June 4, 2004
Who's wooing the Burger King Moms?
You remember the Soccer Moms and more recently, NASCAR Dads. Pollsters insist these categories are demographic figments of our imaginations, simplistic groupings that don't actually represent true voting blocs. Christian activist and writer Jim Wallis has a new one: Burger King Moms. And even if this group doesn't meet the pollsters' criteria either, no matter. No one is paying attention to poor moms anyway, Wallis writes. Poverty is a nearly non-existent issue in the 2004 campaign so far.
"The 'p' word came up in the Democratic primaries only in the speeches of John Edwards and, briefly, Howard Dean. It has not been mentioned since. John Kerry has hardly said a word about low-income families as he reaches out to the middle class."
"And George Bush's faith-based initiative has been reduced to a photo op, while domestic spending that most affects the poor has been drastically cut in favor of war, homeland security and tax cuts that mostly benefit the rich. The media have yet to report on the condition of low-income American families who have also become the casualties of war."
"We need to redefine the poverty issue as one of growing income inequality in America, and one that increasingly affects working families. American inequality is now greater than at any time since the roaring injustice of the 1920s or the rampant wealth and poverty of the Gilded Age in the 19th century. The Bush administration's tax policies seem deliberately aimed at returning to the wealth distribution of those periods. But especially since the 1990s, both parties are following the dictates of their corporate donors more than the dictates of compassion or justice. The Republicans run as compassionate conservatives and then govern as corporatists, while the Democrats run as populists, then also govern as corporatists."
-- Geraldine Sealey