I had a conversation this morning about how the "we are the 99% fighting the 1%" mantra of the Occupy Wall Street movement is itself a divisive idea. It's pitting one group against another group. It's a demonization of rich people. It's painting reality with too-broad of a brush. Just because someone is rich doesn't make them evil. Not all corporations are evil. Not all poor people are saintly. The 99% meme is too simplistic, even though it's a very catchy idea.
The conversation went to developing a "we are the 100%" idea .. and searching for others discussing 100% I learned that Newt Gingrich discussed this exact idea in an interview with Larry Kudlow on Tuesday. Okay, gag me with a spoon to find myself in agreement with Newt on anything.
“I am for 100 percent,” he said. “I think this idea of 99 percent and 1 percent is grotesque European socialist class warfare baloney.” And President Obama is playing right along with that class warfare by expressing sympathy for the protesters, he added. “I repudiate anybody who wants to divide Americans and I think that that there is a fundamental destructive quality to this 99 percent idea,” Gingrich said. “I think that it is shameful the president of the United States would engage in class warfare and pit Americans against each other in way which can only be destructive of the fabric of American society.”
See - while I somewhat agree with Newt's assessment, I believe he's using this meme to then slam Obama. He's using a rhetorical/spin/twist to pivot from this idealism that 99%/1% is divisive, to then slam Obama for supposedly agreeing with the Occupy folk.
In other words - Newt himself is being divisive in that he's using this inclusive rhetoric as a weapon to slam someone.
Is the 99%/1% thing class warfare? Maybe from the 1% perspective that Newt occupies it is. Maybe he's feeling threatened. Fact is that those 1% people are, well, people.