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No Longer the Poor Man’s Party

By TLS | April 5, 2008

My first recollection of politics was when I was about eight years old. Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter were contending for the presidency. Reagan was a smooth talking, charismatic, superstar Republican Governor from California, and Carter was the politically troubled (mostly due to the oil crisis) southern incumbant Democrat. I didn’t really understand anything about politics at the time. I just remember Carter’s smile seemed to be all teeth and Reagan seemed to be on fire.

I remember asking my grandmother what the difference was between Republican and Democrat. With all conviction she said:

The Republicans are the rich man’s party; The Democrats are the poor man’s party.

My grandparents were die-hard democrats, all blue through and through. That simple definition stuck with me for years and years. It created the lens through which I viewed politics. I decided at an early age that if the Republican party was for the rich then I was going to be a Replublican. Grandma’s definition also made sense to me in terms of social policy. The poor man’s party was surely more interested in Big Government, entitlements, and social welfare programs. The rich man’s party was inclined to cut taxes, shrink programs, and rely on good old fashioned capitalism.

But that was around 1980. The definition doesn’t hold true any more. Gone are the days when the average man can be successful in politics. It takes loads of money to make it - especially in the highest posts like the Senate and the Presidency.

I was prompted to write this post based on the recent news coverage of the Clinton’s financials. The Clintons earned over $109 million in the past eight years. Incredible. I knew they were raking in the millions, but I admit I was a little surprised at the magnitude of their earnings.

The Democratic Party is no longer the poor man’s party. Not by a long shot.

Topics: Politics |

One Response to “No Longer the Poor Man’s Party”

  1. Robert Michel Says:
    April 5th, 2008 at 9:50 am

    I just stopped by your blog and thought I would say hello. I like your site design. Looking forward to reading more down the road.

    Robert Michel