In mainstream politics, there has always been an aversion to speaking in terms of “class.” Any discussion of class is slandered as too leftist, too smacking of Marxism to be taken seriously by Democrats and Republicans. In the past, any politician who brought up the notion of class was branded a radical, or accused of being an agitator. Issues aren’t class issues; they’re about “socio-economic status.” Quite a sterile, technocratic term.
But this self-censoring can obscure the reality, particularly in these times, in the midst of the so-called “Great Recession.”
Fortunately, some have the courage to not self-censor.
During a December 16th Congressional hearing before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich had this to say:
“The class warfare is over — we lost…I want to make that announcement today. Working people lost. The middle class lost.”
Kucinich was discussing the government’s role in the economy over the last year, in which they saved Wall Street and the banks with a massive bailout program while doing little to stem unemployment or help “Main Street.”
“The wealth of this nation is being accelerated upward,” Kucinich said. “That’s one of the problems that I had with the bailout.”
The mainstream press rarely notes statements like this from a politician, except perhaps to ridicule them. Maybe they should take them more seriously. For a country that is supposedly so focused on celebrating the notion of “The Middle Class,” we sure don’t defend it very well when it lies in peril.