Why people vote Republican

This is really interesting. Below is an except from the XX Factor column in Slate.com. You can read the full report here: http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/haid...t08_index.html

I'm intrigued by this interpretation, from psychology professor Jonathan Haidt on Edge ... about why people vote Republican. Haidt points out that mostly liberal academic psychologists have concluded that "conservatism is a partially heritable personality trait that predisposes some people to be cognitively inflexible, fond of hierarchy, and inordinately afraid of uncertainty, change, and death." And then right when he is about to lose me, for seeming pat and condescending, he writes:
"our diagnosis of conservatism gives us the additional pleasure of shared righteous anger. ... Our diagnosis explains away Republican successes while convincing us and our fellow liberals that we hold the moral high ground. Our diagnosis tells us that we have nothing to learn from other ideologies, and it blinds us to what I think is one of the main reasons that so many Americans voted Republican over the last 30 years: they honestly prefer the Republican vision of a moral order to the one offered by Democrats."
and
"the second rule of moral psychology is that morality is not just about how we treat each other (as most liberals think); it is also about binding groups together, supporting essential institutions, and living in a sanctified and noble way. When Republicans say that Democrats 'just don't get it,' this is the 'it' to which they refer."
I don't entirely understand why Democrats haven't generally persuaded more voters in the middle that they're also about binding people together. That's what Barack Obama's community organizer past was about, and yet somehow that job description was treated as a bad word at the Republican convention. But I think Haidt's framing of the challenge is useful. And humble, which is a nice change of pace from all the campaign clattering this week.
A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.

-Mohandas Gandhi
huh. I've never quite heard a republican say that. I'm more accustomed to explanations like this:

Explaining the Republican Philosphy
The vast majority of people I know who vote Republican have no money (are poor) so the redistribution of wealth fear must not be why they vote that way.

I've always assumed they vote that way because of religion...but I really don't know.
Or it could be that people vote Republican for many vast and differing reasons. Anyone I know who votes/has voted Republican has done so for economic reasons, not morals. However, not for being anti-welfare or something, but for the overall theories of how to spend money.

Also, this is the first time since Bill Clinton I felt the Democrats were actually nominating a candidate because they liked the candidate rather than because they wanted to beat a Republican. I think if the Democratic party spent more time working on building a strong foundation and reason to vote FOR them, instead of worrying about the Republicans so much, they'd do a whole lot better in elections.

The Democrats in my area have actually done a fantastic job lately. They realize that if a Republican has a good, sound policy they don't have to pick a different/not as good one simply to be different. And so they try to choose good policies based on what they believe in. I'm much more likely to vote for someone who is going to spend money to actually HELP people, as the proposals from more and more Democrats seem to emphasize, then if the money is just going to be thrown away without benefiting anyone, as the platforms I read in the past seemed to indicate.
The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
-Speckla

But at least the pews never attend yoga!
The vast majority of people I know who vote Republican have no money (are poor) so the redistribution of wealth fear must not be why they vote that way.

I've always assumed they vote that way because of religion...but I really don't know.
Originally Posted by Vaneda
I guess count me in on the first part. I'm probably poor by most people here's standards. I'm an almost 25-y/o single woman who makes under 30k a year despite working two jobs - one full time, one part time, having a (two year, granted) college degree, with no money in savings, no retirement, and some credit card debt for items like car repairs and dental work, not luxury items. I drive a 10 y/o vehicle, FINALLY have health insurance provided by my employer, and usually have no money left after I pay my bills, gas, and food. My family is even poorer than I am because they still live in my hometown and no one else went to college. I grew up in an 1,100 square foot house with five-six (depending) people living in it and one bathroom, with a household income of 18k and no insurance whatsoever. We ate a lot of pinto beans and balogna.

So I would guess all that puts me into the working poor category. Yet I am still conservative - Libertarian, really, but I've traditionally voted Republican. I'm not religious at all and while I am pro-life (not for religious reasons, but because I think a fetus is a life with rights), I am for gay marriage, and I think most drugs should be legalized for personal use. Back to the Libertarian thing I suppose.

Obviously, I don't vote Republican based on my morals or my religion (since I don't have any). And I don't vote Republican because it benefits me being in a higher tax bracket... lol. I do still pay a lot of taxes in, as I have no kids and only get the standard deduction and my own exemption, so I don't like the idea of paying more than I do now with no benefit to me whatsoever.

It IS about what NetG said, the way I think money should be spent, the way I think things should work, etc. I believe in a free market, capitalism, and in being rewarded for working hard, doing something well, and being able to move up in life and make something of yourself. I think the liberals have a lot of good ideas about how things should be and what they want, but I don't think they are always realistic and I don't like more taxes and more government involvement.

I think conservatives get a bad rap because people see them vote against things like minimum wage increases, universal healthcare, more benefits for the poor, and those people assume that the conservatives just don't care about people or that they are all rich. But it isn't that simple.

People generalize and simplify too much.
It IS about what NetG said, the way I think money should be spent, the way I think things should work, etc. I believe in a free market, capitalism, and in being rewarded for working hard, doing something well, and being able to move up in life and make something of yourself. I think the liberals have a lot of good ideas about how things should be and what they want, but I don't think they are always realistic and I don't like more taxes and more government involvement.

I think conservatives get a bad rap because people see them vote against things like minimum wage increases, universal healthcare, more benefits for the poor, and those people assume that the conservatives just don't care about people or that they are all rich. But it isn't that simple.
Here is the problem:
If you are wealthy, you are allowed to be average. Poor people have to be superman/woman and we won't expect anything less than them.

As for minumum wage jobs, we need people to sweep the streets, pick our fruit, bag our groceries, etc. I venture to say these people have more of an impact on your day to day life than some guy crunching numbers for some corporation. If someone is working, they should be able to support themself.
A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.

-Mohandas Gandhi
It IS about what NetG said, the way I think money should be spent, the way I think things should work, etc. I believe in a free market, capitalism, and in being rewarded for working hard, doing something well, and being able to move up in life and make something of yourself. I think the liberals have a lot of good ideas about how things should be and what they want, but I don't think they are always realistic and I don't like more taxes and more government involvement.

I think conservatives get a bad rap because people see them vote against things like minimum wage increases, universal healthcare, more benefits for the poor, and those people assume that the conservatives just don't care about people or that they are all rich. But it isn't that simple.
Here is the problem:
If you are wealthy, you are allowed to be average. Poor people have to be superman/woman and we won't expect anything less than them.

As for minumum wage jobs, we need people to sweep the streets, pick our fruit, bag our groceries, etc. I venture to say these people have more of an impact on your day to day life than some guy crunching numbers for some corporation. If someone is working, they should be able to support themself.
Originally Posted by BB
How do you think most rich people got to where they are? Some are lucky, sure. Some had it handed to them. I'll admit that just as readily as I will admit that some rich people (and some middle class and poor too!) cheat the tax system.

But the fact is, lots of rich people got rich by doing SOMEthing very well and working their asses off to move up in life. What makes you say they are allowed to be average? I don't understand what you mean.

There's a lot of risk vs. reward out there. I'm not rich. I'm pretty poor. I could take a huge risk and go out and start a business. It will likely fail. Or it may prosper. People do this every day. I assist all sorts of little people, every day, in filing the necessary paperwork to start a corporation or an LLC. It's part of my job. Lots of these small businesses grow and become big. Lots of them fail. That's just life and it isn't guaranteed.

Actually, I work in accounting, so someone crunching numbers is pretty important to my life. But that's not your point at all... I just thought it was ironic that you say that, hehe. I agree that people who work should be able to get by. But I think that setting and raising things like minimum wage only hurts us in the long run. Federal minimum wage has went from $5.15 to $6.55 over the past couple years. Do you think any of those people are doing better than they were two years ago? I doubt it.

Why do I say that? Because :
1) increasing minimum wage drives inflation. Businesses face higher payroll (and payroll tax!) expenses. They raise their prices.
2) Employers, especially of small businesses, are forced to cut hours to keep up with the increased labor costs, increased payroll taxes, higher prices THEY are paying for everything due to #1, above. This means that the person making minimum wage is either working a more stressful job than before, without enough staff to help, or their hours have been cut, so that they are not actually bringing home any more pay, but ARE paying more for taxes and more for essentially everything they are buying.

I think that less government control just simply works better. Things that look good on paper often don't work as well when practiced. They often affect more than just the worker or just the employer. They have an effect on all of us and our economy as a whole.

In a free market economy as we were intended to be, people would be rewarded for a good job. What good does it do someone to work a minimum wage job and work their ass off? None. Because the person standing next to them, drooling and scratching their butt while they're fixing your Big Mac, is making the same thing they are. Trust me, I've worked minimum wage jobs. I KNOW that it sucks. That's why I went to school and got out of that mess. Is it always easy? Of course not. There would also be healthy competition. McDonald's pays $6.00 an hour but Hardees pays $7.00. No one will work at McDonald's so they are forced to compete with Hardees and get some help. Very simplified, silly analogy, but I think it still applies.

To sum it all up, I think the government should stay out of a lot of things they are currently involved in, and it isn't because I am rich or because I don't care about people. It is because I think that they use these things to get votes - pretend they care, when they usually don't. And I think that things that look great on paper don't work so well, especially when the government is involved. They are wasteful and inefficient.
How do you think most rich people got to where they are? Some are lucky, sure. Some had it handed to them. I'll admit that just as readily as I will admit that some rich people (and some middle class and poor too!) cheat the tax system.

But the fact is, lots of rich people got rich by doing SOMEthing very well and working their asses off to move up in life. What makes you say they are allowed to be average? I don't understand what you mean.
I'm sorry I didn't explain this well (I work in the anti-poverty field and I'm pretty passionate about this). Here is a better example:

Up this year - and I believe public outcry had something to do with it - the starting salary for NYC police officers was $25,100. Compare that with the manager of one New York hedge fund who made $3.7 billion in 2007. That comes to $422,374 an hour. It took the hedge fund manager about three and a half minutes to make what a police officer earned in a year. I ask you: Who has the greater impact on people's everyday lives? Which job is harder/more dangerous? While technically $25,100 is above the poverty line, YOU try living on that much in NYC (and living in the city is a requirement).

And as far as rich people being allowed to be average: I think Bush has gotten pretty far in life considering how utterly average he is. I doubt he would be the leader of the free world if he was poor.
A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.

-Mohandas Gandhi

Last edited by BB; 09-14-2008 at 02:31 PM.
[quote=BB;720537]
And as far as rich people being allowed to be average: I think Bush has gotten pretty far in life considering how utterly average he is. I doubt he would be the leader of the free world if he was poor.
I completely agree with this. A lot has to do with where you start out.

I recommend the book Nickel and Dimed.
While I don't have allegiance to any party, the last time I voted republican was for Guiliani for mayor in NYC.

The mayor before him was David Dinkins - and was pretty much placed on a pedistal to help reform the crap from the previous mayor and he was the first black mayor of NYC. All I remember during that time was the city going to poo, seeing crack viles appear everywhere in my working-class neighborhood, my brother being beat up for having a bike, and his friends being assaulted for having a leather jacket. Bryant park (now well known for fashion week) permeated with piss and poo. I didn't feel safe, nor did my family feel safe.

Guiliani made me feel like he'll clean things up.

And when he did, I thought it was great. I even moved into Manhattan and felt safe walking the streets late at night (not that I did this a lot mind you).

Unfortunately, many innocent people suffered under Guiliani - specifically the poor, miniorities and small entreprenures.

From that experience, I've learned that when I cast my vote for anyone, it shouldn't be all about me. I need to think of how decisions impact others, and what I believe makes for a better society.

The social conservatism that has permeated the republican party lately has led me to vote independent or democrat.

