Why Do Working People Vote Conservative?
Conservatives tend toward a dominator mindset:
- Elite Republicans think the rich should rule/dominate
- Christian conservatives think Christians should rule/dominate
- Cultural conservatives think white, straight men should rule/dominate
Progressives tend toward a partnership mindset:
- Equal opportunity for all, regardless of class, race, gender, sexual orientation
To that end, liberals expect government to create equal opportunity by working against sexism, racism and homophobia. And classism:
Liberals use the law to help workers get a fair share of the profits they help to create. So they are pro:
- Unions: workers must be able to negotiate wages
- Profit sharing with workers
- Raising the minimum wage
- Structuring taxes so that no one who works for a living is living in poverty (Earned Income Tax Credit — EITC)
And they don’t think we should fund tax breaks for the rich with health care cuts to ordinary Americans.
So why do working people so often vote conservative?
Working people voting conservative
The conservative Republican party has been trying to do away with Social Security and Medicare for years. And weaken the educational system by creating vouchers — transferring money for public schools to private schools — and with high interest rates on college loans.
Yet they use words that hide what they seek:
- Privatize Social Security
- Turn Medicare into vouchers
- Privatize schools
Working people are harmed by elite-favoring policy but wealthy interests fund think tanks to create messaging like this:
- Your problems are caused by Mexicans, China, immigrants, blacks, people of color generally, and working women who take men’s jobs…
Divide and conquer the working class.
Taking off the blinders
During his campaign, at least Trump called out elite Republicans who only help elite interests, while ignoring working Americans.
Unfortunately, Trump joined the elites after taking office. I’m not sure why. Maybe policy just seems boring. Maybe he hoped to align with the powerful to keep power. Maybe he sought to enrich rich interests like himself.
But now even most Trump voters are rebelling against the latest Republican law that seeks to fund tax cuts for the rich with health care cuts to the rest of us. And they are bringing some moderate GOP Senators along with them.
Sneaking through an elite agenda
We’ll see if Republicans keep trying to sneak through an elite agenda. Examples:
- Voucherize (end) Social Security and Medicare
- Consumer protections cut so that corporate profits are gained by shackling the Consumer Protection Agency
- A right wing Supreme Court will ensure that big money becomes entrenched in politics, drowning out the voices of ordinary citizens.
- That same Supreme Court will make it more difficult for women to get birth control, a la the Hobby Lobby case.
- Then, women will have more children yet receive lower pay for equal work, if conservative Supreme Court rulings favoring Walmart over women are any indication.
- Meanwhile, Republicans want to cut taxes on the wealthiest and cut services for the rest of us.
I could go on…
They’ve already snuck through these changes:
- Environmental protections cut so that Big Oil and Coal profit while our air and water suffer. More hurricanes, tornadoes, and coastal flooding or drought and fires in the West… (Clean energy even creates more jobs!)
- Main Street will keep bailing out Wall Street via financial deregulation.
Call them on it
Call them on it advises the New York Times’ David Leonhardt.
- Where Republicans harm ordinary Americans, we must describe what’s really happening, clearly.
- And repeatedly!
What you can do
All of us must have conversations and write letters to the editor, or opinion pieces, or blog posts, or post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… and call and write our Congress members…
…so that laws that help elites but hurt ordinary citizens don’t keep sneaking through.
Posted on June 29, 2017, in politics/class inequality and tagged activism, conservative, dominator versus partnership, Fighting a conservative agenda, Progressive, Why do working people vote for conservatives?. Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.