Why People Who Should Be Democrats Vote Republican

It has always puzzled me why middle class and poor people vote Republican and support conservative ideals.  Don’t they know which way their bread is buttered?  Republicans mainly help the rich and special interests, which are the corporate rich.  If you don’t have a pile of money to protect, or a business that you want the government to bestow special favors upon, then why go Republican?  Well, this article from The New York Times, “Why Voters Tune Out Democrats” explains it very well.  Stanley B. Greenberg has analyzed polls about voter attitudes and he sees trends why people are supporting conservatives, not just in the United States, but all over the world.

Republicans have always been anti big government, but it seems that people who previously voted Democratic are now developing their own anti-government bias, and they are moving to the Republican Party to join their anti-government stand.  Greenberg suggests for the Democrats to fight back they need to deal with issues their voters are upset about.  Even though a majority of voters support most of the policies of the Democrats, including social programs and rejecting tax-cuts, they are mad at the Democrats for several particular issues, and that’s making them swing to voting Republican.  Those issues are:

  • The government bailed out failing companies without punishing their executives
  • Wall Street gets a free pass even when it brings down the economy
  • Big businesses can get help from the government but not small businesses
  • The banks and bankers were saved but not home owners
  • The government is rigged for special interest groups
  • The government supports globalization over American workers
  • They don’t like illegal immigration
  • Congress helps itself more than it helps the people (my cousin emailed me as I write this a protest promoting a 28th amendment advocating no pension/no tenure for congressmen)

Greenberg sees these as a trend.  People resent the government acting unfairly, supporting special interest groups, and rewarding the unjust, privilege, incompetent, and underserving rather than helping the common American.  Whether this is true or illusion doesn’t matter, it’s the perception in polls.  And because Republicans, especially Tea Party voters, are so anti-government, that people who normally votes Democrat on other issues are moving into the conservative groups because of these perceptions.

What Greenberg recommends to the Democrats is they also get on a Fix Washington campaign too.

I’m against unfair practices too, but I’m not going to join the conservatives.

Personally, I blame all these issues on the Republicans anyway.  I believe they are the party that set things up in Washington so special interests control the government.  Of course the Democrats are not without blame.  When they wanted the Republicans to vote on social programs they made deal with Republicans to support their big business goals.  Now the Republicans are saying no more deals, no more compromises, because they have sensed they’ve got more of what the people want than the Democrats.

I think this New York Times article is very perceptive.  I think we liberals need to see which way the wind is blowing, and WHY.  This explains why so many Tea Party voters, many of which are ironically on social security and Medicare, are so riled up about big government politics at the moment.

I find our current political climate very unsettling and depressing.  But maybe there’s a silver lining.  Maybe all of this will lead to governmental reforms that will make us feel better about our rulers in Washington.  Maybe I don’t really hate Republicans, maybe I just hate how big money has corrupted the government and special interest groups with money get more representation than they are due.

JWH – 8/1/11

13 thoughts on “Why People Who Should Be Democrats Vote Republican”

  1. The list of issues is exactly correct, they embody the actual policy of both the democratic and republican parties. No matter what a democratic politician says about fighting corruption or wall street abuse, they fail time and time again to do anything about it. Republican stock and trade is hatred and envy, people mistake that for a desire to change the system, but republican policies are just more of the same. It leads to more and more people tuning out, which makes it gets easier and easier for the moneyed elites to buy Washington.

      1. Not really, I think we’ve reached a tipping point where too few people believe in reality. They’ll “praise Jesus” and “Allah Akbar” us to extinction. I mean that on the level of the USA as a country and humanity as a species. Most people don’t have the education, inclination nor the free-time to analyze what is going on, let alone do anything about it.

        I’m no fan of Obama, but it really makes me marvel when we’ve been cutting taxes, “free-trading” and deregulating for 40 years now, and it hasn’t worked, ever. Only during Clinton’s time when he raised taxes did things start to turn around, but then people voted for George the Second, and let him squander and destroy for 8 years. The economy collapsing as he slinked out of town. Then they hardly even gave Obama a year, voting in a batch of Teaparty fools and even more corporate shills who’s only solution is more tax cuts and deregulation. That tells me most people truly can’t or willfully refuse think.

        That things are going wrong doesn’t spur change or innovation, it just reenforces their delusions or makes them tune-out more.

