The middle class began here | AspenTimes.com

The middle class began here

Dear Editor:

My relationship with the Colorado Democratic Party is very long and deep. My grandparents and parents were exceptionally strong Democratic supporters as the Democratic Party provided the best deal in Colorado for them at the time. They were mining stock in some of Colorado’s most historic mining towns ” Leadville and Crested Butte ” with roots going back to Ludlow. After the massacre in April 1914, Ludlow became one of the birth places of the American labor movement that helped create the middle class.

My grandparents arrived in the mountains of Colorado in the early 1900s from Slovenia and Croatia. Some other prominent nationalities in the mining towns were the Scotts, Irish, English, Welsh, Italians and Hispanics. All worked in near-slave labor conditions. The early 20th century was an age in which the robber barons dominated America and the working class was at the bottom of a near-feudal society.

Today the middle class is rapidly disappearing across the U.S. landscape. It is exceptionally ironic that some of Colorado’s most famous mining towns, which helped extinguish the age of the robber barons, have become new havens for the new American super elite. Aspen and Telluride are prime examples.

I am exceptionally proud of the morals and courage of my ancestors and the other people who lived in or near Colorado’s old mining towns. They helped to create the American middle class. As I look over the mountain landscape today I thank God my ancestors did not display the greedy, obnoxious, totally self-indulgent parade of wealth which dominate the old mining towns today.

I stand firmly in line with my ancestors and strongly support today’s Democratic Party. It is the party which still stands mostly for the little guy, and it is the party which has been the best custodian of the environment. I very strongly believe Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are the last big remaining hope for our country and our planet which, of course, we share with many other people.

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Jo Krizmanich

Glenwood Springs

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