I also believe in being rewarded for working hard, etc.

But I'm also very aware of how America's history has, continues to create an uneven playing field for too many.

I'm aware that the basics of capitalism is that there are winners and loosers. For some aspects of society, having loosers (ie healthcare, education) is far too great of a cost.

I'm aware that the Free Market is not the crux of American economics, as much as we've been led to believe that it is.

Until America truly addresses its sexism, racism, and tolerance for poverty, can we implement some of the economic policies embraced by libertarians.
hello.world.

Last edited by webjockey; 09-14-2008 at 09:42 PM.
While I don't have allegiance to any party, the last time I voted republican was for Guiliani for mayor in NYC.

The mayor before him was David Dinkins - and was pretty much placed on a pedistal to help reform the crap from the previous mayor and he was the first black mayor of NYC. All I remember during that time was the city going to poo, seeing crack viles appear everywhere in my working-class neighborhood, my brother being beat up for having a bike, and his friends being assaulted for having a leather jacket. Bryant park (now well known for fashion week) permeated with piss and poo. I didn't feel safe, nor did my family feel safe.

Guiliani made me feel like he'll clean things up.

And when he did, I thought it was great. I even moved into Manhattan and felt safe walking the streets late at night (not that I did this a lot mind you).

Unfortunately, many innocent people suffered under Guiliani - specifically the poor, miniorities and small entreprenures.

From that experience, I've learned that when I cast my vote for anyone, it shouldn't be all about me. I need to think of how decisions impact others, and what I believe makes for a better society.

The social conservatism that has permeated the republican party lately has led me to vote independent or democrat.

I also believe in being rewarded for working hard, etc.

But I'm also very aware of how America's history has, continues to create an uneven playing field for too many.

I'm aware that the basics of capitalism is that there are winners and loosers. For some aspects of society, having loosers (ie healthcare, education) is far too great of a cost.

I'm aware that the Free Market is not the crux of American economics, as much as we've been led to believe that it is.

Until America truly addresses its sexism, racism, and tolerance for poverty, can we implement some of the economic policies embraced by libertarians.
Originally Posted by webjockey
I'd like to co-sign on the red. This is an extremely important thing for people to consider. Too often do I hear people (primarily Republicans, but people from all points on the spectrum) say things like, "Well, I don't need <insert public service here>, so why should it be provided?" My one friend specifically, he's very very conservative. In talking recently the idea of universal healthcare came up. His logic was, hecan afford his health insurance and health care costs. So, WTF does he need universal coverage for? I pointed out that that was great for him, who'd had a pretty good streak of luck, but there are millions of people who didn't have the same advantages he had, the same skills he had, the same talents he had, and some people had little choice but to work three part time jobs in order to support their families and none of those jobs would be enough hours to get health insurance. And since going out and buying your own insurance costs an arm and a leg, where does that leave people who can't find one full time job to support themselves with? He didn't have an answer for that. He'd never thought about it.

I find that many Republicans around here vote for the party that will benefit the economic standing they wish they had, or that they believe they one day will have. They're voting to make their current lives harder so that one they Get There, or Make It, they'll have it easier. What they don't seem to get is that in the mean time, they're screwing themselves.
"And politically correct is the worst term, not just because it’s dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that it’s about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being “PC,” you’re not being forward-thinking or unique. You’re buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and you’re keeping those systems in place."
Stolen.
Skeptical of the liberal vision

