There’s little more corrosive in political discourse than the cheap trick of vilifying a minority in hopes of extracting a political net gain from the majority.
And few practice this kind of tyranny more ruthlessly than the Obama campaign. Currently, it seeks to cull “the rich” from the herd under the pretense that they don’t pay their fair share of taxes.
“The rich” exploit the poor, goes the undertone of the argument. They game the tax system. It’s time to make low “the rich,” says the wind.
Scapegoating is an age-old tactic. It can be used against any group. The Catholic Church doesn’t pay its fair share of taxes. Newspaper owners don’t. Casino blackjack dealers don’t. Left-handed Lebanese don’t, and on and on.
The small point to make is that it is absurd. In the United States, everyone pays the taxes required. If they don’t pay, they are deadbeats or cheats, not people who fail to pay their “fair share.”
Comedian Jon Lovitz of “Saturday Night Live” fame put his finger right on it when he said: “This whole idea of this 1 percent versus the 99 percent, it’s a false static” that fosters “false class warfare.” And then he articulated a common lament for those who succeed in America: