“Let Them Eat War.” Why do the very Americans who have been hurt the most by George W. Bush’s policies still support his presidency? As someone from a predominantly working class – yet staunchly Republican – part of the country, this is the kind of stuff I wonder about.

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  1. Good article–and something I wonder about all the time down here (though in a much less diplomatic fashion: “Why in God’s name do these poor people keep voting for Republicans? Don’t they know Repulicans hate them?”). I think a lot of it comes down to being uneducated about the government and its policies–sometimes I want to shake people and ask them if they realize how many social programs that they need to LIVE would vanish if a lot of Republicans had their way.

    [Insert picture of me throwing up my hands in disgusted bewilderment.]

  2. Total agreement here, Max. I especially liked the author’s mention of deflecting the working class’s negative opinion *down* and *out* – to “foreigners”, blacks, and the less fortunate – instead of *up* at the rich class that are exploiting them.

  3. To be honest, I don’t think any of them really care about poor folk — or even us middle class folk. All politicians pander to whichever group they think they can exploit to their advantage. I’m disgusted enough by the lot of them that if I didn’t know better, I wouldn’t even bother to vote for any of them.

  4. Your cynicism depresses me, Moire, because I recognize that I’m not far off from that point myself. But I’m not there yet. I have to believe that they’re not all rotten to the core. Nobody’s perfect, of course, but there are governments (both abroad and locally within the US) that do things *better*. I think there’s room to hope for improvement within our own national leaders. I mean, look at Dean’s (misunderstood) comment about wanting to appeal to “guys with Confederate flags on their trucks”. To me, that’s a rejection of the “with us” vs “against us” black-white either-or mentality we’ve had for too long in the US. It’s a step in the right direction, anyway.

    (Not that I’m endorsing Dean just yet. Everytime I mention him on this site I get e-mails from his supporters asking me to coordinate his Australian Internet campaign. While I admire their enthusiasm, I haven’t done enough research on the candidates to promote one of them yet.)

  5. Australian campaign for Dean? [Jon Stewart voice]Whaaaaaaaaa?[/] Anyway I thought the article raised a good question but it didn’t answer it to my satisfaction. It’s a hard question to answer. I find myself really buying into the red state/blue state dichotomy lately, ie, there are fundamental cultural differences mostly along urban/rural lines. I would agree that Republicans exploit that with very effective pandering while hiding their main corporate-funded agenda. But (as per Moire) Democrat politicians pander to big business too. But what I like is that Democrats as a whole is that we are populists by nature. I think if the Democrats can embrace the populism that is the core of party and abandon the weak pandering and Bush-apologism they really have a chance to motivate voters in 2004. And then we won’t have to whine about the red states.

  6. Excellent points, Dan. (The Dean thing was to lead the Australian “expat” campaign. That guy’s got groups and websites set up all over the world!)

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