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Bringing “Class War” into the Open

Wage Class WarWageClassWar.org (WCW) was launched on November 15, 2012 as a project of the Campaign for America's Future (CAF). As articulated by CAF co-founder Robert Borosage, WCW's mission is to protect the interests of middle class people who are “besieged” by “America’s extreme inequality and rigged [economic] system” and are “looking for champions” to stand up for them. 

WCW:

  • A project of the Campaign for America's Future
  • Advises Democratic political candidates to engage in "class war" in order "to win the who's-side-are-you-on battle" in the eyes of the voting public

Toward this end, WCW supports progressive Democratic political candidates and openly advises them to engage in “class war” in order “to win the who’s-side-are-you-on battle” in the eyes of the voting public. The surest way to achieve this goal, says WCW, is to constantly emphasize “the reality that the wealthy and special corporate interests [are] rigging the rules to benefit themselves, while the middle class [is] getting crushed.” According to WCW, the Occupy Wall Street movement—through its ceaseless repetition of slogans about “the 99%,” “the 1%,” “inequality,” and the evils of “Wall Street”—“brought this reality to national attention and demonstrated widespread American sympathy for its analysis.”

To prove the efficacy of its proposed “class war” strategy, WCW in November 2012 identified several Democratic politicians who had expertly used it to their own great advantage in that year's elections. For instance, WCW claimed that President Barack Obama, who had a sub-40% approval rating in mid-2011, was able to win re-election just 16 months later because of his “decision to engage in class warfare, to directly engage the class war being waged by the 1 percent against the rest of the country.” In certain key battleground states like Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, said WCW, Obama “took on the class warrior role” with particular aggressiveness by:

  • “constantly reinforc[ing] the contrasts” between himself and Republican challenger Mitt Romney “regarding the middle class”;
  • “indict[ing] the 'you’re on your own' economics of Republicans”;
  • emphasizing his desire to “eliminat[e] the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy”; and
  • “painting a believable picture of ... Romney as the plutocrat who ... can’t empathize with your struggles.”

Further, noted WCW, Obama had gained “a clear advantage” as a result of Occupy Wall Street's “reframing of the nation’s most important economic issue.”

WCW also praised Obama for dividing Americans not only along class lines, but also gender and racial/ethnic lines. For example, explained WCW, Obama “defended contraception and pay equity” for women while offering a palatable alternative to the “harsh anti-immigrant posturing” of Republicans—whom Borosage depicts as a “stale, male, pale, Southern-based party in a nation of diversity”—that “drove Hispanics and Asians into Democratic arms.”

Similarly, WCW attributed Elizabeth Warren's U.S. Senate victory in 2012 to a class-warfare campaign wherein she burnished “her populist credentials” by demanding “financial reform” on Wall Street, placing “the people over the powerful,” and claiming that wealthy individuals were morally obligated to pay high taxes for the benefit of the poor because "there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own.” WCW also gave high marks to Warren's Democratic National Convention speech, in which she complained that “the system is rigged” in favor of oil companies that “guzzle down billions in subsidies,” billionaires who “pay lower tax rates than their secretaries,” and “Wall Street CEOs—the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs.”

Other worthy political role models, in WCW's estimation, included:

  • newly elected Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), who “campaigned as a class warrior with class” and effectively portrayed her Republican opponent as a “multimillionaire landlord” who “would fight for tax cuts for the wealthy while placing all of the burden of spending cuts on seniors and the economically vulnerable”; 
  • Senator Jon Tester of Montana, who won re-election with a campaign that “always put him on the side of ordinary people fighting the powerful,” while casting his Tea Party-allied opponent as “a land developer solidly allied with the powerful, whether in business or government”;
  • Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who ran as “a full-throated populist” pledging to “put the reins on Wall Street banks” and “end taxpayer-funded giveaways to huge corporations that ship American jobs overseas”; and
  • Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who hammered her Republican challenger for “his well-paid work as a lobbyist on behalf of greedy corporate interests,” and “stressed that wealthy people like Warren Buffett shouldn’t be paying a lower share of their income in taxes than the people who work for them.”

In November 2012, WCW stated: “Looking back, we are likely to see this as the first of the class warfare elections of our new Gilded Age of extreme inequality. A besieged middle class is increasingly aware that the rules are rigged against them.”

WCW is avidly supported by the AFL-CIO and other labor unions. It receives financial backing directly from the Campaign for America's Future, which in turn is funded by a number of large charitable foundations.

 SOURCE:DTN and also see Discover the Networks visual map

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