Pasadena, Calif., December 31, 2014 – Out of all the false stereotypes that Democrats have successfully pinned onto the Republicans over the years, painting the GOP as the “rich” and “out of touch” party was perhaps the most deadly in 2012. Mitt Romney, a moderate candidate with a squeaky clean record and equally humble personality was maligned and trivialized for being wealthy. At almost every turn, the Obama campaign hammered Romney for being out of touch.
Those accusations were aided by a misleading but ultimately damaging video leaked by Mother Jones which showed the former Massachusetts governor explaining to a room full of donors that their is a certain percentage of the general vote that he knows he won’t get so it doesn’t make sense to focus too much of his campaign’s assets on targeting those people. It was a very innocuous statement but the media took it and ran with it. Ultimately, the narrative was shaped to paint a picture of Romney as someone who said he didn’t care about 47% of the country.
Of course that isn’t what he said but it didn’t matter. Republicans don’t have the luxury of a media that will fairly report on their actions. Because of that, Romney’s net worth of around $250 million hampered his efforts to connect with Main Street. There is no doubt about that. However, the tactic the Democrats have employed of pretending that they are fighting for the little guy while the Republicans are only looking out for the rich has been very effective for them. The problem with their argument is that it’s not true. And the numbers confirm it.
Earlier this month, the AP revealed that during the 2014 midterm election cycle, wealthy donors donated to Democrat campaigns at a much higher rate than that of Republicans. On the list of the top 100 top individual donors, more than half donated to Democrats. Also, on the list of political groups that donated more than $100,000, the top 13 donors are left-wing organizations.
The AP reported that, “Among the 183 groups that wrote checks of $100,000 or more to another group, Democrats had a 3-to-1 cash advantage. The biggest player was the National Education Association, at $22 million. Not a single Republican-leaning group cracked the top 10 list of those transferring money to others.”
But what about the “evil” Koch Brothers who the left enjoys demonizing so much? On the list of the top donors in federal elections from 1989-2014, the libertarian billionaire businessmen rank 59th. That’s right. There are 58 donors ahead of the Koch Brothers and the majority of them are unions who gave almost $300 million and the majority of that money went to, you guessed it, Democrats.
RNC Chairman Reince Preibus didn’t mince words on the subject, “They’re total hypocrites when it comes to this subject,” he said. “They’ve made a living off campaign talking points when, in reality, they’ve been raking in more money from millionaire donors than Republicans for quite a while.” The large cash advantage in favor of the Democrats certainly speaks to Reince’s point.
Enter Hillary Clinton, the matriarch of the left. If the media gives her wealth a fraction of the attention it gave Mitt Romney, she is going to have trouble in the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton, despite recently claiming she was “dead broke” when she left the White House, is worth between 5 and 50 million dollars. It’s possible she is worth more but for several reasons the exact number is not known but for argument’s sake let’s say she is worth $25 million. She may not have the wealth that Mitt Romney does but Clinton is extremely well off.
She also appears to be very out of touch with the average American voter. It was recently reported that Hillary has not driven a car since 1996. Let that sink in. It’s been almost 20 years since Hillary has driven to the grocery store or anywhere for that matter. Consider the backlash that would have come about if Mitt Romney had announced he had been exclusively chauffeured around for the last 20 years.
Clinton has developed a very lucrative career of traveling the country to give speeches. At these events, she commands a speaking fee of up to $300,000 per speech. That represents over 5 times the median household income for an hour or two of speaking. Her recent book deal, which yielded disappointing numbers, gave her an advance of $14 million. That’s an amount of 260 times larger than the household medium income in this country.
Politics has become an entrenched and complicated system where candidates have to be rich in order to be president. This country will probably never see an “average” American assume the oval office. However, Hillary Clinton is no different than Mitt Romney in terms of the posh life she leads. In fact, her position is almost more precarious considering the fact she is firmly planted among the Washington establishment.
The decision to demonize the rich is fundamentally wrong to begin with. Criticizing someone who has worked hard to accumulate wealth is a contradiction to the principles that make this country great. That being said, if a political party makes the choice to attack the rich, they should make sure they aren’t the party that most egregiously represents and panders to them.
– Andrew Mark Miller
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