COMMENTARY | Joe Biden screamed at an Ohio campaign rally audience: “They don’t get us! They don’t get who we are!” His scream-speech also included outrage that anyone should stifle the get-rich-dreams of the middle class, saying his parents always instilled in his family that the kids could be president, vice president or millionaires if they so desired.
His rant included “My mother and father dreamed as much as any rich guy dreams!”
Biden’s pushing the “us” against “them.” Class warfare is ON — or so Biden hopes.
Like any election, Democrats and Republicans are going head to head on how money is spent. Obama is pushing for higher taxes on wealthier Americans and expanded investment in federal programs. The GOP pundits say higher taxes will negatively impact the sputtering economy and slow job growth. Igniting class warfare is particularly tempting at a time when the economy likely will be the deciding factor in who leads the U.S. for the next four years.
The Obama camp is hoping class warfare will turn GOP presumptive nominee Mitt Romney ‘s business experience into a negative. But Biden’s impassioned Ohio rant may backfire, particularly if American’s do not blame big business for our current economic turmoil.
In Biden’s Ohio scream-speech, Biden slammed Romney’s business record. Biden brought up the 750 laid-off workers at GST Steel, although Romney had left Bain Capital by the time GST Steel filed bankruptcy and merely retained a financial stake in the firm. Romney has countered the criticism with the 100,000 jobs that were created as a result of the profit from the deal. Yet, as the Obama campaign turns the spotlight on wealthy corporations, he’ll also have to explain in greater detail rewarding campaign donors with taxpayer money for the already ailing Solyndra solar panel company.
It’s not a bad discussion to have, but Biden’s screams were a weak attempt at aligning himself with the way his audience thinks. He based his rant on everyone in his audience either dreaming to be a millionaire or resenting millionaires. Most people want the opportunity to pursue their dreams but that dream for many, doesn’t include being a millionaire. Americans dream of becoming firefighters, teachers, veterinarians, social workers, small business owners, bakers, interior decorators. And yes, earning a comfortable living is the goal, but not everyone makes it their lifelong ambition to be a millionaire. That being the case, many are not consumed with resenting millionaires, either.
Biden came out spewing resentment and hatred at the wealthy, hoping all Americans would join him. To hear Biden speak you would think anyone that is not a millionaire only hasn’t reached the goal because they’ve been oppressed by the very rich. You’d also think that the reason the U.S. is suffering from high unemployment is because the wealthy have conspired against the middle class.
Sadly, this is a tactic struggling countries use. They take the plight of the struggling masses and emotionally stir them up — not against poor governance, not against government misspending, but against those who have more than they do. It’s a cheap ploy that doesn’t actually strike a cord with hardworking Americans.
American’s aren’t busy envying the rich — they want a fair shake at the pursuit of happiness.