Tuesday, September 9, 2008



Conservatives, as well as liberals, would undoubtedly be happier living in the kind of world envisioned by the left.
Very few people have either a vested interest or an ideological preference for a world in which there are many inequalities.
Even fewer would prefer a world in which vast sums of money have to be devoted to military defense, when so much benefit could be produced if those resources were directed into medical research instead.
It is hardly surprising that young people prefer the political left. The only reason for rejecting the left's vision is that the real world in which we live is very different from the world that the left perceives today or envisions for tomorrow.
Most of us learn that from experience -- but experience is precisely what the young are lacking.
"Experience" is often just a fancy word for the mistakes that we belatedly realized we were making, only after the realities of the world made us pay a painful price for being wrong.
Those who are insulated from that pain -- whether by being born into affluence or wealth, or shielded by the welfare state, or insulated by tenure in academia or in the federal judiciary -- can remain in a state of perpetual immaturity.
Individuals can refuse to grow up, especially when surrounded in their work and in their social life by similarly situated and like-minded people.
Even people born into normal lives, but who have been able through talent or luck to escape into a world of celebrity and wealth, can likewise find themselves in the enviable position of being able to choose whether to grow up or not.
Those of us who can recall what it was like to be an adolescent must know that growing up can be a painful transition from the sheltered world of childhood.
No matter how much we may have wanted adult freedom, there was seldom the same enthusiasm for taking on the burdens of adult responsibilities and having to weigh painful trade-offs in a world that hemmed us in on all sides, long after we were liberated from parental restrictions.
Should we be surprised that the strongest supporters of the political left are found among the young, academics, limousine liberals with trust funds, media celebrities and federal judges?
These are hardly Karl Marx's proletarians, who were supposed to bring on the revolution. The working class are in fact today among those most skeptical about the visions of the left.
Ordinary working class people did not lead the stampede to Barack Obama, even before his disdain for them slipped out in unguarded moments.
The agenda of the left is fine for the world that they envision as existing today and the world they want to create tomorrow.
That is a world not hemmed in on all sides by inherent constraints and the painful trade-offs that these constraints imply. Theirs is a world where there are attractive win-win "solutions" in place of those ugly trade-offs in the world that the rest of us live in.
Theirs is a world where we can just talk to opposing nations and work things out, instead of having to pour tons of money into military equipment to keep them at bay. The left calls this "change," but in fact it is a set of notions that were tried out by the Western democracies in the 1930s -- and which led to the most catastrophic war in history.
For those who bother to study history, it was precisely the opposite policies in the 1980s -- pouring tons of money into military equipment -- which brought the Cold War and its threat of nuclear annihilation to an end.
The left fought bitterly against that "arms race," which in fact lifted the burden of the Soviet threat, instead of leading to war as the elites claimed.
Personally, I wish Ronald Reagan could have talked the Soviets into being nicer, instead of having to spend all that money. Only experience makes me skeptical about that "kinder and gentler" approach and the vision behind it.
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, Cal. 94305. His Web site is www.tsowell.com.
.

Last edited by Amandacurls; 09-15-2008 at 10:02 AM.
I'm a liberal because I'm immature and refuse to grow up??? You're kidding right???
I almost threw my ovaries at him. - Trenell


I'm a liberal because I'm immature and refuse to grow up??? You're kidding right???
Originally Posted by ScrappyTam
Indeed, that op-ed was awfully condescending towards the left. We're not all blind idealists.
"And politically correct is the worst term, not just because it’s dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that it’s about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being “PC,” you’re not being forward-thinking or unique. You’re buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and you’re keeping those systems in place."
Stolen.
I'm a liberal because I'm immature and refuse to grow up??? You're kidding right???
Originally Posted by ScrappyTam
Indeed, that op-ed was awfully condescending towards the left. We're not all blind idealists.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT

And yet almost everything you see about Republicans is as condescending and negative toward them. Check out the original post if you don't see what I mean.


I think it's ridiculous to have all the pointing fingers and negativity on both sides. It comes down to different things being the most important issues to people, and they vote based on what's most important to them.
The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
-Speckla

But at least the pews never attend yoga!
^^
I didn't post to be condescending. I was curious to see how people felt about it - the guy who did the study ADMITTED that people characterize Republicans in a negative way but in fact, they could learn a heck of a lot about why people are drawn to the party.

"the second rule of moral psychology is that morality is not just about how we treat each other (as most liberals think); it is also about binding groups together, supporting essential institutions, and living in a sanctified and noble way. When Republicans say that Democrats 'just don't get it,' this is the 'it' to which they refer."
A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.

