You make it sound like you think they are stupid... I'm hoping that's not what you think and I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt, but just wanted to let you know that's how you are coming across. (at least to me maybe it's just me)Didn't really read the whole thread, but to kind of answer the OP question, we have to take into account that back in the day, the republicans had a pretty solid platform and a great number of americans were in fact republicans, it wasn't till the Reagan era that a shift happened. The reagonomics that favored the rich and slighted the poor is what really started dividing americans as a whole. So much so that a majority of independents are swingers who were once republicans and who abandoned the party because of the shift they didn't agree with, however these same people were also very reluctant to side with democrats, so they stayed in the middle and swung votes. There r however some people who have equated politics with conservatism and moral system. They remain republicans because they have wrongly defined what it meant to be republican. It's no longer a political clutch to them its part of their value system, its a way of life, they can't separate politics from faith, so they blindly vote a certain way because that's how they were raised. Now that the party has gone up in flames, they still can't seem to wake up and walk away because like i said it's their way of life.
But anyway you said that "they can't separate politics from faith" and this one I think you are right for at least some, me included. Here's why... my faith is part of me. It effect EVERYthing about me. I see the world differently because of that. Now I'm not saying that I want to force anyone else to believe the way I do, I don't, not at all. Forcing it would be wrong and my faith says that (see that's a way it effects me).
But here's how it effects how I vote. Abortion: I see life as a gift, not a burden and I see the unborn child as someone who needs protection, just like any other group of people who can't protect themselves. My faith is what makes me see it this way. So I think that child needs to be protected and that it's life has as much value as any other innocent person. Does this mean that it's the only issue I think about when casting my vote, absolutely not! And I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone on either side of the abortion debate that makes it the only issue.
Another example... Marriage... I see marriage as sacred. Now I'm not opposed to civil unions. Also I don't think it's for the Federal Government to decide. I think this is a state's right's issue.
Also I know of a lot pf people that were poor and while they may not be rich (remember money won't make you happy, and I can totally say that cuz I've had NONE before) they have done for themselves, used what help they actually needed and improved their lives. My husband is one example. He didn't do as well as he could have in HS and his parents couldn't afford to send him to college without him getting a bunch of loans. He was good with computers and knew that he could make a descent living with them if he could get trained. So he joined the Navy. He put in his 4 years and came out knowing a lot about computers because he worked hard at it. He saw countless guys that just did what they had to, didn't volunteer to help when there was a problem with a system. He's also seen guys that have come out and could have had the same knowledge that he did and they also didn't apply themselves and so they weren't able to do the job.
He's applied himself over and over to learn new things with computers and is always reading about what's the newest thing. And he's one of the best network guys a company could ever higher. He's gotten several certs and these are not easy to get, he's study hard for them.
Also when the dot com bubble burst he lost his job. He was out of work for several months and we had to sell our house as we couldn't afford it on what we then had coming in. We moved in with my mom for a few months, that didn't work out well, at all. So we bought (with all that we had from our house) a single wide trailer in a trailer park. We paid cash for it and it was not in good condition at all. It didn't even have central heat, we used a Karo heater, which meant that one of use had to get up in the middle of the night to refill it. It meant that the house was cold when we got home. We could have gotten government help I'm sure, but we didn't, why? We were making it on our own. We ate a lot of beans and rice meals. I got our grocery bill lower than anyone else I knew in our area. We also decided that we would no longer buy a car unless we could pay cash. Is that easy? No way, we've had to go down to one vehicle many times (in fact the only reason we aren't now is that his parents are moving up here soon and have left their truck here to making moving easier for them). With our tax return we will buy a car for him. One we can afford to pay cash for. Like I said this isn't easy. And we have sacrificed over and over. I've seen my friends not doing that, buying a new car every few years and buying a house that's at the top of their budget. And with all the HUGE houses that are all over America I think that this is happening more and more, and it's this idea that I have to buy the biggest house I can afford that's caused a lot of the problems that we have in this country.
Have we had help? Yes, other than his training in the Navy (which I think everyone would say he completely paid for by serving) it hasn't been from the government. We have been lucky that we could get help from family when needed. Now that hasn't been very often. For example when he was in the Navy I worked at Papa John as Asst. Man. we only had one car, a beat up old truck, it was an 88 dodge. When something broke on it we fixed it. Sometimes we needed help paying for the part, but we (yes I mean we, I did as much work on that truck as he did) fixed it. The same with our houses, when something breaks, we fix it. We do pay to get car repairs done now but that's because we can afford to. If something happened and we couldn't anymore then we could fix it ourselves.
Now I know we were lucky to be able to have family to help and not everyone has that. And I think that's where charities need to help, not the government. Let me ask you guys this, welfare as we know it was started in the 60's. So it's had 40 years for us to see if it's helped... has it? And I'm really asking here. Some have said that the poor stay poor. Why? Ben Franklin said "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." Sounds kinda harsh huh? Well I'm telling that my life when my husband was putting his time in and when and after he lost his job and had to take one for less than half of what he was making before was harsh.
Life is hard. And trying to make it not hard is just setting someone up to fail. And that's why I'm against the government running all the programs that they do. The government doesn't help the poor not be poor, it helps them stay that way.
And I have also seen it abused, over and over. I have seen people on welfare with cell phones and designer jeans and hundred sneakers. I'm sorry but if you are on welfare you shouldn't be buying any of those and if someone else is buying them for you, maybe that person should help you to get off of welfare.
We've gone without so that we could have a future and I don't think it's too much to think that others should do the same.