Friday, December 23, 2016

Why the White Working Class Votes Against Itself

One on the continued ironies in American politics is the way that so many white working class individuals vote Republican and in the process vote against their own economic interests.  Seemingly, this phenomenon exploded during the past election cycle when GOP appeals to hatred and bigotry towards others, especially racial minorities and immigrants.  Now, of course, we are seeing daily stories about people who Voted for Trump and other Republicans in states such as Kentucky who are now terrified that they will lose their health care coverage if the Affordable Health Care Act is repealed.  Indeed, in Virginia, many rural hospital systems in Southwest Virginia - which voted heavily for Donald Trump - could face bankruptcy.  Not only would the cretins who fell for Trump's appeals to their racism lose a healthcare resource, but their region's largest employer could cease to exist.  The GOP claims to be the party of "Christian values," but as a piece in the Washington Post underscores, much of the GOP base are motivated by racism, jealousy and resentment of others - even as they attend church each week and feign piety and allegiance to the Gospel message.  The hypocrisy and stupidity is mind numbing..  Here are column highlights: 
Why did all those Economically Anxious™ Trump voters reject policies that would have helped relieve their economic anxiety?
Maybe they believed any Big Government expansions would disproportionately go to the “wrong” kinds of people — that is, people unlike themselves.
But there seems to be universal agreement, at least among the Democratic politicians and strategists I’ve interviewed, that the party’s actual ideas are the right ones.
Democrats, they note, pushed for expansion of health-insurance subsidies for low- and middle-income Americans; investments in education and retraining; middle-class tax cuts; and a higher minimum wage. These are core, standard-of-living improving policies.
They would do far more to help the economically precarious — including and especially white working-class voters — than Donald Trump’s top-heavy tax cuts and trade wars ever could.
But the white working class doesn’t seem to buy that they’re the ones who’d really benefit.
Across rural America, the Rust Belt, Coal Country and other hotbeds of Trumpism, voters have repeatedly expressed frustration that the lazy and less deserving are getting a bigger chunk of government cheese.
Participants in this focus group, held by the Institute for Family Studies, were also skeptical of efforts to raise the minimum wage.
Opponents argued either that higher pay wasn’t justified for lower-skilled, less intense work or that raising the minimum wage would unfairly narrow the pay gap between diligent folks such as themselves and people who’d made worse life choices.
“That son of a b---- is making $10 an hour! I’m making $13.13. I feel like s--- because he’s making almost as much as I am, and I have never been in trouble with the law and I have a clean record, I can pass a drug test,” said one participant.
In Wisconsin, rural whites are similarly eager to “stop the flow of resources to people who are undeserving,” says Katherine J. Cramer, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and author of “The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker.”
The people Cramer interviewed for her book often named a (white) welfare-receiving neighbor or relative as someone who belonged in that basket of undeservings — but also immigrants, minorities and inner-city elites who were allegedly siphoning off more government funds than they contributed.
More broadly, a recent YouGov/Huffington Post survey found that Trump voters are five times more likely to believe that “average Americans” have gotten less than they deserve in recent years than to believe that “blacks” have gotten less than they deserve. (African Americans don’t count as “average Americans,” apparently.)
Americans (A) generally associate government spending with undeserving, nonworking, nonwhite people; and (B) are really bad at recognizing when they personally benefit from government programs.
Hence those oblivious demands to “keep your government hands off my Medicare,” and the tea partyers who get farm subsidies, and the widespread opposition to expanded transfer payments in word if not in deed. Rhetoric this election cycle caricaturing our government as “rigged,” and anyone who pays into it as a chump, has only reinforced these misperceptions about who benefits from government programs and how much. . . . it’s no wonder that Trump’s promises — to re-create millions of (technologically displaced) jobs and to punish all those non-self-sufficient moochers — seem much more enticing.

Of course, these cretins are too stupid to realize that is they, rural white America that receives the lion's share of welfare and social safety net spending.  Perhaps if they turned the station from Fox News, they might get in touch with reality.  As I have said before, while I feel compassion for young children and youth who will be impacted, these voters truly deserve the worse possible misfortune because they have brought it upon themselves.  Embracing lies and ignorance is a choice.  They need to pay a horrific price. 

1 comment:

Stephen said...

i want to stop the flow of money from blue states (like California and New York) to red states (like Alabama and Kentucky).