Democratic Strategy for 2012

The Principle reason for recent Republican successes: In the 1960s they turned working-class Americans against Democrats by capitalizing on their resentment of civil rights legislation. Then they extended this resentment to "pointy-headed liberals," “big government,” taxes, welfare and “environmentalist wackos.” To a great extent, Democrats have never recovered from this attack.

Republicans attacked by:

  1. Correctly blaming Democrats for civil rights legislation, and then

  2. Using this resentment to discredit the “biased liberal news media.” After making the objective news media the enemy, they were able to

  3. Give credibility to their own spokespersons in the radio, TV and print media (e.g., Limbaugh and conservative think tanks, and more recently, the Fox news network). These people aggressively use demagogic techniques, most notably “inoculation.” (Accusing others of doing what you are doing.) As a result,

  4. They were able to claim the term “class warfare” as their own slogan. The typical voter thinks it refers to Democrats who are trying to make them envious of the rich—rather than the rich taking ruthless advantage of workers. Democrats have lost this issue by default—they just didn’t want to deal with it and hoped it would go away.

  5. Republicans claimed that the top 1% of Americans are the most “successful,” the most “productive,” and the ones “who create employment and provide jobs for others.” (Not that they got rich off the backs of workers) And

  6. They claimed that workers have lost their jobs because they are uneducated or in the wrong industry—and, besides, they’ll be better off later when the economy gets better.

      In addition: Republicans have mastered the art of distraction and redefining terms. They distract voters by shifting their attention from the real problem to the problem’s scapegoats. Instead of blaming workers’ lack of money on stagnant wages, they blame affirmative action and taxes. Instead of blaming corporate executives for corruption, they blame government for not allowing the free market to function as it should—or liberals for lowering moral standards generally. Instead of a lack of funding causing poor public education, they blame government waste.

      They redefine terms in such a way as to associate positive terms with Republican policies, and negative terms with policies of Democrats and liberals. Therefore, “capitalism” is an economic system without government regulations, whereas a market with regulations is socialism. Adjusting the prime interest rate to stop “wage inflation” is capitalism, but putting limits on the incomes of corporate executives is socialism. They say that a flat tax is capitalism, a progressive tax is socialism.

    Solution: Have the guts to fight back and tell it like it really is. On a recent talk show a commentator said that Barack Obama was a typical Democrat who wants to raise taxes on the most productive 1% of the American public—and the comment went unchallenged.

     Democrats seem to feel that they have lost the class-warfare issue and are afraid to challenge such outlandish statements that have been repeated so often. This timidity has cost them their main supporters. They concluded that there is no significant difference between Democrats & Republicans, and have given up on politics.

     Democrats seem to have lost the ability to deal with the many variations of the most important issues: justification of a progressive tax, why a capital gains tax is fair, why social security taxes need to be lowered (and the top limits raised), why expenditures for social programs are fair and necessary, why unmanaged “globalization” is bad, how investors and the rich benefited from the economy of the '80s and '90s at the expense of workers, why government is essential for truly free markets—etc.

Issues that need to be reframed, redefined and/or clarified, repeatedly and loudly:

  1. What is capitalism and what is socialism? What have the terms come to mean to the American public?
  2. What constitutes a free market and how do you make sure it happens?
  3. Is more education the best way to increase wages of America’s poorest paid workers? (no) Or the wages of even “educated” workers? (no)
  4. What is economic growth and what is its role in job creation and wages?
  5. Is reverse discrimination the same as discrimination?
  6. Is our environment better than the Soviet Bloc’s because we’re a capitalist nation with a free economy, and they are communists or socialists with government-controlled economies? Or is it due to governmental regulation?
  7. How and what kind of tax cuts stimulate an economy, and can a tax increase stimulate an economy?
  8. What are the characteristics of an aristocracy, plutocracy and democracy? And which political parties belong in each category?
  9. Why are most “balanced” panels on radio and TV actually biased and a disservice to the public?
  10. Why the news media need to spend much more time on follow-up to factual disagreements among political opponents.
  11. How Republicans shifted America’s discrimination focus from minorities to “the uneducated.”
  12. How corporations (and others) have broken their promises to American workers.

Class War in America and The Great Limbaugh Con were written to specifically address these and other issues, and to provide "talking points" for those who are interested in political activism. The secondary purpose of the Class War book was to demonstrate that financial conservatives are deliberately lying to the American public.

The Class War book can be downloaded free from Google Books.

The Great Limbaugh Con book can be downloaded free from Google Books.

Talking Points in Class War in America:

How American politicians, economists and corporate executives broke their promises to American workers. p. 10-13, esp. pp. 100-101.

How to prove that conservatives are deliberately lying to the American public. (Their propaganda differs from their statements of fact in their most prestigious financial publications.) pp. 19-21.

The hypocrisy of those who say people shouldn’t be “envious of the rich” (they are the same ones who watch the incomes of working-class Americans like predatory hawks—in order to manipulate the prime interest rate). Pp. 43ff.

The only inflation conservatives fear is the inflation of workers wages. P. 44ff.

A major conservative deliberate lie: wage increases depend upon economic growth (instead of worker power). P. 53ff & p. 60ff, esp. p. 64.

Why “globalization” (not the same thing as international trade) hurts ALL workers. P. 68ff.

Requirements for the kind of international trade that yields true economic benefits. P. 73.

The downside of globalization for all “non-investors. P. 76ff, esp. p. 83.

Major reason wages stagnated for the past 25 years: workers’ lack of power. P 84ff, esp. p. 85.

Politicians who support working-class interests are the same ones who support and are blamed for civil rights. P. 113.

Why Republicans want to cut funding for the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. P. 126.

Republicans’ deliberate lies about the 1993 deficit reduction. P. 127ff.

Routine deliberate lies about tax legislation. P. 134ff.

The nature of true “free markets” vs. markets ruthlessly controlled by the least principled corporations. P. 170ff.

The new American royalty and why working-class citizens can’t afford to support them. P. 201ff.

Why wealth is a zero-sum game. Pp. 210-216.

Talking Points in The Great Limbaugh Con

What class warfare really is:  pp. 79-86, esp. 84-86. pp. 179-184.

Summary of the philosophical differences between Democrats and Republicans: p. 87.

How to justify government environmental regulations (and to handle the argument that the private enterprise system is the environment’s best friend): p. 31.

Justification of progressive income tax system: pp. 35, 74-5.

Real meaning of a “free market”: p. 42-45

Wealth doesn’t “trickle down,” it is “sucked up” (also related to top 1% of “successful” or “productive,” or “working” people): pp. 53, 95

Why workers (in the bottom 60 %) should get more tax breaks: p. 55

Why wealth IS a zero-sum game: p. 57

The unfairness of low (or no) capital gains tax: 68-72

Workers are the true producers of wealth; income disparity between workers and investors: pp. 109-110

Differences between rich Democrats and rich Republicans: pp. 112f

Differences between Democrat and Republican views of the economy: p.116.

Inciting prejudice against workers, while praising investment bankers: p. 126

How investors and the rich benefited from the economy of the 80s and 90s; the two Americas, rich and poor: p. 130f

All of Part Three (beginning on p. 146) can be described in local terms (housing costs, degenerating conditions for workers, mansions for the rich, etc.)

How “globalization” hurts both the communities that “win” and these who “lose”: p. 167

Some community disruption is inevitable and even beneficial, but chaotic disruption is disastrous: p. 174

How the economic cycle applies specifically to South Carolina: p. 172

What we need to do: pp. 187, 197. How Republicans stole the South: p. 198.

How Capitalism actually defeated Communism: p. 189.

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