It’s rather ironic that in one of California’s most difficult economic periods, with the state facing a $20 billion deficit, this year’s statewide political races will be among the most expensive in California history. While many Californians are struggling to hang on to every dollar, and California’s official unemployment rate is 13%, millions of dollars are being poured into the campaigns of the men and women who think they can restore California’s prosperity.
Because California is such a large state—one of the top ten economies in the world, really the size of a small country—campaigning for statewide office can be incredibly expensive; on par with campaigning for president.
Of all the political parties, the Republican Party should support an individual’s use of their personal wealth to finance their campaign for public office. After all, Republicans believe in the free market and the ability to use one’s money as one sees fit. Republicans also support free speech, including the freedom to give political donations to whichever candidate one supports—as long as it is publicly disclosed.
But during the unprecedented spending spree in the GOP primaries for governor and senate, there’s been a disturbing grumbling coming from the candidates with leaner campaign coffers. Some of the candidates aren’t just sticking to the issues when attacking their opponents; they’re making their opponents’ personal wealth an issue.
Whenever someone is assailed for their personal wealth in order to evoke sympathy from the public for a political purpose, it’s called class envy or class warfare.
Class envy is an effective tool utilized by the Democrat Party to win the votes of those who believe they are owed more money by the wealthy. Most recently, John Edwards perfected this demagoguery with his “Two Americas” stump speech. But the Democrats are merely borrowing from the Communist playbook. It was the Communists who demonized the bourgeoisie, causing the proletariat to rise up and overthrow existing government.
Class envy is not a trivial matter; it’s a serious political weapon not to be trifled with. So it’s alarming to hear Republicans—members of the party most antithetical to Communism—using class envy to try and demonize wealthier Republicans.