This week I come across a website for the truth and traditions party (TNT), a group of whom I had never heard of until now. My first thought was that they were probably some form of the Tea Party and this thought was somewhat correct. The truth and traditions party is practically what it says on the tin, they believe in keeping the traditions of United States and being told the truth by their government. A lot of their belief is based around what is said in the Declaration of Independence and the rights that are proposed in the Bill of Rights. So, much like the Tea Party these people believe in keeping traditional American values however they are seemingly opposed to The Republican Party stating that "The Republican Party is based on a growing cluster of denials, distortions and outright lies."
In relation to this week's topic, class, I found a relevant article on the party's website discussing the Occupy Wall Street movement in regard to America's class system.
"Yes, America DOES have a ruling class" is the opening sentence of the article and sets the tone for what the article is going to be about and where it is going, it is a powerful statement in order to get people's attention. Although the article goes on by separating the American ruling class from the European ruling class. It is implied that the most important message that is put forward is, that the U.S is different from Europe. The way that TNT say that the two systems differ is that in the United States class is "permeable" meaning that people can move through it. This links back to the idea of the American Dream which is such a prevalent ideology in the U.S.
As a party that bases themselves on the traditional values of the United States, the TNT recognise that the existence of the ruling class is contradictory of what America supposedly stands for. The United States is a country ruled by the people for the people and with an evident ruling class or 1% as they are more commonly known, this shared value is seemingly less powerful than before. Although, when the Founding Fathers ruled America it was seen as acceptable to have people of status in power. The TNT go on to say that despite having a ruling class, in the U.S the class system is weak "while a ruling class exists, though not a classical ruling class, class consciousness is weak, on both sides of the divide." Again this not only separates them from Europe, it evidences the traditional beliefs that the party are trying to reinforce in the States today.
Another issue that the TNT touch on in this article is roles played within the class system by both the poor and the rich (to put it simply). "It’s a world of BIGNESS: Big Business, Big Government, Big Media" the quote shows that in contemporary USA everything is big, the only way for people to make money is to think big, go global. However the rich just own/oversee what goes on in these companies yet they reap the benefits. This is a complete contrast to the poor, "some of us are visibly poor, thereby enhancing the illusion that we the servants are doing well. We the servants, of course, run the machine and funnel the wealth on up to the top. And when the machine fails, as it always does, the failure comes our of our pockets." Here we see a parallel to Nickel and Dimed whereby all the hard/tough work was done by the "ordinary" people who got paid minimum wage or sometimes less, yet the people at the top of the companies are making millions. Take Wal-Mart for example, Ehrenreich was earning $7 an hour whilst working there, flip the coin and take a look at Christy Walton who inherited Wal-Mart's fortune after the passing of her husband. She regularly makes America's rich lists and according to Forbes magazine is currently the 6th richest person in the U.S (Dec 2011) and has a net worth of roughly $25.3 billion. From this we can see that the gap between the 1% and 99% is ridiculously high for a country that prides themselves on not having a class system.
The article clearly indicates that America has a definite ruling class. There is less reference to a class system like the one in Europe (upper, middle, working) and more focus on the 1% vs. the 99%. The majority of the article seems to reinforce this difference between class in America and class in Europe, which is due to the fact that the party base themselves on the traditions of the U.S one of which was to be separate/different from Europe. Another issue the article focuses on quite heavily due to its traditional ideas is "America is run by the people for the people" and that with an apparent ruling class this tradition is unable to be continued. Overall the article is biased towards the fact that there should not be a ruling class, due to the nature of the group running the website. However I feel that their beliefs regarding the issue of class is one that is reiterated across America, after all it is the land of opportunity and freedom.