  2. The problem is that we haven’t had anyone standing up for government. Government is necessary. Government does good things. But even Democrats don’t say these things.

    Republicans claim that government is always bad, and then they get elected and prove it. And Democrats are left to try to fix what they destroyed, which often leads to things that are unfair. Yeah, we don’t like “bailing out” the banks, but what’s the alternative? It’s the ordinary people who would have suffered the most.

    Furthermore, Democrats let the right-wing rant about “bail outs” (initiated by a Republican president, of course), without pointing out that the stockholders of those banks lost big. As I say, a lot of things were not fair, though they were necessary – but things weren’t quite as unfair as people believe. And they were all necessary mostly because of Republican policies.

    Yeah, I’ve got plenty I dislike about Democratic politicians, mostly that they’re too willing to go along with the conservatives, either through cowardice or conviction. But this “both sides are equally bad” thinking is ridiculous. Just because the Democrats aren’t perfect – and they’re far from perfect – doesn’t mean there’s no real difference between the parties. There’s a huge difference.

    The far-right was unhappy with the GOP, so they took control of the party. They didn’t just give up. They didn’t commit suicide by starting a third party. Dumb as they are, they weren’t that dumb. Progressives could learn from that.

    Of course, it won’t be easy. If you want easy, you might as well quit now. The big money is on the other side. Well, the big money has always been on the other side. But with the right-wing loons on the Supreme Court, it’s worse now than ever. So are we just going to give up, then? Really?

    1. I think people will come to realize the value of government and even big government once the conservatives start cutting ours down.

      What the conservatives failed to understand is we live in a world where’s there’s too many people to allow classical capitalism to run free. The Federal Government has to create zillions of jobs or just pay some people to do nothing, otherwise we’ll have sky high unemployment. They may hate some people getting a free ride, but those people do contribute by keeping the economy going.

      1. Yes, Jim. We can’t have a 19th Century government on a planet of seven billion people, with nuclear bombs and poison gas and biological weapons. To think so is fantasy of the first order.

        And we’re wealthy enough these days that people don’t have to starve or die of treatable diseases or be denied a good education, just because their parents aren’t rich. These “conservatives” might as well propose bringing back slavery, their thinking is so backward.

        They may look at the past through rose-colored glasses, but we couldn’t turn back time even if their fantasies were accurate.

    2. You seem to think Democrats would do the right thing only if they weren’t cowards. Only if we write enough letters to congress or to the local newspaper they’ll eventually do the Right Thing(TM). They aren’t cowards, they are corporate shills JUST LIKE the republicans. They don’t believe in government, civil society or a living wage anymore than republicans do. They’re both slaves to the bribes/campaign contributions the financial industry and other plutocrats dole out.

      No democrat in congress stood up to George Bush and his illegal wars, even after the republicans were voted out in 2006. We STILL have 50,000 troops in Iraq, plus another 150,000 mercenaries. Nothing has changed despite the musical chairs between republicans and democrats because despite all their bluster and in-fighting they all believe in the same bankrupt, race-to-the-bottom economic bullshit.

      1. If you think they’re all alike, you’re not looking closely enough. They all indeed must spend their careers working for campaign donations, and that’s the fault of our system. But they’re not all alike.

  3. The working Poor and Middle Class that vote Republican are the original beggars to their own demise. Too dumb to know it and too brainwashed by Newscorpse to care.

    The Democrats, on the other hand are reknowned for making unwise policy decisions at the worst possible times. I see this as being where the issue of money in elections and Lobbyist payola affects the Democrats more deleteriously. The Republicans know who they work for. (The Rich-new, old it doesn’t matter.) The Democrats know better and get co-opted in the legislative process. I still cast my lot with the Democrats because they’ll do the right thing every time they have a fifty/fifty chance of possibly outrunning the lobbyist/Republican money machine consequences.

    1. Rick I think our political system has reached some kind of gridlock and needs a fundamental change. I think it’s corrupted by special interests and wonder if we had more national referendums if that wouldn’t solve some of the problems.

    2. Rick, your first paragraph nails my feelings on the whole situation perfectly. The right wingers in this country literally make me throw my hands up in the air and just want to give up on all of them. I will never understand their position. Not to toot my own horn too much, but with a good job that’s not going anywhere and an advanced degree, if anybody is ever going to be able to survive in the environement these people want, it’ll be me. If anything, I vote Democrat for more them than for myself, and what is my reward? Being called a libtard and a socialist.

