Are the lives of middle class and poor Americans improving? Most Americans think we're "going in the wrong direction." Economic insecurity is still prevalent. How did we get here? It's a complicated question, but let's examine part of what President Obama said in his speech
commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech:
"Since 1963 the economy's changed.
"The twin forces of technology and global competition have subtracted those jobs that once provided a foothold into the middle class, reduced the bargaining power of American workers.
"And our politics has suffered. Entrenched interests -- those who benefit from an unjust status quo resisted any government efforts to give working families a fair deal, marshaling an army of lobbyists and opinion makers to argue that minimum wage increases or stronger labor laws or taxes on the wealthy who could afford it just to fund crumbling schools -- that all these things violated sound economic principles.
"We'd be told that growing inequality was the price for a growing economy, a measure of the free market -- that greed was good and compassion ineffective, and those without jobs or health care had only themselves to blame.
"And then there were those elected officials who found it useful to practice the old politics of division, doing their best to convince middle-class Americans of a great untruth, that government was somehow itself to blame for their growing economic insecurity -- that distant bureaucrats were taking their hard-earned dollars to benefit the welfare cheat or the illegal immigrant."
To me, that passage sounds as though the entire conservative position on domestic policy is just a fraud cooked up by "entrenched interests" and "elected officials who found it useful to practice the old politics of division," who marshaled "an army of lobbyists and opinion makers" to "convince middle-class Americans of a great untruth." At no point in this section does Obama admit that there might be people who sincerely believe, based on their own study of the evidence, that a smaller government might be good for the country. And this goes to the fact that Obama – and a lot of other Democrats – now hate the Red States so much that it is interfering with their ability to look out for the interests of all of us. Obama is supposed to be the President of the whole country, but he tends to treat the Red States as conquered provinces that shouldn't have any say in what happens. And I think one of the reasons he acts this way is that he doesn't believe that a person can be a conservative and also be a person of good faith.