For decades the people of the American working class have been largely removed from electoral politics. While 6 out of 10 Americans fall into the working class category, data shows that only 48% of working class families participate in elections. Various sources have cited the reasons for this voter apathy to be everything from a lack of education to a general disinterest in politics by blue collar workers. However, these claims do little but further alienate the working people of this country and distract from the reality of the situation. The lack of working class voter participation is not due to laziness or disinterest but rather the lack of representation of working class people and their struggles within their own government.
It is unquestionable that the fall from the gilded American dream has been longer and harder for the working class and the land of opportunity has rapidly turned into the land of struggle. Because of this shift, the idea that “politics have nothing to do with me” runs deeply throughout most working class communities where people are instead focused on their daily survival. Within the last few generations blue collar workers went from easily sustaining their families on one reliable job to scraping together a living by working two and sometimes even three jobs, none of which providing any stability or security.
The recent pandemic and subsequent economic collapse has only further increased the divide between the working class and their elected representatives. The lack of concern shown for the well-being of the American people by their government has not gone unnoticed as civil unrest continues to brew across the country. In an election year where the campaigns have been filled with divisive rhetoric and political posturing across the entire political spectrum, more and more of the working Americans that sustain our country have been left to wonder if anyone hears their cries for help. As the politicians stand on their platforms and relentlessly pit the members of the working class against each other like players in their game, it is becoming more and more apparent that the true fight shouldn’t be between the working men and women of this country but rather between the workers of America and their incompetent, self interested government.