Do Liberals and Democrats Demonize Wealth?

A recent Left Call commenter said, “What I totally don’t understand about you liberals, and Democrats in general, is how you so easily demonize the wealthy. I just don’t get it. You think that the Republican Party is just for the wealthy? That Conservatives are rich people alone?”

My answer is simple: No — No, I do not think all conservatives are rich. — No, I do not think the entire Republican Party (as in, everyone who is a member of the party) is “just for the wealthy.”

But I also say: No, liberals and Democrats in general do not “demonize the wealthy.” It’s a total mischaracterization, or dare I say “demonization” of liberals. Pointing out that our political system and our government caters to wealthy interests is not demonizing the wealthy. Saying the average American lacks proper representation is not an indictment of all wealthy people, rather, it’s an indictment of our political system and the wealthy interests that pervert it. When the average congressman has many more times the wealth compared to the average citizen, I think it’s fair to ask if people are being fairly represented, and I will not be told that I’m demonizing the wealthy for doing so.

It’s interesting that some on the Right hold two conflicting opinions when they think about liberals, Democrats, wealth, power and politics. One opinion posits that liberals and Democrats demonize wealth. The other opinion posits that liberals and Democrats take their marching orders from billionaire George Soros and “Big Labor.” Sorry, you can’t have it both ways.

So I say this to Republicans and conservatives: Ponder your real convictions, then return with a cohesive argument against liberals and Democrats that doesn’t result in contradictory statements. You can either stand firm and defend your viewpoint or you can resort to multiple contradictory attacks designed explicitly to defeat an “enemy” and not defend a conviction. Are you spending more energy trying to defeat something or more energy trying to make people understand why you believe your viewpoint is the correct one?

I have a body of work on this website that explains where I’m coming from and what I stand for, and I try with earnest to defend it without resorting to unfounded attacks against people who do not share my viewpoint. I do admit to frequent generalized statements about parties and political persuasions, but my primary goal is to defend social and political policies that work for all Americans, and to expose the people who are catering to a narrow set of interests. I do not start my day looking for ways to attack Republicans and conservatives but I will vigorously defend my values and what I stand for.

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  • moomoo

    Hilariously weak arguments. It’s like something spoken into a mirror to boost one’s confidence. What an echo chamber this site must be.

  • Jason Prescott

    I believe a congressman makes the same amount of money per year regardless of which party he is from. I agree that they are paid far too much, but that certainly has nothing to do with a congressman’s political stripe.

    Given the number of times Obama has mentioned getting “the rich” (note, he means people with a comparatively high income, not necessarily a high net worth) to pay their “fair share”, although “the rich” already pay the majority of taxes that support social programs, I would argue that he is most certainly demonizing the wealthy. Whether all left leaning persons agree with him, I don’t know, but I do know that very few right leaning persons would.

    • I’m not talking about their congressional salaries, and I never made a distinction between Republicans or Democrats in congress with regard to their wealth. I’m not sure you even read the article.

      Social Security supports itself through the payroll tax. It is not supported by the rich, and the easy way to understand that is because the payroll tax cuts off at just over $100,000. Medicare does pay out more than it takes in, which means that the difference must be made up through other taxes (federal income tax). So your argument could have validity there, but that is how it works. If you are successful, make a lot of money, you will have a higher percentage and dollar amount tax burden. After all, the middle class was not created from nothing. The idea of a middle class is a very new idea in human society (last 100 years really). Before that it was nobility and monarchs and everyone else was a peasant. It took government policy to construct a middle class through social programs and progressive taxation. You can ignore that fact, but it’s still a fact nonetheless.

  • greedy rich

    If you don’t think the left demonizes the wealthy then you should read comments on the Facebook page “The other 98%”. The wealthy are constantly referred to as the “greedy rich”. It’s as silly as referring to the poor as the “lazy poor”, and it is quite vicious.

    • I said liberals do not in general demonize wealth. If you think what motivates liberals is attacking the wealthy, that is simply wrong. Are there liberals who will say disparaging things about the wealthy? Sure. I’m not critiquing the extremes, I’m pointing out what motivates liberals, which is equality and fairness, not demonizing wealth.