One of the questions I encounter most often in politics (at least among liberals and progressives) is, “Why do so many poor and middle class Americans vote against their own interests by supporting the Republican party?” It’s a valid question, but the answer(s) to it really isn’t all that complicated. Though it’s undoubtedly mind-boggling to think about the reality that tens of millions of Americans do back a party that supports policies that make their lives more difficult.
Let me explain why this isn’t too overly complicated.
1. Religion: This one’s easy. Throughout human history, religion has been the go-to mechanism for getting people to act against their own best interests. With religion you can manipulate huge masses of people to do things that aren’t at all rational. Especially when you consider that many Christians are what I call “Church Christians” who seem to measure their devotion to their faith by church attendance as opposed to living their life according to the teachings of Jesus Christ. For the record, those teachings and values are pretty much the opposite of what the Republican party represents. In today’s society, many Republicans view their politics and religion as one in the same. I refer to it as “Republicanity.”
2. Abortion: While some might tie this in with religion, it’s actually different. There are people who vote for the GOP based on nothing more than their opposition to abortion.
Make no mistake about it, this isn’t an issue the Republican party really cares about. In fact, GOP policies increase the number of abortions by opposing sex education and access to birth control. Being that unplanned pregnancies are the number one reason why many women have abortions, logically speaking, a party that opposes abortion should be huge fans of anything to help prevent unplanned pregnancies. Sadly, as we all know, Republicans aren’t. They are quite literally a party that opposes abortion… while supporting policies that led to more abortions. But they use their “pro-life” propaganda to whip up voters and get them all in a frenzy. People who are too blinded by the “killing babies” rhetoric to think rationally about much of anything else.
3. Fear: Let’s face it, fear is much easier to sell than hope. But not only is it easier to sell, much like religion, it’s also a great way to get people to act irrationally and against their own interests. If you keep people afraid – which Republicans constantly do – you can get them to believe all sorts of nonsense.
4. Ignorance: Now, by this I don’t mean that every Republican voter is ignorant. What I mean is that most people have no idea how government works. That combined with the fact that the average American’s “political memory” seems to be on par with Dory from Finding Nemo, and what you get are people who blame the wrong people for the issues in our country.
Think about this: The Republican party runs on the pretense that government is corrupt and inefficient. Yet, they’re the ones trying to make it more corrupt and inefficient. It’s Democrats who want to overturn Citizens United, get money out of politics and fix the government. Not only that, but Republicans build their platform on the “evils” of government… so why would they ever try to make it work better?
As I’ve said before, if you want to see who you can trust in government, ask yourself which party is trying to get money out of politics and which party is trying to get more money in.
5. Guns: The issue of guns ties into a lot of facets of Republican voters. Many Republicans cling to their guns because of the fear-mongering they’ve been sold about “bad guys with guns.” Living in Texas, I constantly laugh at these imbeciles who walk around thinking they’re going to take down a “bad guy” if some sort of active shooter situation arose. Especially when I know many of them would probably piss themselves if someone ever actually pointed a gun at them.
Guns also tie in with the asinine belief that our Second Amendment is there to give us the right to overthrow a Constitutionally elected government. Something that’s never made any sense to me. Article III of the Constitution clearly states that treason is not-at-all acceptable. Not only that, but I’ve yet to have anyone rationally explain to me how violently overthrowing a Constitutionally elected government is remotely “Constitutional.” If someone overthrows a president I voted for – isn’t that a violation of my rights?
But Republicans have always masterfully sold this belief that any mention of gun regulations is tantamount to Nazi Germany or some other horrifically oppressive regime. As if asking people to pass extensive background checks, banning access to certain kinds of “military-style” assault rifles and limiting magazine size is the same as a full-on gun confiscation by the government to weaken its people.
We can’t even begin to have a common sense discussion about gun violence because of fools on the right who don’t believe that guns have anything to do with it in the first place.
It’s completely absurd.
While there are many more reasons, for the sake of time, I’ll stop there.
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