Saturday, November 1, 2008

Republican by Default?

As a dyed in the wool Libertarian, I am begrudged to admit that Barrack Obama had the rural religious vote, and the rural hunting vote figured out way back in 2004.

Many republican policies hurt middle and lower class America. Many of these folks also happen to be hunters. Hunters in general, but hunters in the rural districts specifically tend to be Republican, even though republican governance tends to hurt them in the pocket book.

Why is this? It is tempting to argue that they are voting on moral absolutes and on principle, not economics. But it's actually much simpler than that. They perceive the Republican party as "their" party, because they do not feel like they are understood or valued by Democrats.

So how does this work? Well, let's look at a make-believe constituent we'll call "Jimmy the Hunter".

Jimmy the Hunter believes in Guns and God. And in that order - if it were the other way around he would be Jimmy the Evangelical.

--- One party makes it clear that they are supportive of people in Jimmy's tax bracket, but they think Jimmy is a backwards redneck who is worthy only of high-brow ridicule, not respect as a living, breathing -thinking- voter.

--- The other party makes it clear that they are very supportive of people in Jimmy's boss' boss' tax bracket, and they beat the drum that says Jimmy will get a 'trickle down benefit', but of course it hasn't really worked out that way in real life. But they don't scorn him for his core beliefs. Indeed they try to convince him that they are all about Guns and God too... our real priorities are going to cost you a few thousand dollars a year, but to us you are family, welcome home Jimmy!

Now does Jimmy really believe in this love fest? Not really. But given the choice of supporting a party that openly mocks you and people like you, or supporting the other party that welcomes you with open arms (even if it isn't totally in your best economic interest) and claims a desire to preserve those things you hold dear? Most Jimmys choose the latter.