A good friend asked me to go with him to a political forum and, as usual, I jumped at the chance. It was a democratic 'friend-raiser' featuring one of our local candidates as speaker. As it was wrapping up, the candidate was asked a common question the Left has a 'stock' answer for, and he gave it;

"Why do working class Americans, or the really poor, vote Republican? Don't they understand that this is the 'rich guy' party who aren't going to do a thing to help their situation?"

The stock answer is; "They have been duped by the Republican party machine. Denial, lies and repetition brainwashes these folks into following along like lemmings against their own best interest". Though I have used this response myself, I always knew that it wasn't the whole answer. As such, I would add something along the lines of: "It's like a French Revolution in reverse in which the workers come pouring down the street screaming 'more power to the aristocracy'." to get a laugh. It's how I justified using it.

Many folks think that Republicans have duped voters into voting against our own self-interest by using cultural issues ("Vote for us and we'll protect the flag!"). Conservatives make promises like "We'll make English the national language of the United States. Even more, we'll prevent gays from getting married when their... uh, getting...married." Then with a magicians sleight of hand they toss in, "Somewhere along the way, we'll cut taxes on the rich, cut benefits for the poor and allow big corporations to dump toxic waste in your drinking water. But, pay no attention to that. Remember, WE are the ONLY ones who can save you from those Gay, Spanish Speaking, Elitist Flag Burners we warned you about!"

This is just another way of saying that Republican Party affiliation among working class Americans is a result of effective use of 'wedge' issues related to race and religion. Issues like Abortion, Affirmative Action, Gay Rights, Social Security, Welfare and, of course, Personal Responsibility. All of which are extremely polarizing - they also get the job done.

"But", I pointed out "You can't discount the 'anger' factor. Some of these folks simply resent having their interests decided for them by politicians who think they know best based solely on party ideology."

There is nothing voters hate more than being excluded from the process and then having things explained to them as though they were idiots. An example of this is how the Right tends to win a lot of arguments even when the facts are on the Lefts side. As the old saying goes, 'In politics, when you are explaining, you are losing'.

The Republicans have learned how to stoke up resentment against the patronizing 'Liberal Elite'. The 'do-gooders' who assume they know what's best for everyone and even what poorer people ought to be thinking. Right-wing politics has become a vehicle for channelling this popular anger against intellectual snobs who spend quite a bit of time explaining positions. Usually in a manner that doesn't go over very well with their audience. The result is that many of America's poorest citizens develop a deep emotional attachment to a party that mainly serves the interests of its richest. And most Liberals believe that this is an unfair reaction to their trying to be helpful... (whah!)

Problem is, the Left typically thinks that a central component of fairness is 'equality'. That means they are really sensitive to issues of fairness or gross inequalities - specifically along racial or ethnic lines. But the broader meaning of fairness is about 'proportionality'. This is the central point for conservatives -- 'Are people getting rewarded proportionally to the amount of work they have put in to a common project?" They are saying that 'equality of outcome' is only appropriate when everyone has 'contributed an equal share'.

Conservatives are much more sensitive to potential slackers, who they believe are trying to game the system and others who they view as not contributing their equal share. And you know what? I actually believe there is some validity to this argument And so do a lot of working class Americans.

But, these voters have become blinded to their real self interests. Whatever working Americans think they are voting for, in fact, they are getting something quite different.

Most of you have heard me say 'From those whom much is given, much is expected.' It's my personal philosophy. It's how I try to live my life. And it's what I think is missing from the Republican party today. Proportionality is fine, until it gets completely out of balance. Which is exactly the case when 1% of our citizens take in 90% of the income and then conspire together or corrupt the system to maintain this inequality.

One of the big problems that Lefty-Liberal politicians have is thinking that things are obvious, when in fact, they are not obvious. So, I'm going to point out a few 'obvious facts' on why working class Americans vote Republican. Here goes;

- Liberals often commit the ultimate sin in modern politics; appearing to take these voters for granted. If you want their vote, get it the old fashioned Republican way, lie to them.

- Working American's don't like wussies or intellectuals. The Democrats are always nominating wussies and intellectuals — men who are arguably not men. Kerry? Gore? Dukakis? Liberal Intellectual Wussies. Not real men. Bad people are out there trying to kill us. We need to kill them first. That takes men. Voters can't be sure these guys would even pull the trigger if they ever had the chance.

- They worry (a lot) about money. And who wants to take their money away? Liberals, of course. Liberals want everybody to get money, except the folks who earned it. By definition, working class Americans work hard for their money. They would like to keep some even though that are 10 times more likely to need the social safety nets the democrats fund with this money

- Many who lose out under the existing system still see democratic reform policy (i.e. Federal mandates) like they are the ultimate betrayal. Liberal Elitists telling them how to live their life and the only place working class Americans think they can do anything about it is in the voting booth.

These voters feel like Republicans are more authentic then Democrats. They are convinced the Republicans are on their side. I believe 'authenticity' has replaced economics as the driving force of modern politics. 'Authentic' Republican politicians are the ones who convince you they are speaking from the gut, not the (liberal) cerebral cortex. That the Republicans feel your pain. Of course, they are almost surely faking it. But it is no joke to say that in contemporary politics, if you can fake authenticity, you've got it made.

We are in a culture war. But it is not simply being driven by traditional wedge differences over abortion, or religion, or patriotism. And it is not simply Red states vs. Blue states any more. It is a war on the entire political culture, on the arrogance of politicians, on their slipperiness and lack of principle and on their endlessly selling us out to lobbyist's. BOTH political parties are guilty of this behavior and we need to shut them down. Now.

Democrats; do yourselves a favor, show the other side you can take responsibility and 'man-up'.

Republicans; quit trying to squeeze blood out of that penny and be honest about who you really work for.

Because, we as a country are starting to wake up. Once enough of us have cleared the sleep from our eyes you are going to be in deep trouble. And, as for me? I'm pretty pissed off - and that makes me your worst enemy. I'm the 'non-aligned' voter. And I'm here to hold you accountable.



Eric J. Kiser

Eric J. Kiser

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