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Nothing wrong with the middle

There’s a need in our country for compromise and mutual consideration by the leaders in Washington, D.C. and throughout the nation, to bring about the changes and set an exemplary example. Such an effort could calm the storms that rage across the nation.

Both Democrats and Republicans in recent years have mutually done much to rile and upset those on the opposite side of the aisle.   At the risk of sounding partisan, the first look in this piece is focused on the Republicans as they at present have a slim majority in the U.S. Senate with a somewhat wider margin in the House. The GOP holds sway in the White House and Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the giant chasm between the wealthy and those with limited means has grown wider and deeper with the near-extinction of the moderating influence of the middle class.  The middle class in the last century served as a highly flexible social organ because the poor, through education and opportunity, could move into it while those Americans who greatly succeeded at their endeavors could move into the ranks of Americans with considerable means but not, as now, with excessive wealth.

However, with the middle class diminished and the 1 percent of rich American numbers enhanced, those with the money and power have gone exclusive and sought more money and power by eliminating controls on their spending for like-minded political candidate choices while simultaneously having succeeded to elect their people by denying others of lesser means their vote.  Then, too, most recently, by a Supreme Court decision that denied organized labor the ability to financially compete with them.

It appears likely that reactive conservatives will number 5, pro-active progressives 4. Hence, the Supreme Court of the United States will become demagogic, partisan and one-sided.  Every decision by the Supreme Court will be predictable and foreordained, and likely to result in more deep national fractures.  Some examples of what’s about to happen to cause ever deeper and wider divides can be identified already, that is, women’s rights gone, environmental controls abolished, the nation’s wealth to the few by taxation law, only Norwegians granted immigration, no more Muslims, and the Affordable Care Act dead.

While only 1 percent of the American population are among the nation’s multi-millionaires and billionaires, the remaining 321 million citizens often finding it a struggle to make ends meet, continue nevertheless to support the tiny wealthy minority who have become notorious for their self-centeredness and relentless unwillingness to bring their fellow citizens to even a wage-earning level that provides access to financial security at present and a respectable retirement later.

The logical thing by those who’ve already been left to pick up crumbs is to see to it by voting and sending their representatives to  D.C. and Salem who will work to see to it that more Americans have the opportunity to achieve wages and benefits that begin once again to establish and maintain this democratic republic’s anchor and stabilizer, the middle class.  When a significant percentage of the population is unwilling to fight for their future and that of their children, then consequent generations will predictably live more like their ancestors in the Middle Ages than the former middle class.

One more thought begs consideration.  “Make America Great Again” was the catchy slogan that appealed to a whole lot of voters in the 2016 presidential contest.  However, to date, what “America” in that slogan has meant is that the vast majority in millions of Americans who seek the American Dream are no better off; rather, those multi-millionairs before January, 2017,  by the new federal tax law, and other Trump administration advantages, have become billionaires.

(Gene H. McIntyre shares his opinion each week in the Keizertimes.)