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Why poor/working-class people vote republican - my theory.

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UdoKier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 02:32 AM
Original message
Why poor/working-class people vote republican - my theory.
Edited on Tue Aug-31-04 02:43 AM by UdoKier
We were all raised in an education system that basically told us how noble and good we white christian folk were to settle and tame this great land, how we saved the "good" indians from savagery, and only killed the "bad" ones. We were taught that the USA NEVER starts wars of aggression or takes over other countries. The facts about Hawaii, Cuba, the Philippines and any number of other conflicts are spun and glossed over.

We're taught about all the wonderful reforms that occurred after the depression, but not about the unrest that would have eventually led to revolution had they not been done, or about the union people who DIED so that we wouldn't have to work for company scrip anymore.

We're indoctinated into believing the most unbelievably rosy portrait of America as breadbasket, treasure-trove, land of opportunity, and benevolent savior of the world, that any ideas that undermine that image are simply unthinkable to a large portion of the population. They see incidents like Teapot Dome, Vietnam atrocities, Watergate, Bhopal, Silverado S&L, Iran-Contra, Enron, etc. as anomalies, rather than just the tip of the iceberg.

Much like this billboard that taunted the famished millions during the depression:



We are still told that the USA provides the best way of life to the greatest number of people in the world, and that those who don't make it are just "lazy". That "Only in America could a poor (insert job)'s son/daughter grow up to be the owner/CEO of (insert lucrative business)."

Of course, anyone who's spent much time around the world can tell you that such rags-to-riches stories are JUST as common in other industrialized societies. Check out the story of the founder of Honda, for example. He started out tinkering on bikes in his garage!

http://www.theautochannel.com/F/news/writers/bhagin/200...

So many of us cling to that hope of someday "hitting the big time" or the lotto or whatever, rather than supporting an agenda that would actually produce a better quality of life for all, just not that big Beverly Hillbillies payoff.

And of course, there are the folks living off of mac n' cheese in a double-wide somewhere who feel they've got it made, that they're middle class - even though they've got to pay half the cost of a lousy HMO plan, and can't sock away ANYTHING for the future...


At least that's my theory - desparate people clinging to the hope of a jackpot...
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 02:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. My theories: in addition to religion/values
Bush tries to create the impression that if you make it in America, it's because you're a cowboy and you did it on your own. But if you fail, it's because a woman or black person or immigrant was given something they didn't deserve. He creates the impression that the government has no role to play in society -- that it shouldn't do it's best to guarantee equality of opportunity for everyone, and that it shouldn't make investments in the infrastructure to maximize wealth creation.
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kodi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 02:53 AM
Response to Original message
2. or it could be they hold higher their religious values than economic ones
the economic sacrifices they suffer are laid at the altar of their morality.

e.g., a poor woman with 9 kids voting for a candidate who is against legal abortions and head start programs.

the dynamics are that they believe that any economic sacrifice they make on earth towards pleasing their god is a one way ticket into heaven.

i see this all the time down here in the bible belt, where folks vote against their pocketbook interests because their religious/moral interests carry more weight.

it goes without saying that those who lead such movements are distorting their religions for personal material wealth.

kinda' like that Galilean fella' mentioned and warned about way back when.
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democratreformed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. Yes, after all, it is better to poor, you know -
unless, of course, you are NOT poor. Poorness is next to Godliness. And, if you are NOT poor, you are the one teaching (preaching?) that line. And, God KNOWS that doing God's work is much more important than taking care of yourself and your family. If your morality doesn't allow you to do things to provide for your family, NEVER FEAR, GOD will PROVIDE. I've heard it a thousand times.
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 03:06 AM
Response to Original message
3. Think I am figuring something out
When you examine the reasons people are supporting bush, as in the interviews Michael Moore and Wm Rivers Pitt have done, something is becoming apparent.
Many of these people don't have a clue what bush is doing. They are hooked by hate tv/radio and the religious brainwashers.
They are not followers of bush - they are followers of "entertainers" who are directing their behavior. I mean it - I think there is some serious brainwashing going on. They can barely answer any questions because they have not been told what to say.

I think the implied message of the hate media and "religious" brainwashers is that the believers will be a part of the chosen - not the ones cast aside but they have to keep the repubs in office to enjoy that status.
Many of these people are convinced that Democrats are evil and will turn the country into a socialist state. This is irrational and negates any discussion of the issues.
There is some nasty shit going on.
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dave123williams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 03:17 AM
Response to Original message
4. Political saw from days of yore...

"Politics is the art of getting money from the rich and votes from the poor by subtly suggesting you're going to protect each party from the other."
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DieboldMustDie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 03:25 AM
Response to Original message
5. See Thomas Frank's
Edited on Tue Aug-31-04 03:25 AM by JavaJive
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UdoKier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. kick.
Into the AM.
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Yep. Read "What's the Matter With Kansas"
However, figuring out what is the matter and fixing it are two different things.
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NoBorders Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #9
20. Yep, it asks that VERY question.
Not that I read it, but heard an interview with the author.
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skygazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
8. I think another reason
Is the perception that the GOP encourages that Democrats want two things. They want to tax the shit out of everybody and they want to keep the poor on welfare. My daughter keeps insisting that she has a better chance to prosper under Bush because he offers "opportunities" rather than a crutch.

