My friend's liberalism has not evolved. It is stuck in fond memories of a childhood during which FDR's soothing voice filled the airwaves with those heartening fireside chats. For 11 years Roosevelt proclaimed that prosperity was "right around the corner." The corner was never turned, but three times the people reelected him.
That is the jolly, hopeful, "we're all in it together" sort of liberalism to which my writer friend still ascribes. He seems not to have noticed that the left has become at once more radical and more cynical. Today, the American left doesn't care a whit about hard-pressed workers or the unemployed -- not that it ever did. What now concerns the left are the massive donations from special interests that make it possible for radicals like Obama to occupy the White House.
Those special interests include unions, environmentalists, trial lawyers, billionaire financiers and entrepreneurs, academics, and minorities. This is not the same broad base that voted FDR into office. Unions no longer represent the poorly paid mass of workers -- they represent an elite whose wages and benefits far exceed those of non-unionized workers. Trial lawyers and academics constitute another elite, while minorities seek to preserve their supposed right to educational and hiring preferences. Environmentalists oppose growth at every turn, even at the expense of the livelihoods of their fellow men. In fact, none of these liberal special interests advances the needs of the broad middle class. All of them are working to further their own interests at the expense of ordinary Americans.
The left's special interests have sacrificed today's hard-pressed middle class on the altar of their own greed and lust for power. The Democratic Party promotes a slow-growth economy as the "new normal" because slow growth is the price it must pay to reward its special interests. Altogether, the cost of rewarding these interest groups is now slowing economic growth by an astounding two thirds. Instead of the normal 4% non-recessionary growth rate, our economy is now growing at 1.5%, about one third of what it should be doing. What is happening to the other 2.5% GDP growth? It is being redirected to the special interests that support the Democratic Party.
At every campaign stop, Obama claims to be "fighting for the middle class," but it is precisely the middle class that has been targeted by the left as the source of its funding for special interests. It is simply a fact that under Obama
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