The Great Political Paradox

The great mystery in politics is why anyone poor or lower middle class would vote against their own interests-- against social services and public schools and a clean environment and unionization and regulation of big business and more taxes on the wealthy-- but, of course, this happens across broad swaths of our nation, especially in the mid-west and the South . . . Thomas Frank tried to explain it in his book What's the Matter With Kansas: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America, and while it is a great read on how Republicans used so much more than hot-button issues to distract voters from economic realities, and actually built a brand-based belief system and ethos into the party-line; Paul Krugman, in his 2007 book The Conscience of a Liberal, wonders if that is truly the heart of the matter . . . he acknowledges that hot-button issues such as abortion and national security are partly to blame for the paradox, and also details how movement conservatism has galvanized the evangelicals (or is it the other way around? are the evangelicals using the movement conservatives to create a new kingdom of heaven on earth? either way, I'm going to hell) but Krugman feels the nexus of Republican power over the lower class voter stems from race, and explains how race was exploited in the deep South to bring those voters over to the GOP; while this is an awkward issue-- in the 1940's, when Harry Truman tried to create a universal health care system, his main opposition came from the American Medical Association and Southern whites, who feared integrated hospitals . . . and most of the fears of lower class Republican voters-- who are predominantly white-- are fears of redistributing income to undeserving minorities, black or otherwise . . . but America is becoming less racist and America is becoming more diverse and America is becoming economically more unequal . . . and so I am wondering how the GOP will gain these votes in the future . . . Kansas is still Kansas, according to the New York Times, but this movement conservative absurdity-- this radical and bi-partisan divisiveness that is at best a fringe in every other developed nation-- this can't continue forever, can it?

6 comments:

Donna said...

Nice sentence today, Dave. Both in form and content! And I'd venture a guess that you're not goin' to hell.

Dave said...

thanks. and that's debatable. put in a good word for me . . .

Igor said...

Eventually someone has to be smart enough to dumb it all down for these voters, right? Some combination of YouTube and Facebook and not much reading and even less math to explain economic policy for people who continue to vote against their own fiscal interests?

Dave said...

i think most people who vote against their won fiscal interests do it voluntarily. they have other fish to fry: big government, government intrusion, wealth redistribution to people they feel don't deserve it, abortion, crumbling morals, motherfuckers in the northeast, etc.

zman said...

I think it's a part of Gladwell's "culture of honor."

Dave said...

good point. i have no honor.

A New Sentence Every Day, Hand Crafted from the Finest Corinthian Leather.