Bob Franken

Bankrupt Wealth Politics

Please help me understand: Why is John McCain harping on his accusation that Barack Obama wants to “spread the wealth around?

Actually, the real question should be why is that an accusation, instead of praise?

Shouldn’t we all be interested in making sure each and every one of us gets our fair share…what we’ve actually earned? Haven’t we had enough of a few hoarding the riches they accumulated through the unregulated subterfuge that has brought our world economy to collapse?

It’s usually at this point we start hearing the mindless buzzwords from the demagogues: “Socialism!”, they sputter, or even “Communism!”.

Some ditzy anchor on local Orlando TV quoted Karl Marx in her one-shot-at-glory interview with the Democrats’ VP candidate. Joe (may I call you Joe?) Biden was dumbfounded. “You gotta be kidding”, he replied. Apparently she was not, although Biden suggested it was someone else who had written her questions.

She’s probably not kidding any more than that Republican member of Congress, Michele Bachmann from Minnesota, who accused Obama and the Democrats of holding “anti-American” views.

This time, Bachmann’s comments created an uproar and a huge backlash. But isn’t it reasonable to ask whether they’re all that different from Sarah Palin’s “Real America” descriptions, or the relentless “spread the wealth” knee jerking from McCain?

The suggestion seems to be that it’s “anti-American”to believe we should all get a fair shake and that we should weed out the corruption that allowed a few to swindle everyone else. Is it “anti-American” to require those whose lucky breaks brought them the good life to share their great fortune with the others in their community?

Is it so hard to understand that members of a team need to believe their contributions and hard work will be rewarded, that they won’t be cheated out of what they’ve earned by an unfair society? Otherwise, why would they continue to be a part of the team?

Yes, we need to share the wealth and not in a Robin Hood kind of way. This is not about stealing from the rich. It’s simply making sure they don’t continue to take what belongs to the non-rich.

The reflexive efforts to stigmatize progressive thinking is reminiscent of the Red-Baiting from a different era. Hopefully, this time around we can all see it for what it is: A pathetically desperate attempt to hold on by those who have benefited from an egregiously unfair system.

If they succeed we will all end up buried in their last ditch efforts to prevent the kind of change we not only can “believe in” but absolutely require if we’re going to dig out.

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