Class Warriors: the Truth Hurts

Bill Neinast

Some take umbrage at the appellation class warriors.  Their raised hackles are further proof that the truth hurts sometime.

Those who do not like being called what they have become prefer being referred to as Jeffersonian Democrats.  That, too, is a misnomer. 

Jefferson’s original political party was called the Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans.  Their original philosophy was more in keeping with today’s conservatives than with class warrior beliefs. 

Some of Jefferson’s core beliefs were that, although the national government is a dangerous necessity to be instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation or community, it should be watched closely and circumscribed in its powers.

Also, the federal government must not violate the rights of individuals. The Bill of Rights is a central theme and the federal government must not violate the rights of the states.

Among the inviolable rights of individuals was the right to create wealth and to keep what was earned.

About 1832, what was to become the Democrat Party broke away from the Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans.  Even then they were divided by class.  There were the so called Bourbon Democrats composed mostly of eastern business interests.  The “others” were the agrarian interests of the south and west.

Shortly after the war between the states, class warfare became an obvious reality.  A loose alliance was formed between the KKK and Democrats.  The main purpose of this arrangement was to keep the blacks, who had recently been freed by those yankees, “in their place” or, to use today’s term, “back on the plantation.”

Locally, the alliance was unquestioned.  Numerous sources indicate that one man was the leader of both the Washington County Democrat Party apparatus and the KKK.  Sheriff Burney Parker was a leader in both of those activities and was head of the local draft board during WWI.  See, for example, Dr. Walter Kamphoefner’s “The Handwriting on the Wall:  The Klan, Language Issues, and Prohibition in the German Settlements of Eastern Texas” in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, July, 2008.

When physical intimidation did not work, the class warriors turned to the statute books.  If paying a poll tax to vote during the depression did not discourage enough undesirables from voting, requiring the successful completion of a literacy test about the government would.

The literacy test was the real class discriminator.  Particularly when different tests were given to the desirables and undesirables.

Anyone doubting this class warrior tactic should Google “1965 Literacy Test” and go to “Quiz - Alabama Literacy Test circa 1965.”  The first line of that item is, “Take this quiz to see whether you would have been able to vote before 1965 if you were not white.”

I took the test and passed--I think.  It is not a simple, easy test.

Consider now the 21st Century.  For the last several decades the class warriors have worked relentlessly to create a culture of dependency on the government.  More Americans are on food stamps or some other type of unearned government support than ever before. 

In passing out this largess, the recipients are told, “This is not your fault. You are here on the plantation because the greedy, rich capitalists are not willing to share their wealth with you.  Just hang with us and we will make the rich pay their fair share (so long as it does not come out of our own pockets, of course).”

During the last ten months, if President Obama made a speech of any kind in which he did not excoriate the “rich” for not paying “their fair share of taxes,” I did not hear it.  Each of those speeches was built around the premise that two classes, the middle class and the poor, cannot move up because of the selfishness and greed of another class, the rich.

So here’s the perspective.

From its inception almost two centuries ago, the Democrat Party has obtained and maintained political power by pitting one class against another.  First it was black against white.  Then it was black and “other undesirables” against the landed gentry.  Now, it is us, the poor, against them, the rich.  If that is not class warfare, what is a more appropriate nomenclature?

A verse in the New Testament reads, “And why behold you the mote that is in your brother's eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3)

Some of the class warriors crying loudest about the motes in rich people’s eyes are President Obama, Senate Leader Harry Reid, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.  Each of them is a multimillionaire.

When those three follow the lead of Mitt Romney, who refused a salary when he was governor of Massachusetts and also when he saved the Salt Lake City Winter Games, and forfeit their government salaries, donate 50% of their annual taxable income to charity, and urge all their “rich” friends to do the same, I will call them Democrats instead of the class warriors they are.


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