We just had a municipal election here yesterday in San Francisco, mostly for the Mayor and assorted propositions, and I was happy to find out most of my choices won…But in doing research for this blog, I picked up on some interesting data and made some observations about elections in general….One thing I truly don’t get is why do poor people vote for Republicans? What’s behind the rising tide of Republican strength in the so called red states, mostly in the South, when there are clearly so many poor people there to account for this strange phenomenon? ….
Any logical person can see that the Republicans, by their very words out of their own mouths, are the party of racial discrimination, hatred toward minorities as in their stance on immigration, (this in a nation founded by immigrants!) and the general viewpoint that big business is always better, and screw the working class and the lower class, as well as their ill concealed war on women and old people….
They are clearly the party for the rich people, the corporate overlords, the fascist 1% like the infamous Koch brothers whose individual family wealth alone could pay off the national debt….But what is really puzzling me is how they are convincing poor people to vote for them in the first place, when they have all but declared economic and social war on poor people? Here are some interesting theories I found on the internet:
As per my Google sources: “Have you ever wondered why so many poor people vote for Republicans, even though Republicans do very little to help them? Here in Louisiana, Republicans have taken every state-wide seat in government, and they couldn’t have done it without convincing the poorest people in the state to vote against their self interests.” Here are 5 main reasons in how and why they manipulate the poor people:
5. Liberals can be really elitist: I hate to have to say it, but it’s true…However, if all you know how to do is attack someone’s character by calling them stupid or a shill, you’re not going to persuade them to see things from your point of view. What it will do is further alienate more moderate conservatives who could be convinced that some gun restrictions aren’t a bad idea, just to give you an example.
4. Racism: I’m putting racism in here because there’s almost never a discussion about why poor people vote conservative without racism being cited as a reason. While there are certainly racists who identify as Republicans, simply writing everyone off as racist for voting Republican is stereotyping, stupid, and counterproductive.
3. They’re “pro-life”: Few things besides gay marriage get religious conservatives more worked up than abortion. Having grown up in the “pro-life” movement, I can tell you that while some religious people (especially Catholics) tend to support Democrats on economic issues, they’ve been told by their pastors that they could go to Hell for voting for someone who is pro-choice.
2. Fox News: In order to keep people voting the way you want, you need a propaganda source. When you travel through Red States, Fox News is on in most gas stations, fast food restaurants, and public areas. An unabashedly conservative media outlet, Fox News continually broadcasts a right wing agenda to its viewers.
They blame The Other; immigrants, ethnic minorities, LGBT Americans, and women, while saying people need to “take America back” They repeatedly bash the President, give platforms to lobbyists and corporate shills, and constantly work to undermine progress and support obstructionists. They do all of this while telling the viewer that they are the chosen people of God and America.
Then they tell you the most important part, everyone else is lying to you. Don’t touch that dial. Fox News creates fake “wars” on Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, and whatever will shock their audience. This paranoia is sown to distract their viewers from voting from the GOP’s real war on poor people.
1. Religion: Calvinism is one of the two major camps in modern Christian American theology and predestination is part of Calvinist teachings..If you’re poor, it’s part of “God’s plan” and it is not our duty as individuals or the government to help. If someone is rich, then they were chosen to be rich by God, and we shouldn’t punish them by making them pay more in taxes. Calvinism and the belief in predestination are rarely mentioned in political discussions, but they’re a huge factor when it comes to conservative Protestants and how they think.
As long as Republicans continue to exploit these advantages and we fail to counter them, poor people will continue to vote for the GOP – especially if we continue to write them all off as being poor, racist, ignorant rednecks when so many of them are not. We can convince people not to vote against their self interests over and over again, but it will take time and a lot of patience.” From the Huffington Post, from a woman’s point of view:
“Equally troubling is why Republican women support a party who barely passed the Violence Against Women Act, who don’t support legislation to guarantee that a women receives equal pay for equal work, and who think women’s bosses should have the right to determine her health care and reproductive decisions.
As Republican governors refuse to accept billions of dollars in free federal money to expand Medicaid, hundreds of thousands of people are going without medical care and are dying needlessly. As the GOP continues to cut billions from food stamps, many women and children are going hungry.
Men are also hurt by the policies of the Republican Party. Many men support the party because they are pro-gun, but Republicans also vote to keep the minimum wage at poverty levels and are against extending unemployment benefits. These policies hurt the working class.
Republicans want to reduce government spending and control, but I wonder if the populace realizes that many solidly red states that they live in receive a huge percentage of their income from the federal government? In actuality, the amount many red states pay in federal taxes is small compared to the amount of money they receive back from the government.
In reality, the Republicans don’t want to cut spending, just redistribute it from the poor and middle class to the wealthy. The Republican budget once again gives massive tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, while it cuts programs and safety nets that help many of the people who vote Republican. I don’t understand why people vote against their own best interests, especially when it hurts their family, the economy and the principles on which America was founded.”
But the right-wing fringe has hijacked the sanity of the Republican Party, and the GOP needs to get back on track. Gerrymandering, suppressing the vote, allowing unrestricted funds and unlimited terms have led to undemocratic practices which will destroy America if voters don’t stand up and fight for what is right.”
So what it apparently boils down to is ignorance, prejudice and religion….These are hard obstacles to overcome, but to me it all starts and can be stopped by eliminating the Super Pacs, the tool that is giving unrestricted power to the fascist 1% and allowing them to cynically manipulate the system by buying politicians who will promote their extreme far right wing views…
We need to institute strict campaign contribution laws, with minimal contributions allowed, to eliminate the Super Pacs smoke screen these anti-American fascists like the Koch brothers are hiding behind before it is too late and they succeed in their attempt to hijack America and subvert the democratic process….
And always remember the chilling words of Martin Niemoller, in response to the advent and growth of power of the Nazi’s in Hitler’s Germany…He was a prominent Protestant pastor who opposed the Nazi regime. He spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
For more information on what the republicans are doing, see: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/voting-against-own-bes…
For more information on why poor people vote for Republicans, check out: http://www.forwardprogressives.com/5-reasons-why-poor-people-vote-for-rep…
For more blogs by John Whye, see http://www.johnwhye.com