In the early 1800s, many European aristocrats were horrified at the equality of opportunity that existed in the United States. One commented that “any man’s son may be the equal of any other man’s son.” This democratic idea would be a threat to their hold on power in Europe.
One who did praise America, Alexis de Tocqueville, stated “when both the privileges and the disqualifications of class have been abolished and men have shattered the bonds which held them immobile, the idea of progress comes naturally into each man’s mind and all men want to quit their former social position.”
What has happened to America in the last 175 years? The gap between the very rich and the middle class and poor has grown to a frightening margin. Fewer and fewer Americans believe that they can escape their present social condition, and are afraid of going backward. Why, because Republican elitists like Mitt Romney and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers support economic policies that help the rich get richer, making it more difficult for the rest of us to succeed. It is not about income redistribution; it is about equality of opportunity.