I keep wondering, when will America have its “Let Them Eat Cake” moment? When will the American people finally realize that those in power really only care about those in power?
Marie Antoinette was prematurely separated from her head because of supposedly saying the French equivalent, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche,” when referring to feeding the starving peasants within her kingdom. Unfortunately for these poor souls, there was no brioche, there was no bread, there was no food, there was a famine, and they had no money.
Whether or not Marie Antionette truly uttered those words, what is true is that she and the elite ruling class were painfully oblivious to the struggles of the peasants they ruled. They lived lavishly in their gilded palaces while the peasants were taxed heavily to pay for the monarchy’s debts. Eventually, tiring of the discrepancy in lifestyles, the peasants rose up and took back their power during the French Revolution, leaving Marie Antionette and her husband, Louis XVI, convicted of treason, sentenced to the guillotine, and without a place to rest their jewel-encrusted crowns.
The difference with America, of course, is that France was a monarchy and America is a democracy. I am not suggesting that a revolutionary overthrow of the government needs to occur, but more an ideologic one.
When will the average white working-class American man and woman who voted for Trump, who spends more time in the factory than at home, who goes to church on Sundays and hunts on weekends, who enjoys a beer now and then, a good steak once in a while, who owes more on their house than it’s worth, who drives a piece of shit car, but it gets them where they’ve got to go, who buys their clothes at Walmart, on sale — when will they realize that the people that they keep electing are bullshitting them? When will they realize they are getting their hard-earned money squeezed out of them only to line the pretentious pockets of their elected officials and the pockets of their pretentious friends?
Those same elected officials who promise that they care about the farmer, the mechanic, the waitress and the factory worker, but won’t support decent health care, a living wage, or a clean environment, but will support less health care, fewer environmental protections, tax cuts to their rich friends, and lower wages.
Their elected officials take the cake, a piece at a time, until only crumbs remain for their constituents.
It’s no wonder that liberal Democrats call these people stupid. Don’t get me wrong, it’s freaking insulting, but it makes sense. Why would anyone vote against their best interests?
Republicans may corner the market on fleecing their constituents, taking their money and delivering it to their rich friends, but Democrats aren’t totally innocent. They suck all the intelligence out of the room. They are condescending and demoralizing. They are smarter than you, and know what’s best for you. They pat you on the head, and say, that’s OK, there, there, don’t worry, I have all the answers, I’ll fix it for you, I’ll take your piece of cake, divide it up and give it to everyone, but keep my piece intact.
When will America have its “Let Them Eat Cake” moment? When college becomes so unaffordable that our children can’t go? When a cancer diagnosis bankrupts us? When the factory shuts down because it moved overseas? When a McDonald’s hamburger replaces that occasional steak? When we can’t make the house payment month after month and you’re facing foreclosure? When our water poisons us with lead?
A Republican-run America gives the biggest slices of cake to the people who already have the biggest slices. The rest of us just get to watch them consume it. It is my hope that one day Americans will realize there is enough cake for everyone. That we will become a united front against the wealthy and powerful who continue to divide us, manipulate us, and take more of the cake than they deserve right from under our noses.