A very common question is asked by many people and at many times. Why is it that individuals that are not rich support a political party that works for only the rich and not them? I put forth that there are no simple answers. It may be that each individual falls into one or more categories listed below. Also, individuals might not follow logic and try to work for their best interests and thus do not fit into any of these categories but are just so disconnected from the political process making a totally ignorant decision while voting in the voting booth. Let me list the possible options for your consideration:
Education Lack of proper education may lead to ignorance of political and economic issues. The ability to connect the dots is assumed as just one of that many end results of a good education. There are a lot of reasons why this mind analysis was not taught in school and not appreciated or practiced in real life. Poor school performance, lack of cause and effect training and practice in this methodology may have been lacking. Connecting the dots is typically an assumed outcome of a good education but is not measured as a school activity or achievement and may be missing in some individuals. Oddly enough I found that individuals that can troubleshoot a problem in engineering which really entails connecting dots in that field but then can not carry that learning over to politics.
“We connect the dots in ways that take advantage of the skills, perspectives, and commitments we already have.”
Simplicity Individuals need simplicity, simple answers in a very complex world. Here are possibly two types of individuals. The first is simply not being that bright about politics and economics. This individual is frustrated and anxiety ridden about the mishmash within politics and economics and avoids the complexity by turning toward Republican values which are typically simple. The second individual parachutes in from time to time to delve in political thinking because their life is so full of other adventures and concerns. They are not stupid but they might be about the issues, they just don’t take the time to more completely understand what the nation is facing at that particular moment, make a snap decision that might not be in their best interests.
Stability Individuals need regularity and stability in their lives. This is somewhat similar to the simplicity factor but different slightly as it covers a slightly different personal need. Some individuals avoid complex living patterns and seek and look forward to routines that offer comfort. Comfort can be found in simple endeavors. This individual is often times a the religious type, gravitating to the regularity of following a well defined program of behavior. They typically follow religious preachings that there can only be marriage between a man and a women, there can only be one race, white, there can only be Christianity, there can not be abortions, no stem cell research on fetus tissue, etc. Here in is another added benefit, a symbiotic relationship that religion and politics affirm one another, quite a powerful combination for the Republican Party to posses.
Facts do not matter. Believe it or not, there are individuals that just will not process facts and information where the outcomes result in benefit to that individual. The person who smokes knowing it will harm and kill is a simple but extreme example. Individuals simply will not follow activity that benefits them from time to time. Substance abuse is a extension of the smoking example. There it the parent and peer factor too that propels individuals to hug a particular political thinking. There is a very large population of children from parents that instilled a belief that the Democratic Party is socialism. I know of one individual that was told by his father that unions are evil and he has turned toward conservatism ever since. One web site puts forth the view that some people are indoctrinated. I was told by one father that he would not allow his daughter becoming a Democrat so long as he paid for her education.
Bubble of ignorance. Some people float in a bubble of ignorance, not because they are stupid but they do not read newspapers or news magazines, thus pretty much are unengaged with the political process, just don’t feel the need to study issues.
Nuance Some individuals seem incapable of detecting and appreciating nuance. This can be any age group. They only value simple and large issues and can not or will not core down to some important but important short lived events. Large issues are often times simple for most people to understand. The loud simple issues function the same as bullet points do in a document outline or work the same as a house frame before the stucco siding, fill in and detail are applied. For example, the issue of timing of a second recovery effort is critical for stimulating another economic recovery. The first Obama stimulus package did work but stalled out after a while. The government has spent billions in economic stimulus which rankled a lot of people, and for good reason. The Tea Party views the huge expanding debt as ruinous for this country, which it can be if not applied correctly. Economists are saying we still need to stimulate the economy a second time and once the economy is on the mend, start the process of cutting back government expenditures to swing back to a better and responsible budget. This process of pressing on the gas TWICE and then applying the brakes is not appreciated by a lot of people.
I will be rich. Belief that some day I will be rich was told to me by a promenade lawyer as being what he believed to be the reason why the poor gravitate toward conservatism. The huge number of people who play the lottery each week just might populate this category.
Romantic There are romantic individual that embrace the chivalry aspect of hugging the US Constitution, a sort of patriot to the core self presentation and thinking it leads to self preservation. The Republican Party typically stands closer to the original meaning of the Constitution, not allowing interpretation. Counter to the Republican party is the Democratic Party which is thought of as being progressive, wanting change to improve individuals lives which may seem to sway a bit from rigid interpretation of the Constitution.
Business and profession beliefs. Some individuals follow certain business beliefs. Police and engineers like order and typically vote Republican. But the recent attacks by the Republican Party against police and fire unions and laying off thousands of public protection services may have changed that trajectory.
Ethnic propensity There may be ethnic propensities that favor the Republican Party. Individuals from foreign countries wishing to be accepted as American with less problems, might gravitate to the right because the right has had a history of violence against non believers. Separate but within this category are the immigrants from Vietnam who escaped communism, an extreme form of socialism. We might see more of these individuals choosing the Republican Party values. Republicans have been seen as being against communism than the Democrats.
Cuban Americans also vote Republican because of Communism. “In the Democratic Party’s economic program they hear echoes of the communist countries which they fled.” People equate the Democratic Party with socialism because they think in terms of helping everyone, not just a small constituency.