      So in short, I really hope I’ll be able to wash my hands of these people forever, but I know it’s never going to happen.

  4. •The government bailed out failing companies without punishing their executives
    •Wall Street gets a free pass even when it brings down the economy
    •Big businesses can get help from the government but not small businesses
    •The banks and bankers were saved but not home owners
    •The government is rigged for special interest groups
    •The government supports globalization over American workers
    •They don’t like illegal immigration
    •Congress helps itself more than it helps the people (my cousin emailed me as I write this a protest promoting a 28th amendment advocating no pension/no tenure for congressmen)


    You forgot a couple of VERY important issues that make people like myself vote Republican even though I probably agree with more Democratic stances on other issues. As usual, the extreme left (in case you’re wondering, that would be most of the people who posted on this page) have such a short sided view of things. People have been voting Republican forever while these issues you are mentioning are just things in the last few years. A couple of HUGE reasons why people don’t vote Democrat.

    •Their answer to EVERYTHING is more government involvement

    •They have this misguided thinking that bringing down the hammer of the IRS on the rich is going to have this huge impact on people’s everyday lives. They’re right, it would cause huge problems in that little thing called employment. The rich are going to make their money. If their paycheck is reduced by 10% then they will make 15% worth of cuts in their companies to make up for it. The only people this will help is the liberal special interests by putting more money into the hands of the government for them to spend on bullshit.

    •They promote racism in America by using race as a card they play for things when it’s convenient to do so. Don’t like Obama? You’re a racist. Don’t want to give your paycheck to someone who just doesn’t want to work unless they can walk in the door making 6 figures? You’re a racist redneck. They have huge supporters that are some of the biggest racist in the country (Jackson, Sharpton etc) who they welcome to their events. All people in this country, man, woman, “other”, black, white, yellow, green, purple etc should be treated EQUAL, not special. Special concessions are not made in other countries around race and they don’t have the same racial issues thatw e do in America. It’s because their government doesn’t promote it. Now, they’ll all kill each other over religion but not just race.

    •They want to take the money that I make by working my butt off and give it to people who just prey on the system. They feel that just because they don’t feel like working for a living that that shouldn’t prevent them from enjoying the same things that my family does. After all that might make them feel “less than” and that leads to low self esteem.

    •And I’m just throwing this one in here for fun but it’s probably accurate. It’s these same liberal beliefs that have led to sports where there are no losers. Everybody gets a trophy because we’re all winners. BARF! There’s winners and losers in life and the sooner kids learn that the better. It’s thinking like that that has created the situation in education we have today. If there are no winners then why try to apply yourself? If we’re all going to get the same paycheck, why work harder, longer or smarter?

    I’m not trying to be hateful here. Just trying to point out that there are other views in this country that have merit than just the liberals. Instead of doing what the asshats in Washington do and just throw stones at the other side and try to block anything that they try to do, we shoudl try to take each issue and actually make a real effort to meet in the middle somewhere. That place where the majority actually live. This cycle is pathetic. If a Republican is in office the democrats make him out to be the devil through lies and whatever other means. They try and block anything that president tries to get passed because it’s bad for the country. Stick a democrat in office and the the republicans do the same shit. What amazes me is how both act so shocked that the other party is doing it. Like they never have done it themselves.

    Stop hating on the other side and start really trying to undertsand where the other side is coming from. Then find a position that both sides can agree on. In other words stop being so damn hard-headed!

    1. I don’t want the rich to pay more taxes, I want them to pay their fair share. I feel this country has two forms of welfare, for the poor, and for the wealthy. And I don’t like paying taxes either, especially for people who should be standing on their own, like oil companies and farming industries.

      The trouble is shrinking the government and paying less taxes is millions of people of all kind will lose out, both poor and rich. I don’t want to live in a world with fewer teachers, policemen, firemen, soldiers, and a whole lot more poor people. I don’t want to live in an America that looks like Calcutta. I rather keep paying my taxes and have a big government where we have things like space programs and scientific research and PBS. I also want everyone to pay their fair share of taxes and get the government out of debt.

      Go ahead and make the government more efficient, cut the fat – but make it fairer too. If taxes were fair, and the government efficient, would it matter what size it was?

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