Not a day goes by when I don’t see poor conservatives praising Republicans and writing long, poorly-spelled rants about liberals. All you have to do is go to your local news Facebook page like my local KATC or KLFY and you can witness self-proclaimed experts blaming all of their problems on President Obama, welfare recipients or Democrats.
These commenters smugly recite right-wing sources like Fox News, Breitbart or Infowars in their argument while claiming that Donald Trump will “make America great again.”
There are a number of reasons why these people are voting against their self interests, and we’ll discuss them here.
The following are five reasons why I think they do so, and feel free to let me know if I missed something.
5. Economics: Due to corporate greed and outsourcing, jobs have steadily disappeared and have been replaced with low-paying options like working at Wal-Mart instead. Rather than blame the culprits, the conservative media has been very successful in telling working class people that liberals, immigrants and the government are at fault – all while continuing to sell the lie of trickle-down economics.
4. Religion: Christianity has been hijacked. The teachings of Jesus Christ tell Christians to take care of the poor, help the sick, and render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. There are many progressive Christians who reject the the message of the Republican Party, but they have been drowned out by the likes of right-wing extremists like Ted Cruz or Michele Bachmann. The Christian Left and others are fighting back against this horrific mutation of Christianity, and they need your help.
3. Welfare: Even though many working conservatives rely on government assistance to make ends meet, they have been told that everyone else who utilizes welfare is a loser who just wants a handout. Going back to the Christianity point, Jesus is written as a crusader for the downtrodden. Yet, the religious right resembles the Pharisees and Sadducees far more than they mirror the teachings of Jesus.
2. Guns: Guns are a big part of rural America. Reasonable liberals understand the difference between a hunter in Wyoming owning a deer rifle and gun traffickers buying firearms in states like Georgia and then reselling them in Chicago to gang members for a profit. The NRA and Republicans have run a decades-long campaign of convincing legal gun owners that gun regulations that prevent terrorists and criminals from purchasing firearms are part of conspiracy to take away their 2nd Amendment rights.
1. The Media: There is a conservative media and then there is a loosely-organized liberal media. Both of them are mostly for-profit, and this includes Fox News, MSNBC, and the thousands of other entities which tell people what they want to hear – the facts be damned.
The left has failed to fight back against these propaganda campaigns with the appropriate force and fact-checking. Far too often, we also fall into the trap of confirmation bias and even hatred when dealing with our ideological adversaries. I have seen liberals cite The Daily Caller and even Breitbart, simply because of a headline that they like and share, without even checking the souce.
If we want to win back Congress and state legislatures, we need to vote, and educate the working class about the true culprits for their plight. Unless we do, we will see a Donald Trump presidency and the continued rule of conservative policies to the detriment of America.