A blue-collar worker, Mike, who called into my show Politics Done Right should touch every single person who listens to him. One can hear the pain and loss of resolve in his voice. To this guy, the centrism & “stability” of the last 30+ years failed him and most.
Exasperated Blue-Collar worker
“I am just a blue-collar working guy, 53 and doing it all of my life,” Mike said. “I've got some good trades. I survive. … What I've always wanted to bring up is I kind of feel like blue-collar people in this country are being left behind. We are being stamped out. Wages have been stagnant for years. I guess I just don't understand what's' going on.”
I proceeded to ask Mike several questions. He said he had not voted in several years. Many will immediately jump on this man for not doing his civic duty and being a part of the problem. I beg to differ.
We have been asking blue-collar folk, POC folk, and all these different identities within the Democratic coalition to vote. The problem is we always seem to settle for someone who is under the belief that they must adhere to some mythical center.
The mythical center has not stopped the decline of the middle class. Nor has it helped the poor ascend into the middle-class. Those asking that we support someone in the center like Biden or Klobuchar should attempt to be empathetic to those who realize their policies will do little to make their economic situation all but marginally palatable.
A tweak to the Affordable Care Act that still has a $6,000 deductible and does not insure all is not appealing. Not solving environmental problems, student debt, economic, racial, and criminal injustice is not appealing.
Much more than a status quo is needed in an extractive economic system that eventually transfer the wealth of most to the few who were given or have the ability to acquire capital. It's the mathematical equation that governs our current economy.
When purported Democrats start using Right-Wing talking points against Progressives, it confuses the masses which is the intent of Centrists who many times are but corporate shills. Let's be clear, when not spoken in ideological terms, most Americans are Progressive based on the polls.
I remember when the blinders were knocked off of my egoistic eyes. It was a graph that Economist & Professor Dr. Richard Wolff showed at a symposium I attended about his documentary Capitalism hits the fan.
I use Politics Done Right and my blog posts to reach people no one is making the effort to reach except for when they want their vote. If they vote they are thanked and soon after forgotten. If they don't vote, they are criticized, maligned, and demeaned.
I see it much differently. Many of us don't just want to convince people like Mike to vote. We want to also empower them with knowledge so that they understand what to demand of their vote and how to ensure they get their demands enacted to improve their current state.
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A commenter made a statement that is so important to this article that I am reposting here.
Egberto, the idea that blue collar workers are a unique class of the cheated keeps the electorate confused. all employees are potential victims of being robbed by employers. For example, the majority of faculty at US public universities are cheated out of their earnings by scheming administrators and untrustworthy trustees. Those faculty members are simply classified as part-time, so that they can be victimized. Administrators cheat the faculty members on pay (e.g., <50% of what they should pay), so that they can report a cost saving to the university trustees, who congratulate the administrators by raising their already large, arguably bloated, salaries. The results of administrators’ impoverishing others to fatten the incomes of themselves are predictable. S, for example: