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davidthegnome Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:44 PM
Original message
Why people vote Republican
This was originally posted in another thread. Someone suggested it deserved it's own - well, I'll let you decide. Still, I think it's time to think about what motivates Republicans and why they vote as they do. This is my personal experience and these are my opinions based upon that personal experience.

Not so long ago (six or seven years) I was in one of the most desperately lonely, unhappy positions in my life. I was 20 going on 112, or so I felt at the time. I had just broken up with my fiance and lost my kids (one biologically mine, one not, but I loved them the same) - not due to any real bitterness or hatred between she and I, but due to my lack of financial resources, her lack of financial resources - and the fact that we lived many, many miles away (I had initially moved to SD with her). She in SD, me in Maine. We made it for four years, but in the end we made each other miserable. I give this background to explain what followed.

I moved back up here to Northern Maine in the hopes of finding a job to work my way towards financial independence. I had no resources to fall back on to stay in South Dakota, lost my medicaid - but was fortunate to have parents that let me move back in. Initially I was full of hope and spirit, I believed I'd somehow manage to pull myself up by my bootstraps, support my kids from a distance and eventually be in a position where I could visit them at least a few times a year.

As the months went by though, there were no real jobs up here. I remember getting in line at Mcdonalds and Burger King to apply, going to gas stations where I couldn't work because I was too young to sell alcohol. I utilized the local career center to the best of my ability and frequently sought advice about how to present myself to potential employers. After some six or seven months of searching, all I'd found were odd jobs, mostly under the table work for construction workers, carpenters, people involved with lawn care, etc. The money I earned through that work barely paid my gas, but I figure if I kept it up long enough, I'd find a break...

That break didn't come. What did happen, was that I made a friend while I was working odd jobs. He was about 15 years older than me, very intelligent, charming and charismatic. Eventually we were hanging out every night, working together during the day. We talked a great deal about the greater issues of the world and the grand scheme of things. I had an inquisitive mind full of questions and he seemed to have all the answers, constantly he would refer to the bible or mention something about Christ and the path of the individual.

Somehow, bit by bit, following him around like a dutiful apprentice and disciple, I changed from a fanatic democrat (in a family of fanatic democrats) into an almost radical right wing Christian fanatic. He offered guidance at a time when I felt I could find it no where else. I even (in my dementia, desperation, loneliness... call it what you will) saw him as a great spiritual leader and mentor, leading me back into the light of Christ. I came from a Christian (if democratic) background and had lost my faith in my early teens. I felt he had helped restore it. Every day and night he preached to me - and I listened, believing nearly all of what he had to say. It was so easy to rely on another for answers to all of life's greatest mysteries. So easy...

It all came to a head one night (after about a year of being this man's lackey) when my Father and I got into a shouting match. I was, in my bigotry and ignorance that disgusts me now, telling him about how evil certain things were. Take everything you would expect a liberal to support and flip it upside down to become something corrupt and evil (civil rights, welfare... everything). That was how much I had changed in a short time. We really got into it, even came close to coming to blows physically.

To make a long story very short, he held up a mirror in front of me and showed me what I had become. I was working for a man who earned 20-30 dollars an hour and paid me 5 (and I did more of the work than he did, being younger and somewhat stronger) if I was lucky. I was doing some of the most back-breaking work I had ever done in my life. From cutting and stacking wood, to cleaning out cellars loaded with overwhelming amounts of junks, taking care of yards that had seen no lawn mower for years. Going through enormous piles of horse doo with a pitchfork and a shovel... I could go on and on, but I'll spare you. Let's just say that after I showered when coming home at night, there would be at least an inch of dust and dirt in the tub.

I had no health insurance, I definitely wasn't in a position to save money or move forward, but I had been so warped in my philosophies and ideals that I had become something I once despised. I needed some time to think about it.... and ironically, when I had a week apart from my mentor - the majority of the ignorance in his "teachings" - his contempt for humanity, all became clear to me. Then I learned from a friend of the family that he had been in trouble repeatedly for beating his girlfriend (something I had never had a clue about, the fear in her eyes when he was near should have demonstrated it, but I was blind to his flaws, certainly I never truly believed he could or would do such a thing). I discovered that his girlfriend was also his cousin. I learned all kinds of despicable things about him that I never could have imagined being true. I also discovered I was not his first apprentice - the one before me had committed suicide.

I never confronted him about it - which I regret to this day, but his girlfriend eventually threw him out on his ass. With my (old lovable liberal) Father's guidance, I slowly found my way back to sanity and decency... but it wasn't easy. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do - to abandon a simple life of black and white, right and wrong, good and bad clearly and simply defined.

So from my experience - I call it misguidance, I call it desperation and ignorance. They honestly (most republicans, not all) believe liberals are evil, free loaders, criminals out to get them and steal their hard earned pay at gun point. Their religions permit them to be extremely ignorant in their hatred and contempt for minorities, those in need - the vast majority of the world, basically. They even believe that God is on their side - that they have his blessing in their hatred and contempt for humanity.

I may still be broke, I may not be in great health, I may be in pain... but I am no longer in despair. I abandoned those philosophies, those ideals that are so tempting to swallow... in exchange for faith and love for humanity. I need no God, I need no mentor to tell me what is right and wrong or to give me an excuse to hate others - to blame them for my failings or all the ills of the world. Some though... some would go absolutely mad without it.

It is the foundation of such beliefs that must crumble before we can move forward. It is ignorance, hate, contempt, bigotry - all covered up beneath the convenient excuse of religion, "spiritual purity" and what is often referred to as "the path of the individual".

I've gone on long enough - but let me add one more thing. Don't hate them. For then you allow yourself to become like them and the cycle repeats itself. Rather, care for them, give them consideration and empathy... and if you can, show them a mirror. Help them find their way back to humanity.

That's all I've got to say, thanks for reading.

(edited for spelling... I'm sure I missed some errors)
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Suich Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you for posting this!
K & R!

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Booster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think you're future wealth may be in writing. Very well done.
Oh, and welcome back. I'm sure you are an even better person for having had this experience. :hug:
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EC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. I'm hoping it's because they truely do not understand
what they are rah, rahing about. I really hope there aren't that many cruel people in the world.
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