-Mohandas Gandhi
BB - I thought the article you posted was by someone who groups Republican supporters as a "them" and so is unable to see that they can have perfectly reasonable thoughts behind why they feel how they do. Calling liberals immature does the exact same. I didn't think *you* were saying Republicans are dumb or whatever, though.

The biggest mistake Barack Obama has made in my mind, as far as giving me warning signs about his capabilities as President, is his discussion of the rural folks Palin is courting.

Inner city kids and poor rural kids have many of the same fears, the poverty and lack of hope to leave their situation. Inner city kids have more fear of violence, obviously - but the overall life situations are actually not all that different a lot of the time. Separating and dividing into an "us" and "them" to me goes against both the Christian beliefs of loving all G-d's children, and the liberal beliefs of helping those who need help most. Yet both sides do this dividing and finger pointing.
The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
-Speckla

But at least the pews never attend yoga!
Banned
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 293
I've always wondered why people vote Democrat...any thoughts?
I'm a liberal because I'm immature and refuse to grow up??? You're kidding right???
Originally Posted by ScrappyTam
Indeed, that op-ed was awfully condescending towards the left. We're not all blind idealists.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT

And yet almost everything you see about Republicans is as condescending and negative toward them. Check out the original post if you don't see what I mean.


I think it's ridiculous to have all the pointing fingers and negativity on both sides. It comes down to different things being the most important issues to people, and they vote based on what's most important to them.
Originally Posted by NetG
I agree.

I find it really interesting to hear people say they think republicans vote based on what benefits them and that Democrats vote for the bigger picture.

I guess it could be a regional thing, but I see the exact opposite. From the Dems I know personally IRL, I hear a lot of, "They are for the little guy, like me and that's why I vote for them. I'm not rich enough to benefit from voting for a Conservative."

I actually have an acquaintance who says he is Libertarian but votes Democratic now because he's poor. One day, when he's rich, he will vote Libertarian or Republican. I told him he was being a moron, that it wasn't all about him, and that it is instead all about how you view things as a whole.

I've already expressed my thoughts on this and the fact that I'm not at all rich and have been quite poor, but I've always voted Republican. To me it IS about the big picture and that is why I vote the way I do. I have no hopes of being rich... atleast not realistic ones. I don't think that I will be. And I also don't think that Republicans favor the rich, while Dems all help the poor. I don't think it is that simple. If I thought that, I would likely vote very differently.
The vast majority of people I know who vote Republican have no money (are poor) so the redistribution of wealth fear must not be why they vote that way.

I've always assumed they vote that way because of religion...but I really don't know.
Originally Posted by Vaneda
I guess count me in on the first part. ...snip...

I think conservatives get a bad rap because people see them vote against things like minimum wage increases, universal healthcare, more benefits for the poor, and those people assume that the conservatives just don't care about people or that they are all rich. But it isn't that simple.

People generalize and simplify too much.
Originally Posted by Rheanna83



And that's not fair. Most conservatives that I know are very much about helping others, they just don't believe it is the government's job to do so much of it. Someone said something about society having an obligation to do certain things. In my experience, one of the things that libertarians and conservatives have in common with each other, and where they differ from liberals, is in how they define society. Libertarians and conservatives usually see society as "us" regular people doing something about things; liberals see it as them casting the right vote, and the government taking care of it.

Yes, I am sure there are many liberals who do help others, and give to charity, etc, so don't go off, please, I am talking about the philosophy that leads to voting. Liberals vote for the person who promises to get the government to do something about it (whatever it may be) and libertarians & conservatives vote for the guy who will let them keep more of their freedom and money, so that things can be done on a local and personal level.

Interestingly, that is also reflected in the way people give to charities. Research has consistently found (as was reported by on 20/20 http://newsbusters.org/node/9323 ) in 2006, that people who vote and call themselves conservative give more, much more, to charity than liberals. Apparently, conservatives put their money where their mouth is. Liberals want to put someone else's money there.


Yes, these are generalizations, but they hold true for a large majority.
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