The Middle Class Makes Us Great Hah?

In an effort to bolster her political viability, all the while sharpening her demagogue skills, Hillary Clinton recently proclaimed to an audience on one of her campaign stops that it is the middle class which makes America great.

Now that certainly is the soothing sort of rhetoric which people in the middle class might like to hear, however, is it true?   Not to take anything away from the middle class, but how do we define greatness, and what qualities inherent in greatness exist to an extent more abundant within the middle class than say, the upper class, or say, the lower class?

What if I were to say it is the upper class which makes us great?   I would probably get some praise, but I might also get some disdain from middle class Americans who consider themselves the backbone of America.   No argument that the middle class is the backbone of America and that backbone certainly supports America.   I’d even say without that backbone we could not be great, but does that backbone make us great or instead allow greatness to flourish?

How about this?   It is the lower class which makes us great!   Any takers?   No?

Don’t be absurd, Jim, the lower class doesn’t pay taxes, they don’t make any money, they don’t give near as much to America as does the middle class.   Hell, the lower class probably costs us in services and assistance!

By that standard the upper class gives much more and takes much less than the middle class.   It’s settled, the upper class makes us great.

How do you like that?   We’re great because of Paris Hilton.   Yikes!

When we think of greatness we think of great producers and of great accomplishments.   We think of sports heroes, businessmen, intellectuals and inventors.   We think of enduring great hardship and of alleviating hardship.   We think of hope and of wonder.   We think of overcoming great obstacles and great scientific challenges.

We marvel at Jesse Owens beating Hitler’s Aryans at the 1936 Olympics.   We admire a baby faced Bill Gates becoming the wealthiest man on earth and changing the world in the process.   We awe Alfred Nobel, Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, and Benjamin Franklin.

We ruminate over great tragedies like the World Trade Center.   We are amazed by Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge, by the Space Shuttle and the Spruce Goose.

Greatness isn’t defined by rhetorical accolades flung from greedy politicians trying to buy votes, greatness is defined by excellence, accomplishment, and the arduous effort which moves mankind emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and sometimes even monetarily.   We recognize greatness isn’t some obscure and ambiguous quality difficult to comprehend.

Greatness is defined by value.

Value is the soul of greatness, and value doesn’t get ascribed to some anonymous and monolithic group just because some stupid politician says it does.

Copyright 2007 Jim Pontillo

5 thoughts on “The Middle Class Makes Us Great Hah?

  1. Thought-provoking and interesting article – your unexpected twists and turns in logic strike me structurally as poetic (I’m not being facetious here). As far as the “greatest class”? Class is a construct, which, in the modern sense, is a Marxist non sequitur – it is divorced from the reality that individuals are different regardless of any apparent similarity in social-economic background. Knowing someone’s “class” cannot predict a person’s value to the overarching nation nearly as well as knowing that person’s education and work ethic. Autodidacts throughout history (Benjamin Franklin comes to mind) prove time and time again that creativity and genius is not long constrained by a lack of money. And becoming rich, or remaining poor, does not add or detract from a man’s accomplishments. Thanks for the article.

  2. I wonder what Hillary would think of this?…but wait she doesn’t think – she schemes! All I can say is Here, Here!! Thank you for this well written article!

  3. It is certain that what makes the United States great is their middleclass, because every body there is middle class, that is bougeoisie, petit or grand.
    There are no nobles and no peasantry and no proletariat. Everyone has the values of the middle class. There are some richer and some poorer, but all Americans have the same values: free market capitalism, the rule of law, and democracy.

  4. I think I’m finally getting to know my brother-in-law!!!
    A few months ago I called Jim and asked him if he would consider sponsoring my son’s baseball team. He said yes. Formykountry.com was the name he chose to put on our team banner. A few days ago Jim called me and told me that he had been nominated for the BLOG awards. He asked me to promote formykountry.com in my community. There’s always a price to pay!! No free hand outs here!! Huh Jim! I had read some of his articles in the past, but thought I better really get into this before I promote it. I like what I’m reading!! I admit I have to read most things at least twice to understand them. I’ve had to google a few names to even know who he’s talking about (Chuck Schumer – what an ass). I do know who Barbra Boxer is, only because I dream of the day she passes. I’m starting to understand his message. Before I though he was just another angry American, trying to pick a political fight. I’ve heard him talk about our founding fathers and that this country is not on the path they set forth, the RIGHT path. I agree with you Jim, I just didn’t know it. In BLOG #24 Jim writes, “greatness is defined by excellence, accomplishment, and the arduous effort which moves mankind emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and sometimes even monetarily.” He not only writes it, he lives it!! I think his sponsorship help inspire 12 young men to achieve perfection. The Orangecrest Pony Twins went 18-0 and looked GOOD doing it. Thanks for the jackets and your support Jim!!! You are the greatest!!!

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