This is a fallacy that is hammered home by Republicans every chance they get. It takes people's attention away from the valuable programs that they cut which actually DO provide opportunities - job training programs, after school programs, etc. By repeating "welfare" every time a Dem talks about social contracts, the Repukes manage to deflect criticism away from their actions and make us look bad.
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PatriotGames Donating Member (896 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 11:15 AM
Response to Original message
10. Rich=Winner. People like to associate with winners, even when
they themselves are poor. They don't realize that the rich are taking advantage of them.
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Killarney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
11. it's because of the stigma attached to "liberal"
the media (radio, fox, etc) has made Democrat=liberal and made it a dirty word meaning either elite snob or wimp. They make liberals out to be these whiny wimps that won't protect the country and care more about people in other countries than Americans. They drink lattes and want to take your tax dollars to give to people who don't work. That's what these people think of us. That's the generalization.

That, combined with the after 9/11 patriotism, has made "liberal" a bad thing for a working-class man to be. Conservative radio, tv, and print makes it seem that liberals are pussies and conservatives are the tough guys and no working-class man wants to be a pussy... therefore, they support Bush.
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
12. I tinker on bikes...Look out, world!
But my name's not Soichiro Honda, is it?
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
13. "Cargo Cult" ReTHUGlicans...
Edited on Tue Aug-31-04 11:42 AM by BiggJawn
Poor people who barely have a pot to piss in, the roof leaks on their single-wide, they work long hours and still get the Earned Income Credit on their 1040EZ, and yet they worry about the "Death Tax" (their dad died a pauper and mom lives with them because she only has SSI) and vote ReTHUGlican.

My thesis is that they vote GOP because of the message they get from the ReTHUGs and their LCD mouthpieces on AM radio.

"You're hard-working people, and the Republican Party is the party of hard-working, self-made people. Look at G. W. Bush! He's a self-made man! Are you gonna vote for those LIBERALS who say 'you can't take CARE of yourselves. WE need to HELP you' then they take your money away from you and give it to lazy people who refuse to work, or are you gonna vote for the party who KNOWS that you CAN take care of yourself? Our ship came in, and if you just keep voting for Godly, good Republican candidates, your ship will come in, too. the you can have that 1977 Trans-Am you always wanted, and a new double-wide, and maybe mom can have her own single-wide..."

The "Cargo Cult". Keep hoping and praying and voting GOP, and big airplanes full of presents will land in your trailer court...
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HughBeaumont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
14. i.e. -
Horatio Alger est mort.
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GOPBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
15. It's all because of religion/values issues.
Forty percent of the people in the country are born-again Christians, and they've been duped into thinking that Christians are supposed to vote repug -- even though Jesus spoke against wealth, greed and selfishness.
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Rich Hunt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
16. what's up with the stereotypes?

Lower income people are more likely to vote Democrat - a fact that is not lost on arrogant, cynical Republicans who love to talk about the illiterate 'trailer trash' and 'ghetto dwellers' who vote for Democrats.

I think that sort of thing is more common in the Bible belt. That's why the Republicans are -cynical- and duplicitous, because they have nothing without the fundy masses voting for their candidates (not all of whom are poor - ever watch a 700 Club pledge drive?). Remember also that gun ownership or pick-up ownership are not an indication of 'poverty' - only urbanites think such nonsense. Also, one can have money and not be very well educated.

The reality, however, is that most low-income people don't vote at all because they don't trust any politicians. I don't view that as an indication that they're 'duped'.
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UdoKier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. A lot of poor whites vote republican.
Stereotypes aside, a lot of people who are NOT well-off vote for the GOP for the reasons I've mentioned, as well as their mistaken assumption that the GOP (will somehow help THEM (because they are white) rather than the OTHERs helped by the democratic party (blacks, gays, etc.)

The rest do so because the GOP promises that little Billy will get Bible studies in school - or at least a voucher for a discount on tuition to a private school -and because they promise to ban abortion - something which they have no real intention of EVER doing since it's their most tried-and-true wedge issue.

I disagree that poor people don't vote republican. I'm AMAZED at the number of poor whites (who often consider themselves middle-class in spite of being in hock) who fall for the GOP's con job. It's like they have no memory of the pattern of what's been going on the last 25 years..
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gatorboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
18. I live in Arkansas and the truth is
individuals in the south think Democrats will take their guns away.

There was one individual quoted in the Democrat Gazette saying he voted for Bush the first time because he was afriad Gore would take away his guns. Liberal stereotypes are pounded into peoples heads long enough and people will begin to believe it.
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Rich Hunt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
19. FYI
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