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magical thyme

(14,881 posts)
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 08:02 AM Oct 2012

Working class voters: why America's poor are willing to vote Republican -- Gary Younge, Guardian UK [View all]


Excellent, excellent look at why people "appear" to vote against their own economic interest....or give up and don't vote at all. I suggest that *everybody* who considers poor and struggling people "stupid" for voting GOP at least skim through this. And stop directing anger, contempt or even sympathy at them, since that only hardens them against the side that ultimately can best help them to ultimately help themselves. The bottom line is nobody wants to think of themselves as "poor" and I know first hand (thanks to both my sisters "poor-mouthing" me to the rest of the family and apparently the democrat sister all over facebook) that it generates resentment.

At least based on this article, Romney's 47% comment really is key. It's all about the contempt.

....There is nothing more vexing to liberals than poor Republicans. Their very existence rankles. It turns their world on its head and their assumptions inside out. The effort to explain them is understood not just as a political paradox but a psychological disorder. They have been duped. They must have been. How else would one explain putting your cross next to the man who derided them as "victims" among the 47% "I don't worry about". To many liberals these are turkeys voting for Christmas or lemmings off for a leap; the condemned tying the noose for their own execution....

On some level explaining why poorer whites would vote for the Republicans demands a resource sorely lacking in American political culture at present – particularly during election time: empathy. There are more to "interests" than just the economic. If someone's core conviction is that abortion is murder or gay marriage is wrong then their decision to vote for a candidate who is against abortion or gay marriage is not an act of delusion but conviction. In any case working class white voters who are against abortion are significantly more likely to vote Democrat than their more affluent counterparts. So the economy still matters....

'They say they want less help for themselves'

In a report from Minnesota earlier this year the New York Times examined the growing number of people who were simultaneously dependent on government aid and against more government spending. "Many people say they are angry because the government is wasting money and giving money to people who do not deserve it," it concluded. "But more than that, they say they want to reduce the role of government in their own lives. They are frustrated that they need help, feel guilty for taking it and resent the government for providing it. They say they want less help for themselves; less help in caring for relatives; less assistance when they reach old age."

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