevertheless, I must say I agree with the Lou Dobbs comments about the current WAR ON THE MIDDLE CLASS. It frightens me that the middle class may be disappearing in America and most of those who we formerly associated with that economic class are now shifting downward toward the lower income levels.

Soon I'll review Richard Russo's novel, Bridge of Sighs. For our current purpose, I'd like to quote the following:

"The middle, she said, was the real America, the America that mattered, the America that was worth fighting wars to defend. There was just the one problem with being in the fluid middle. You could move up, as we had done, but you could also move down."

That's the crux of the problem in America today. Traditionally, government has worked its butt off to protect the middle class and to give it strength. Today government is acting as if this grand, huge middle is of little importance. The middle is in trouble and it is drifting downwards toward economic weakness. At the same time, the wealthy, upper classes are growing stronger and stronger and more separate from those few who are left in the middle.

Here's the point: there are very few left in the middle. The middle has no strength. The middle is very weak. The middle usually controlled American elections. Who will control them now? The answer is that party who can most strongly appeal to the lower economic class in America. It is too reflexive an answer to say that this is the Democratic Party. Not necessarily. The Republican organization understands the situation and they gear up their campaign machinery to appeal to those who have not. They are very clever about it. They know that the have-nots live in a fantasy world, dreaming of the day when they will have all they need. That's what the lottery is all about. The Republicans pretend to be the lottery choice.

"After all," the lower economic classes say, "the rich are with us and we can be with them if we vote for them. They will deliver us from slavery."

In fact, the Republican Party could care less. It shows this by its position on social issues and its stance on global employment.

Here's the truth about the coming election: Barak Obama, Jon Edwards and Hillary Clinton are committed to the preservation and strengthening of the middle class. Even if you are not a part of that economic status, it will do you well to support the plan to strengthen it.

If there is not a strong middle class in America, America is lost. That may sound dramatic, but it is the plain truth. It is something the Republican Party does NOT understand.

I have friends and family who are a part of this economic group that formerly was the middle class. They are slipping backwards. I have been lucky. I am part of this fortunate class. I keep getting better off thanks to Vice President Chaney and his policies. Should I be happy? Give me a break! What good is my comfort if the nation is disintegrating? It is!

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