Veronica Roberts

Class warfare didn’t exist, but Mitt Romney just created it. What existed and continues to cripple many families is the deep divide in income and a tax code geared towards benefiting the top earners in this country.

Republicans have used the phrase “class warfare” as their personal mantra and defensive armor. They hit anyone who dares point out the stunning inequality growing in America, over the head with it. How could there be a war when the other side was woefully under-equipped and "under-armed?"

But if class warfare was only a cunning strategy used by those who didn’t want to change the status quo that benefited them tremendously, Mitt Romney has effectively started one now. With one incredible video, the Republican presidential nominee has a created a climate of resentment, anger and mistrust, thrusting onto the national stage, large and in living, glaring color, all the things folks have said or written about him and the “1 percent."

Many have said that he was out of touch, that his wealth has cocooned him in a world far removed from the realities of ordinary Americans like “Joe the Plumber.” Remember him? Seems like eons ago but it was only in the last election that the GOP duo of Senator John McCain and resigned governor Sarah Palin tried to paint then-Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama as “an elitist” who couldn't connect with ordinary "real Americans."

Now we have a nominee who truly personifies “the wealthy elite,” and to hear him pontificate for his rich donors, to hear them laugh at him denigrating half of the U.S. population unfairly and disingenuously, leaves many disenchanted, insulted and frankly angry.

He has successfully pushed class to the forefront—"we in this room and people like us, against 'those' people.” The “haves” and not the “have-nots” seems to be Romney’s blueprint for governing if he ever gets to the White House. If you had the slightest doubt about what his agenda was and will be as president, wonder no more. He has laid it out as clearly as he possibly can. In fact, I think the video secretly taped and posted online shows Romney at his most honest. He has finally lifted the mask and told the American people who he is and what to expect or not expect from him as a leader.

He is a successful man and no one faults him for that; that's the American, capitalist way. I'm sure many wish they had his "spoils," but what angers voters is the mentality that the “have-nots” are all a bunch of lazy moochers, hell bent on government freebies. Nothing could be further from the truth. The 47 percent Romney was condescending to are folks who make $20,000 a year and cannot afford to pay income tax even if they work. Or military families who are given an exemption because their loved ones are serving their country, fighting in the wars Romney’s cohorts dreamed up. Or the elderly who paid into Social Security.

Instead of righting off almost half the country, and slapping stereotypical labels all over them, he should be asking why so many Americans cannot adequately take care of their families financially. Instead of saying the government creates a climate of dependency, talk about the minimum wage versus a living wage. Better educational system. Stress higher learning and skilled programs; workers benefits and fair treatment of emplyees by employers and equal pay among the sexes. Eliminating government tax breaks for the super wealthy like himself.

Funny he didn’t add his friends and campaign donors from Wall Street and big bailed-out banks who took trillions of dollars in government handouts. Or the tax breaks he enjoys even as a mulitmillionaire—enjoys so much that he has excess left over to send on a vacation in offshore accounts stashed in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland. All compliments of the same government he’s berating those who have considerably less of mooching from. It seems he wants to pick and choose who wears the “welfare queens” label.

Romney’s self-righteous preaching seems far removed from his family tree—so removed, one would think that he has never benefited from government assistance in the most basic of ways. In the above video, his mother talks about receiving welfare for a year to help them cope financially. I guess since his father worked hard and became a success, then stuck that silver spoon in Mittens' mouth, the former venture capitalist forgot all about his humble roots.

As one conservative columnist, the New York Times' David Brooks, puts it, "Romney doesn't understand American culture. ... As a description of America today, Romney's comments are a country club fantasy. It is what self-satisfied millionaires say to each other and it reinforces every negative view people have of him."

One question I would love to ask nominee/governor/venture capitalist Romney: Did the 47 percent cause the devastating financial crisis? Which, ironically, has pushed more people on government assistance—the same assistance he's lambasting them for getting. Who started this disastrous domino effect? Former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is another one who seems to have his head so far up his assets, all he can see is his own B.S. He too has accused President Obama of being “a food stamp president.” The far from subtle racial and classist jabs are used to obscure the real reasons folks are hurting and the economy is in the toilet. The Newt should give back to federally bailed-out mortgage giant Freddie all those millions he pocketed ostensibly for “advice.” The hypocrisy seems to be at an all-time high in the “Good Ole Boys Party.”

So let the class warfare begin. We have our GOP presidential nominee to thank for ratcheting up the rhetoric and reinforcing every stereotype about the rich and the poor, out there. Marie Antoinette “ain't have nothing on him.” Those of you who have seen Denzel Washington in the movie “Training Day” costarring Ethan Hawke and remember his famous King Kong quote, will get this last line. The rest of you, Google it.

To view Romney's controversial fundraiser video and read more, click on links below: