From the early days of his original campaign, Barack Obama has made class warfare a central component of his message. Like many liberal Democrats before him, Obama pitted the middle class against the rich, insisting that the fat cats in America were simply not paying their fair share to the government. It was a strategy that paid off, giving him not one but two terms in the White House. Which is why it’s so amusing to watch how thoroughly he enjoys his own high-class lifestyle.
The Obamas rang in the new year by sitting down to dinner at Hawaii’s Vintage Cave, a restaurant that offers “exceptional food and wine” for extravagant prices. A membership to the exclusive spot can cost as much as $500,000. If you’re the frugal type, though, you can become a “Special Member” for the low, low price of only $50,000. According to one story, a “total bill for two, with wine, will approach $1,000.”
And that’s fine. You eat yourself stuffed, Mr. President. But I wonder how that kind of expenditure plays with the socioeconomic demographic largely responsible for putting you into office. The ones who bought into your speeches that blamed the rich for the plight of the middle class and below. According to one study, the average American spends about $232 a month eating meals outside the home. So, in other words, it would take most Americans almost five months to rack up a total Obama managed in just one night. And that’s “average” Americans. The numbers, obviously, would be of an even greater disparity if we cut it to low-income Americans.
The Class Warfare Lie
None of this really means anything, of course. It shines a glaring light on the president’s hypocrisy, but that’s nothing new. His class warfare campaigns have been wrought with falsehoods, myths, and a serious dollop of socialism from the very start. Meanwhile, he gleefully takes every advantage of capitalism’s most blatant excesses.
As president, Obama has a responsibility to seek out solutions for the nation’s poor. That he has done, but his solutions have only made the problem worse. His class warfare schtick ignores all the real solutions – education, marriage, and hard work – for boogeymen that a generation of losers can blame for their own inadequacies. Several studies have found that there’s no relationship whatsoever between how much money the richest 1 percent earns and whether or not the bottom 20 percent can improve their lives.
If Obama wants to eat at the fanciest restaurants, shop at the most exclusive stores, and wear the priciest clothes, more power to him. I don’t want our president to look like a shlub. But give it a rest with the “us vs. them” routine. It’s wrong, it hurts America, and you look ridiculous spouting these myths while choking down $1,000 dinners. Instead, hold your fork high, say, “Look what I did with my life – you can do it, too,” and be a real role model for the Americans who need one.