Liz Rose, (p) 202-587-1638, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASENovember 15, 2012
2012 Election is the First Successful Class War in Modern U.S. Politics
WageClassWar.org Shows Democrats Invoked Class War and Won
Washington, DC – Pundits calling this election a status quo election are overlooking one of the most dramatic aspects of the 2012 campaign. For years corporate-backed Republicans have waged class war against the middle-class and poor, while Democrats largely ceded the battlefield. This year, key Democrats fought back and won.
From the President on down, Democrats explicitly campaigned to raise taxes on the wealthy, to regulate corporations and to clamp down on unfettered trade with China. And in contrast, Gov. Romney was pilloried for his past as a corporate raider and forced his fellow Republicans to defend his past profiteering on layoffs and his unfair, secret tax returns.
From President Obama to Elizabeth Warren to Sherrod Brown, the top 2012 campaigns successfully used class-based issues for the first time in modern U.S. politics.
The Campaign for America’s Future collected evidence of these class warfare battles in a new website called wageclasswar.org. Visit wageclasswar.org to see case studies, political ads, poll numbers and more information on how the 2012 election demonstrates that when candidates stand up for the people, for Main Street rather than Wall Street, they can win.
Statement from Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future:
“Warren Buffett has said that of course there’s a class war, and my class has been winning.
“In this election, Mitt Romney – the candidate of, by and for the 1 percent lost. And he lost significantly because the middle class won the class war debate. The President’s margin in key states like Ohio was established early by ad campaigns identifying Romney as the exemplar of casino capitalism, making a quick buck by breaking up profitable companies, shipping jobs abroad, treating workers and their communities as pawns easily sacrificed along the way. That of course was reinforced by Romney’s own campaign and his own revealing moments – corporations are people, I like firing people, elevators for his car, the 10,000 bet, $375,000 in speaking fees isn’t a lot of money, the 14 percent tax rate with money wintering in the Cayman Islands and summering in the Swiss Alps, and most destructively, the ill-concealed scorn for the 47 percent who are `victims’ who don’t take responsibility for their lives.
“That was reinforced by an agenda that recycled the Republican staples of top end tax cuts, deregulation, more trade accords, privatization. By a convention theme of
We built that that had little appeal. Voters wanted change. They don’t think the economy is on the right track. But they essentially split on who would do better on the economy, while giving Obama a 53-41 edge on being better on `restoring the middle class.’ But they saw Romney as divorced from people like them, and Obama as a defender of the middle class.
“This was, in my view, the first of the class warfare elections in our new Gilded Age of extreme inequality. Only now the middle class is becoming increasingly aware, as Elizabeth Warren put it, that the rules are rigged against them. For years, conservatives in both parties have warned against class warfare. Americans, we’re told, don’t like that divisive ness. They see it as the politics of envy. Inequality should, as Mitt Romney said, only be talked about in back rooms. Nonsense.
“More and more of our elections going forward will feature class warfare – only this time with the middle class fighting back. And candidates are going to have to be clear about which side they are on. The old dodges – god, guns, and gays – will have every less power to distract. Rhetoric will not be enough. Obama’s middle class populism had traction in the Midwest because he had the courage to save the auto industry, against popular and much elite opinion. He could win a record majority of Hispanic voters, because he took real steps on the Dream act. He clearly stood with women not only in the war on women, but on pay equity, and health care.”