Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why do so many conservatives vote against their interest?

I have re-asked/re-answered this vexing questions for years. And now I want to present other perspectives regarding this phenomenon... feel free to join this discussion. I will be continuing this conversation for the duration of the election year cycle.
Read On:
“You should read “What’s the Matter with Kansas” & “Deer Hunting With Jesus”. Both are great takes on a working class, anti-intellectual, redneck culture that has been convinced to consistently vote against their own best interests. 
I listen to my own father, who has been the victim of layoffs from corporate merger after merger, who’s had his retirement fucked, who’s lost money on wall street – he’s done everything he was ‘supposed’ to do. 
He joined the military, went to college, had 2 kids, bought the house, invested & saved his money, worked his fucking ass off all his life & he still has squat to show for it. Now as a man well into his 60s he’s feeling the wrath of age discrimination, he’s finding his skills becoming outdated & his pay & benefits today (for the last 10 years) are lower than what they’ve been in the last 30 for him. Living the american life he finds his health failing as he’s a lifetime smoker with a growing waistline.
He’s the prototypical uncultured, red-blooded american male. He slathers his streak in ketchup, votes conservatives down the line, and wants the good old days before the women, blacks and fags took over. He’s a flag waver, supports his troops, and fends for himself. He’s always bitching about how much money corporations have to spend bc of regulation & about how the upper class need a tax cut. Nothing in the world makes him angrier than “socialism” & the so-called welfare state. Working people getting needed services bothers him tremendously because a few extreme token examples get painted as degenerate leeches by the likes of AM Radio & Fox News. ANd then he’ll turn right around & support corporate subsidy for just about anything from corn to oil – b/c it “stimulates jobs” and it “trickles down”.
He refuses to recognize that we as a nation spend more money at the beckoning of corporate America than we even begin to touch what we spend on our own citizenry through what he claims is “welfare” or infrastructure. He’s a working class guy who’s been fucked by the system all his life. He still puts his suit on with a kind of sad pride, every day, & goes to work downtown to phone-monkey job nowadays. He’s doing a job any body could do but he likes to pretend all his education & experience has gotten him somewhere. He’s deluded about what America’s exceptional way of life has brought him personally as he is deluded about what the world is like at large. So he denies global warming, blames the unions, blames teachers & other government workers, blames regulation, blames the EPA & the FDA, blames those struggling to make it in this world, blames the blacks, blames the immigrants, blames everyone & anyone but those at the top.
He’d rather blame fellow working people trying to grab a piece of the pie, rather than blame the crooks who deprive us all. Because somehow – be it by gender identity, racial identity, national identity, he thinks his class, his type belongs at the top. He’s the top dog! But he’s not. He’s a nigger, i’m a nigger, muslims are niggers and mexicans are niggers, teachers and steel workers, and farmers too. To people like the Koch Brothers, we’re all niggers and my dad can’t see that. This is an us vs them game and people like my father are fucking deluded as to what side they’re on or can be on one day. Somewhere deep down inside, he admires those at the top – he wants to be them & even though he knows he’ll never be one of them, he likes to pretend.
He goes to his Applebee’s, Red Lobster & Outback & bitches about all the blacks there. I think this is important to note – it’s indicative of his whole perspective. He is the same CLASS of people as these folks, he’s spending roughly the same amount on dinner as them, but thinks things are going to hell because they are there. He doesn’t get that he IS THEM. He’s the same fucking class, in the same fucking boat. He’s got relatively the same education level, roughly the same pay checks, living roughly the same way of life. But he’s been convinced to fight, to hate, to dislike his own class of people & to admire & defend the class that basically owns & controls his life & all our lives. He has been perfectly trained to rail against the ‘other’. read entire article
Next Article:

Michigan Congressman John Conyers, Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, raised a compelling question in a conversation the other day: “Why do conservatives vote against their own interests?” If we can answer this, we might reach the common ground to solve the country’s economic, debt, and growing income disparity issues.  

Let’s get this much out of the way: conservatives do vote against their own interests. Pundits on the right may try to undermine Conyers’ question as being couched in terms that favor the Democratic Congressman’s side of the aisle, but deflecting the question means explaining away historical facts. Under Democratic presidents since 1930, who pursued agendas emphasizing people programs while pressing tax breaks for middle and lower incomes and resisting tax breaks for the wealthy, the average GDP increased by 5.4%, compared to a 1.6% average GDP increase during the presidencies of their Republican counterparts.  The Republicans moved to cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans and gained support by calling them “job creators.” read more

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GOP party of hate
Good ole boys go wild
Southern Strategy


  1. So, indulge me if you don't mind: What are the interests of a Republican?

    You say--a lot say--that Republicans vote against their own interests. What are those interests?

