Blue collar workers will bring down Obama

Letter to the editor

03/14/2012 10:00 PM


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President Obama at the drop of a hat (if he wore a hat) boldly consecrates himself as a champion of America’s so-called middle class — his vaunted and beloved middle class.

Who comprises this middle class?

Approximately 50 percent of the American workforce can be classified thus, earning between $39,000 and $62,000 annually. Of these, 45 percent are white collar types: technological, financial and administrative professionals along with support subordinates.

Another 36 percent are the working class, employed in such fields as manufacturing, construction, transportation and allied industries. A diminishing number are union members.

These collectively are the potential voters who in the 2012 presidential election will join the top 20 percent income group in toppling Obama and sending him back to bucolic Hyde Park.

During the 2010 congressional elections in Wisconsin, 38 percent of unionized workers went for victorious Republican gubernatorial nominee Scott Walker, who along with the Badger State’s Republican majorities in both houses of its legislature, promptly enacted laws stripping nearly all collective bargaining rights for the vast majority of the state’s highly unionized public employees.

Presently, organized labor is frantically collecting signatures in an attempt to recall Gov. Scott.

What is the irresistible attraction of blue collar voters to the Republican Party? It is their preference of Republican social policies and their disdain of immigration. Think Reagan Democrats.

It should be noted that President George W. Bush in 2004 was reelected garnering the working class vote by 23 percentage points.

In 2010, 50 percent of U.S. workers earned less than $26,000 a year. And, fewer than half of the nation’s private sector workers are covered by any type of pension plan.

Finally, consider our senior citizens, most of whom belong to President Obama’s “middle class,” and for whom their monthly Social Security checks account for two-thirds of their income. They voted for President Bush in 2004 by 51 percent to 48 percent.

Who will vote for Barack Obama in 2012? A coalition of the usual: Minorities, Hollywood bigwigs, feminists, environmentalists, some unionists and those who my Republican friends scornfully refer to as “latte-sipping liberals.”

Odd, as I routinely saunter past my neighborhood Starbucks I behold many of them gulping one kind of brew or another. They dive under the table when they spot me.

Anthony Zanetello
South Loop

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