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Mon Mar 26, 2012, 09:06 AM

It's Okay to vote against your own self interest.

I routinely see the meme that the opposition wins because their constituents are so stupid that they vote against their own self interest.

Well, there's nothing wrong with voting against your own self interest. Humans can be altruistic, and are capable of looking at a bigger picture, and these things can be at odds with self-interest. So voting against self-interest is by no means an inherently moronic thing to do.

Warren Buffet endorses higher taxes on the rich and an increased estate tax. Nobody takes him to task for campaigning against his own self-interest. In fact, most of us applaud his vision.

There may be some on the right who genuinely believe that saving the life of a fetus is a greater good than a more progressive tax code, or that other right-wing social issues are paramount to society. I think it's fine to argue against these things... but the argument that these people are voting against their own self interest is a poor one, IMO.

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Reply It's Okay to vote against your own self interest. (Original post)
thesquanderer Mar 2012 OP
SammyWinstonJack Mar 2012 #1
CTyankee Mar 2012 #2
sadbear Mar 2012 #3
zipplewrath Mar 2012 #4
NNN0LHI Mar 2012 #5
yardwork Mar 2012 #6

Response to thesquanderer (Original post)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 09:11 AM

1. ...

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Response to thesquanderer (Original post)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 09:16 AM

2. Two things here: one is Buffet. I think he understands that the larger issue is VERY much in

HIS self interest: the preservation of democracy. He sees that his wealth was as a result of living in a democracy that was paid for by taxes and that is important. He is just not selfish.

As for deeply held religious beliefs, for those believers that too trumps what we may consider the "greater good." And I am deeply pro-choice and will be til the day I die.

When I consider the issue, I consider things related directly to one's well being in society. Economic issues that have direct bearing on one's economic situation.

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Response to thesquanderer (Original post)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 09:17 AM

3. They vote against EVERYONE's self-interest

Unless you consider corporations to be part of everyone.

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Response to thesquanderer (Original post)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 09:19 AM

4. Not sure this is what is meant

Warren Buffet voting for higher taxes isn't what is generally meant by "voting against ones own interests". Could be wrong, but in my mind the expression is about people who apparently vote against their own "stated" interests or goals. People who deride "big government" and then vote for people who enlarge it. People who complain about the loss of manufacturing jobs to NAFTA, then vote for the guys who passed it. And all of our favorites, the people who rally against "government run health care" all the while screaming "don't touch my medicare".

I agree that there are people with priorities that allow them to vote for people which apparently opppose SOME of their stated goals. It is a big reason for the "culture wars" to begin with. Reagan peeled off union democrats with "Guns, God, and Gays" and then trashed the unions. You see Santorum cranking up the culture wars because the economy isn't giving him anything to campaign upon. I do wonder what the population of the "stupid" people are that vote "against themselves" without actually understanding that they are doing it. Small percentages move elections, but I suspect that is all that it is, small percentages.

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Response to thesquanderer (Original post)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 09:21 AM

5. Who would vote to put the nuclear launch codes into the hands of a rapture ready Republican nut?

Sorry, but someone who does that is not playing with a full deck.

Same goes for anyone trying to defend or explain someone that stupid.

Don

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Response to thesquanderer (Original post)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 09:23 AM

6. Voting for a strong safety net is not voting against our own interests.

It's the difference between short term and long term thinking.

Short-sighted short term thinking = I don't want to pay higher taxes to help those less fortunate than me.
Long term thinking = I benefit from living in a society where everybody is healthy, safe, and well educated.

Wealthy people can afford to pay higher taxes. It is quite stupid of them to vote against helping those less fortunate. It weakens the foundation on which they live.

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