    I ask myself what my own interests are. I obviously can't speak for Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, libertarians, pinkos, or anyone else. But for my own particular interests, I find that neither party serves them.

    I read the typical story like this to bash Republicans with the implication that Democrats will solve the nation's problems with...what? I'm not sure exactly. Solutions are never proposed that are more well thought-out than "Fuck it; let's write another check."

    Republicans just turn right back around and bash in reverse. They pass everything off on business and hope that someone else's innovation makes them look good.

    But if anyone knows what the interests are of an entire political party, so much so that they know they're voting against them, I'd like to know what they are.

  2. do pose some good points, in particular, points on why a third party that better represents the average Jane/Joe would be most desirable. But you lost me when you stated that all the Democrats proposed is to "fuck it, let's write another check"

    If anything is over-simplified -- and not thought out -- it's your incorrect observation that is derived from GOP propaganda. The last time we (America) had a budget surplus was under a Democratic administration (Bush II said "Fuck it" and squandered the money).

    Furthermore, conservatives talk the talk of fiscal prudence, governments exponentially grow when they are in power - check the stats: governments under Nixon, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II grew.

    However, with the two party system we have, the Democrats by far better represent the interest of most working class, middle-class and upper-middle class Americans; and the GOP is great at giving lip service meanwhile they serve the interest of the wealthiest of the wealthy.

    On issues like: education, highways, infra-structure maintenance, health-care, environment, food and water safety, voters rights, consumer protection etc. it is not even close to which party has it's pulse on middle American.

    Unfortunately, as the first article pointed out - while the supply side economic system pushes more and more money in less and less hands - the GOP fat cats keep ole Billy Bob on the ranch by telling him his woes are because of those other un-American looking people -- the blacks, immigrants, gays, city folks, Muslims, teachers, government workers and unions.

    Billy Bob buys this propaganda hook, line and sinker. But, once again, check the stats...since Reagan's supply side economic policy have dominated our economy the last 30 some years the middle-class has steadily eroded. And Billy Bob continues to vote for folks robbing him blind.

  3. The budget surplus doesn't exactly paint a proper picture of government spending. To Clinton's credit (and I mean that sincerely), he never wanted to spend quite as much as Bush the younger or Obama. They're both huge spenders. Clinton, from what I remember about him, bounced to the center and didn't try to write all the checks out.

    That he had a thorough camp of Republicans in Senate and in the House is something also often forgotten.

    That's not mentioning, either, that government proposes and sets the budgets. Say, for example, President Obama was able to get a budget passed in 2014 of 2.3 trillion (which is a realistic number he may want given his incline). If, by some miracle, he got Democrats to work this up and actually got it passed, and say he only spent 2.1 trillion of it, would he be heralded as a responsible spender? He would technically have a surplus.

    For me personally, I believe that to be a false standard. If I set the budget in my home and then simply didn't spend over that budget, I'm not sure I should be praised. Because my budget isn't my debt. As long as I still had debt, working within my budget is the least I should be doing.

    Bush was a "fuck it" kinda President for sure. He didn't do much in his entire presidency but spend. Bush was a right-wing progressive -- just like a left-wing progressive, from what I can tell, only more fervor for war.

    I don't know what they're doing to fix anything besides spending and passing more regulations and proposing higher taxes.

    I'm not saying the Republicans are any better. But what's the Democrats' actual plan? I hear "fair share" and "do more" and a whole lot of blaming folks for the purposes of swaying Republican voters to the Democratic side.

    What do the Democrats do once the voters get there? What are the Republicans' interests that will be addressed? I still don't know.

  4. Josh thanks for you comments. Let's clarify a few things:
    1. Clinton not only had budget surpluses...he submitted balanced budgets to congress.
    2. With the severity of the economic crisis - worst since the Great Depression - government had to spend big in order to re-boot the economy. Hence, Obama had no other viable choice but to spend.
    3. The Democrat's are not proposing new taxes they are stating let the Bush tax cuts expire - they were and are not paid for in any revenue set aside...we can not afford them.

    Additionally, don't miss the big main point of the article: Far too many working class, middle-class and upper middle class conservatives reject working/campaigning/uniting with other similar class people of other races or ethnic backgrounds because they feel they are part of the elite privilege class.

    To better understand this division one needs only to read the Nathaniel Bacon story...the Bacon rebellion of 1676 in which poor whites and poor blacks (both were formerly de fato indentured servants - slavery was not a life-time sentence at this point)united to fight exploitation from the ruling elite.

    After the rebellion, the ruling class created a social class called the White male privilege status. Next, slavery was converted to a life long sentence creating a sub-human class. Poor white males with their new elevated status began to identify more with the elite class than poor people from other races...

    Here's a link