OUR HISTORICAL CLASS WARFARE
by Jack Reeves
To denigrate legislation requiring the wealthy to pay more taxes, "class warfare" is the watchword. This political strategy is itself "class warfare," or classism, the belief that people from certain social or economic classes are superior to others. Such, though, characterizes our history.
The Constitution permitted only real estate-owning white males to vote--about 15 percent of us when George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and John Hancock distinguished the wealthy list.
Compare: When my mother was born 125 years later, her mother could not vote--females being inferior. It took years of confrontation to change.
Gender since aside, wealth, race and power, i.e., classism, rule. Wall Street is salient. We the people, the remaining 99%, are submissively ruled.
Fifty percent of the US Congress are millionaires--many worth hundreds of millions. Sen. McConnell's wealth at least $20 million, Rep. Cantor's $7 million.
Politicians and pundits, playing the "class warfare" card to defend that "the rich are different" (F. Scott Fitzgerald), continue our history of ignored and/or denied classism.
Examples: In 1880, Florida was the first state to pass a poll-tax law--10 years after the 15th Amendment granted former slaves the vote. Ten Southern states followed. Racism, classism.
Today, nationwide legislation to restrict voting in the name of preventing fraud--with Florida much in the fore--continues the pattern. Those affected are least able to comply, thereby advantaging the superior classes.
Class warfare is as American as apple pie. A new revolution is overdue.