why America's poor are willing to vote Republican
Posted in the Minneapolis Forum
#1 Mar 21, 2013
Liberals question why poor voters who use public assistance still vote for Republicans who want to cut those very services. The real story, Gary Younge finds, is much more complicated
There is nothing more vexing to liberals than poor Republicans. Their very existence rankles. It turns their world on its head and their assumptions inside out. The effort to explain them is understood not just as a political paradox but a psychological disorder. They have been duped. They must have been. How else would one explain putting your cross next to the man who derided them as "victims" among the 47% "I don't worry about". To many liberals these are turkeys voting for Christmas or lemmings off for a leap; the condemned tying the noose for their own execution.
At times the contradictions are striking. In August 2009, when opponents of Obamacare were disrupting town hall meetings with claims of death panels, Kenneth Gladney and other members of St Louis tea party got into a fight with Democrats at a public meeting. He had to go to the emergency room with injuries to his knee, back, elbow, shoulder and face and ended up in a wheelchair. It turned out Gladney, who had recently been laid off, had no health insurance. He appealed for donations.
So why do poor people vote Republican? The first thing to note is that most of them don't. In 2008 73% of those who earned less than $15,000, 60% of those who earned between $15,000 and $30,000, and 55% of those who earned between $30,000 and $50,000 voted for Obama. This year 57% of those earning less than $36,000 plan to vote Democrat as do 50% of those with a high school diploma or less. Even in deeply conservative Mississippi the overwhelming majority of the poor voted for Obama.
Most of the clients I met in Sarasota's Gulf Coast legal centre struggling with the threat of repossession or foreclosure voted for Obama and will do so again. "I'm for Obama all the way," says Betty-Jean Haines, the fate of whose home currently rests in the courts. "He really wants to do something good but he's running into so many road blocks."
In a report from Minnesota earlier this year the New York Times examined the growing number of people who were simultaneously dependent on government aid and against more government spending. "Many people say they are angry because the government is wasting money and giving money to people who do not deserve it," it concluded. "But more than that, they say they want to reduce the role of government in their own lives. They are frustrated that they need help, feel guilty for taking it and resent the government for providing it. They say they want less help for themselves; less help in caring for relatives; less assistance when they reach old age."
#2 Mar 21, 2013
If your oor and you voterethuglican you need help
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