Hmm, thoughtful posts always merit thoughtful answers. First, let me say that the so-called "racism" slur that the Tea Parties are portrayed in is mostly a dream of the media for the masses. They like to bash grass-roots and non-partisan political groups.
Now, that said I don't follow your logic on "it is the Richs fault", that is like saying that the Rich can force you to do things. And btw, the Rich are probably responsible for some of the best things that meet you in your everyday life, because they had the money to invest in those ideas (Just look at the amount of money Bill Gates pours into cancer research).
There is also this long myth, that without the Rich the Poor are better off. The Poor are already better off today than they were 100 years ago (or nowadays but say in Egypt). The US is one of the few countries that can support voluntary poverty and still allow those people to live quite adequately on freebies.
However, this is mostly possible, because the US is also a dynamic country were entry barriers into the work force are lower than f.e. in Europe. Without this development and efficiency gains in technology, we would not be able to support this direction. And here again comes entrepreneurship and investment capital to the help.
To damn the rich is also short-sighted in a different way. The Rich would hurt the country, if they held all their money in cash, but they either save/invest it or they purchase luxury goods. And who can build luxury goods easier, because labour costs are a smaller portion? Yes, amongst others the US.
Also, the statement that "decent" manufacturing posts are replaced by cruel and low paying service jobs is only partially right. Aside of low paying service jobs, there are also high paying service jobs. And to say that night shifts and cruelling manual laber is per se a good thing, is strange. I believe the chauffeurs of horse carriages were pretty happy after all, when the car was invented and New York city stopped to stink like a big surface canalisation system.
Lastly, income spread mostly is a tool to spread jealousy and hatred between classes. It's like: Hey, my neighbour earns 4k more than me, he must be an evil cheating b*stard. In fact, one should recognize that the rich actually lift a big burden from the middle class by paying for about 50-60 % of the federal state.
Instead of focusing so much on the rich, perhaps a look at the poor and what is considered poor in the US, would be enlightening. It is actually of no interest to me if someone is 150 times richer than me, if I am as rich as I want to be, or rather if I see that the poorest are not living the destitute conditions they lived in 100 years ago.
Neither Rich Men nor Big Business can FORCE us to do their bidding, only politicians and their connections can do this.
I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, so partisanship is nothing for me. I am in the classic sense a liberal (as it is understood in old Europe before it was twisted by Americans).
For me the major problems is that while we have seperation of church and state, we don't have a seperation of business and the state, instead we have big business working hand in hand with politicians to our disadvantage. If the business is a classical enterprise or an NGO or a Union is of no merit to me, the names differ the schemes are similar and the result are higher costs with no gains in benefits for us.
One of the graphs cited France as not having participated in the pay gap, actually they have and there is a big discussion in France right now (just read the new Mariagne). And even in Germany there is rising gap, and the response was to raise wealth distribution. Right now, this will lead to some kind of civil tension between the 40 % that are productive and the 60 % that are net receivers, because we now have to spent almost 50% of our income on people either in government service or that claim to be destitute.