“A new report reveals that almost all of the states where people earn the least are controlled by Republicans, while the states where people make the most money are almost exclusively led by Democratic politicians.” So writes Michael Harriot. This raises some interesting and haunting issues. In a nutshell, Republican voters who are poor are fools. Only fools vote against their best interests. It’s not by chance that this came about, though. The GOP is an abomination, and Trump is only the natural result of that. Here is my reasoning as to how this all happens. Functionalism and conflict theory are very helpful in understanding this gross phenomenon.
- The poorest states in recent elections voted Republican, by and large. The citizens of those states are thus governed by Republican politicians. SOURCE
- Republican politicians are, by and large, not only morally bankrupt, but tend to screw up their states’ and the country’s’ economies. Case in point: Brownback Tries to Ruin Kansas
- Republicans have been instrumental in giving the power that rightly belongs mostly to the community to corporations. Corporations then bribe the Republican politicians. Rinse and repeat. This is somewhat true of Democratic politicians, but less so. In fact, many leading opponents of free trade agreements, outsourcing, mergers, and other aspects of laissez-faire economics are liberals and progressives. The greatest among them was probably Paul Wellstone. A source for my claim about Republicans and free trade agreements and approving mega-mergers – which arguably transfers wealth up the socioeconomic hierarchy to the richest and most powerful is HERE.
- Redirecting power and economic resources to huge, multinational corporations (many of whom pay no tax!) is part of the reason that poor communities are poor. So is warehousing mostly people of color in prisons, which is a Reagan era plan that was most enthusiastically championed by “law and order” Republicans. Education is another big factor, and the states that have the poorest-performing education systems are – you guessed it – largely Republican.
- The GOP prides itself on shrinking social welfare spending, but, ironically, it is their base that disproportionally benefits. SOURCE.
- The Republicans use wedge issues such as gun rights, immigration, and social welfare benefit consumption to distract the citizens from the real issues they face. It works very well in certain areas, ones that end up voting for them in large numbers: SOURCE
- This is tantamount to Republican voters voting against their own economic best interests: SOURCE. This is what happens when folks are manipulated and not well-educated and the powers that benefit from doing so.
- Race is a major reason they do so. SOURCE. Religion is also a way to manipulate the minds of voters, and Republicans are uniquely susceptible to this tactic. The rise of white supremacist groups is a complex and unsettling phenomenon – this in a time of major economic disparity between the social classes. SOURCE.
- Only fools vote against their best interests. This is partly the responsibility of the voters, and partly the responsibility of the Republican disinformation and manipulation machine that inculcates this ignorance in the minds of voters: SOURCE
So, what’s the matter with Kansas? That is the name of a book that seeks to answer how it is that Republicans made inroads into a state such as Kansas. After all, Mary Lease was a popular rabble-rouser and true-blue Progressive back in the 1800s who famously implored Kansans to “Stop raising corn and start raising hell!” READ ABOUT THE BOOK
- How did the Republican Party get so corrupt? This aptly-titled ARTICLE explores this issue.
- What will the future be like if Republicans continue this chicken-and-egg phenomenon? That is, it’s hard to know if the GOP moved in like scavengers to manipulate the weakest parts of the country, or if their governorship of those areas led causally to their declines. Either way, you don’t want to live in Louisiana, Mississippi, or West Virginia. SOURCE
- One man who is pretty gutsy and compelling in calling out the hypocrisy of the Republicans – especially that shyster Donald Trump – is Richard Ojeda. You probably haven’t heard of him, but you haven’t heard the last of him. READ ABOUT OJEDA.
- Read about Trump’s use of and promulgation of white supremacy HERE.
Summation: Only fools vote against their best interests. In the case of poor, poorly-educated individuals, they have been done a major disservice by the Republicans. Here is a VIDEO that is pretty much an encapsulation of my point.
The GOP is primarily the Party of the rich and powerful. They don’t care about guns, they don’t care about abortion, and they don’t care about race. However, oligarchy and crony capitalism are not enough to win elections in our system. The minds of the rest of the 97% of the populace must be manipulated. Enter evangelical Christianity and racial animus.
I miss the Democrats of old, back when unions were a thing, when politicians had more class, and when a family could survive on the decent wages earned by one breadwinner. Unfortunately, there never was a time when race wasn’t a hot social issue – of course, morally, but also in the way that it functioned to turn poor person against poor person. The rise of the KKK is illustrative in using race to drive a wedge between members of the working class. The Democrats used to do that until the political poles switched in 1965. Now it is the domain of the GOP.
If you think that education is a panacea, think again. At least, not as it was designed to function in America. Here is Noam Chomsky: “Mass education was designed to turn independent farmers into docile, passive tools of production. That was its primary purpose. And don’t think people didn’t know it. They knew it and they fought against it. There was a lot of resistance to mass education for exactly that reason. It was also understood by the elites. Emerson once said something about how we’re educating them to keep them from our throats. If you don’t educate them, what we call ‘education,’ they’re going to take control – they being what Alexander Hamilton called the ‘great beast,’ namely the people. The anti-democratic thrust of opinion in what are called democratic societies is really ferocious. And for good reason. Because the freer the society gets, the more dangerous the great beast becomes and the more you have to be careful to cage it somehow.”
“Conflict theory [in sociology] states that tensions and conflicts arise when resources, status, and power are unevenly distributed between groups in society and that these conflicts become the engine for social change. In this context, power can be understood as control of material resources and accumulated wealth, control of politics and the institutions that make up society, and one’s social status relative to others (determined not just by class but by race, gender, sexuality, culture, and religion, among other things).” ~ Ashley Crossman discussed CONFLICT THEORY here.
I’m proud that my wife put the following paragraph together when I told her about this blog:
“People in lower economic classes are struggling enough as it is, that it’s very easy for a politician to capitalize on this. People in lower economic classes do not want to be at the bottom of the class totem pole and if they are near the bottom, they find security in knowing that another class is still one rung below them, so at least they are still better off than the bottom rung. By encouraging a particular lower economic class of people to blame another even lower economic class of people for their plight or lot in life, politicians shift the focus from coming up with practical solutions to bettering their constituents’ quality of life and instead use the animosity created to fuel bad public policy favoring the higher economic classes of people. Example: Currently in our country and in the last mid-term election it became obvious that white working-class people whose jobs were being destroyed in coal sectors and manufacturing sectors were being left out of public policy decisions that directly affected them. By making them blame immigrants for their struggles and suffering, politicians are able to garner support for bad immigration policy, because those same disenfranchised white working-class people become focused on blaming immigrants instead of realizing that the politicians are undermining their own quality of life through bad public policy affecting their livelihood and economic welfare.”
In sum, only fools vote against their best interests. In this case, “fool” does not indicate where the blame lies for the state of affairs; it could mean “having been fooled” to “courted ignorance”; it could mean “this person just became a fool” or it could indicate that the person’s family has been ignorant and mentally lazy for generations. This thesis is clearly a point relevant to applied psychology, social criticism, philosophy and critical thinking, and social and economic justice, many of the subcategories of this blog. It is truly an examination of the place where politics meets sociology.
Here is a similar blog post:
Only fools vote against their best interests. Republicans know this, and specialize in exploiting it. The history of the GOP proves this to be the case.