Why Do So Many Conservative Voters Choose to Reject Reality?

reality-checkI’ll never quite understand why people vote for Republicans.  Sure, I get the brilliant Republican strategy to tie faith in with politics, but is it really just an opposition to abortion and homosexuals that makes these people so gullible?

I just don’t get it.  I’ve called it cognitive dissonance.  I’ve called it a cult.  But this involves tens of millions of people.  It has to be something larger than all of that.

Many of these individuals literally vote against their own best interests.  Tens of millions of people, mostly poor and middle class, supporting economic policies that are built upon the pretense that if you give more to the rich, it will benefit the rest of us.

I’ll say that another way — an entire economy ideology that claims the richer we make a handful of people, the better it is for everyone else.

It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.

Where do these people think this growth in the wealth for these top 1-2% of Americans comes from?  The answer is simple: Us.  

Trickle-down economics — or honestly better put “top-down economics” — is a system built by taking from the majority to give to the minority.  The language supporting this theory itself references the word “trickle.”

Fun fact — no matter where you find the definition for the word “trickle” there’s some reference meaning “small.”  As in, the more we give to the rich, they’ll give us very little back.  Which is exactly what happens.

Then there’s the whole argument of government involvement in our lives.  I just think this comes from ignorance and a lack of understanding of what government provides.  Honestly, there are millions of conservative Americans on Medicare right now who don’t know it’s government-funded (aka socialized) health care.

It’s sad, but true.

These are the people who drive on public roads, use public water, went to public school, use public transportation, got their degree from a public university, drive on Interstate Highways, eat safe foods, drink clean water, praise our military—all while saying government doesn’t do anything for them.

They’re the people who complain about corruption in government—while supporting a party that wants to deregulate the very people or businesses that spend billions through PACs, Super PACs and all sorts of lobbyist groups corrupting our government.

Basically their plan is: Our government is corrupt and inefficient because of massive amounts of money and lobbyists in Washington, so let’s deregulate the people who are corrupting our government because that will fix things—somehow?  Yeah, it doesn’t make any damn sense to me either.

The religion thing is the one that gets me too.  I’ll just use the two largest — Baptists and Catholics.  Two Christian denominations that are extremely different.  Yet, somehow, many of these Republicans believe our nation is based on Christian principles and is in fact a “Christian nation.”

Okay, well, then which denomination?  Because I hate to break it to these people, but a country based on Catholic beliefs would be much different than one based on Baptist beliefs.

Hmm, maybe that’s why our Founding Fathers didn’t mention the word “Christianity” even once in our entire Constitution?  Maybe that’s why they put that whole “freedom of religion” part right at the beginning.  

And this isn’t ideological talking points, it’s just common sense.  Yet it’s something many Republicans just seem completely unable to understand.

But even after the countless hours I’ve spent debating Republicans, I still don’t have the answer.  I’ll meet a conservative living on welfare, completely dependent on the system (as is much of their family), voting for the Republican party that just cut their benefits.  I’ll meet the teacher who’s so frustrated with her job due to budget cuts caused by Republican state legislatures voting for the very same politicians who keep voting to cut their budget.

It’s absurd.

While it’s easy to throw out psychological terms like cognitive dissonance or say it’s just blind ignorance—it can’t be that simple, can it?  Remember, this encompasses tens of millions of people.  These are people who, when confronted with indisputable realities, simply don’t care.

Unfortunately, in all my time doing this, I still don’t have a clear answer as to why millions of Americans literally vote against their own interests.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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