Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Poor Republicans

Here is David Brooks’ take on recently released Pew Research report, "Beyond Red vs. Blue." Brooks says the report shows that the lower middle class votes GOP because they believe that America is the land of opportunity. " According to the Pew study, 76 percent of poor Republicans believe most people can get ahead with hard work. Only 14 percent of poor Democrats believe that. Poor Republicans haven’t made it yet, but they embrace what they take to be the Republican economic vision - that it is in their power to do so. Poor Democrats are more likely to believe they are in the grip of forces beyond their control.

The G.O.P. succeeds because it is seen as the party of optimistic individualism." Bush’s increase in domestic spending is well received by these folks, Brooks argues. "Poorer Republicans support government programs that offer security, so long as they don’t undermine the work ethic. Eighty percent believe government should do more to help the needy, even if it means going deeper into debt. Only 19 percent of affluent Republicans believe that."

Discussions - 11 Comments

"Poor Democrats are more likely to believe they are in the grip of forces beyond their control."

This should not be surprising, since it is the DEMACRAPS general philosophy to create a dependent constituency; commonly referred to as "learned helplessness."

Hey Tom, that’s a real hoot!!! DEMACRAPS!!! I get it! What are you doing wasting your time on this blog, buddy, when you could be doing little comedy skits on FoxNews??!!! DemaCRAPS!! Genius! Sheer genius!!! If the comedy career falls through you could always start an AM radio show, or maybe be an official blog contributor here at No Left Turns!

Hey, about "limocrats?" Or even "DemWits?" After all the names people like you call conservative Republicans, turn about is fair play. And I notice you aren’t challenging his basic assertion that the goal of Democratic policy is to create captive electorates.

Democrats are amazing, aren’t they? They can dish it out, but sure can’t take it.

Currently the most influential Democrats are Feinstein, Boxer and Pelosi from California and Kerry, Kennedy, Leahy from the New England area. Now there is a vast void between San Francisco and Boston/New York. Unless the Democrats can connect with these people see:( the Democrats will remain a minority party for a long time.

I don’t see it as possible, considering the arrogance of the current leadership. "So the Democrats need a little more humility, a notion that the country is not so much an us/them dichotomy, but rather all of us together under siege to maintain our privileges in a tough global world — and at least one spokesman who either didn’t go to prep school or isn’t a lawyer."- Hanson

And the current leadership of the party wonders why Senator Zell is giving them hell.

Sadly, my fellow democrats have lost the ability to reason. This is because for so long the media has been acting as the public relations branch of the left wing of the DNC, and the universities have been acting as the indoctrination bureau of the more leftist democrats and beyond.

All you ever heard was the leftist message repeated like a broken record. No one anticipated the hated talk radio jocks or the much reviled Foxnews. Much less did the leftists who have ruined my party anticipate the internet, and the quantum leap in personal expression these new electronic media would provide.

I would like to do away with the leftists and get my party back. But sadly it is in the hands of the most idiotic of the idiotic left. They probably will not let go of their chokehold anytime soon.

Hmm, that’s an authentic Massachusetts Institute of Technology prof there, folks. I’m a former Democrat, too. I voted for Carter in 1980, but my sin was the stupidity of youth. By 1984 I could understand that everything being said about Reagan was a bare-faced lie, and I haven’t looked back since.

It was surmised after the 2002 midterm debacle, that Dems better reconsider their left-leaning positions. So they promptly gave us gay marriage and Fahrenheit 9/11.

Post 2004, it’s just more of the same, with lousy leadership to boot. Reid and Dean are a real team of abject hooters, man. Gutter tripe seems to about the only serious dialoug they’re capable of. Bush continues to run circles around these dimbulbs as they continue with their heads in the garbage can with CBS News et al.

My guess is that it might be gettin’ so bad in the Democrat’s smelly camp that even Hillary’s thinkin’ about switching parties! ;)

The Leadership of the Democratic Party doesn’t speak for all of us. There are some of us left that still believe in personal responsibility, work ethic and hard work. The thing that keeps us Democrats is the radical attitudes the Republican party is adopting on eveything else. If they were still the party of smaller government, I consider them..but I don’t want them telling me my decisions need to be based on their idea of Christianity. They are turning militant in their fanatical religious zealotry and I want no part of that.

I just dug some of the old Ashbrook bumper stickers "Vote Republican... It’s Less Taxing" out of an old box of stuff left over from John’s campaign for U.S. Senate. It’s a message that resonated with the middle class in Ohio who saw little benefit from expanded federal spending and who were more impacted by higher taxes than upper income groups.

The Republican Party has become the party of the little guy. Democrats seem to have abandoned them in a rush to embrace illegal aliens and felons.

And here I thought that bumper sticker "wisdom" was only for liberals!

I wonder how many of the commenters bothered to actually read the Pew report in question? It would appear not many, as the Pew report challenges a few stereotypes on all sides, and the commenters largely appear enmeshed in reinforcing favored stereotypes. It’s worth reading before commenting.

One of the research based results of the Pew report is that the Republican party’s platform accurately represents the politics of affluent Republicans but diverges signficantly from poor Republicans. The Republican party is not representing "the little guy" especially well, although it does appeal well enough to their values to gain a (slim) majority, and may continue to do so.

What’s the difference? In advertising it has long been said that you don’t sell the steak, you sell the sizzle. That is, most people don’t make rational decisions based on neutral evaluations of objective data, they are moved emotionally and largely unconsciously and then their intellect fills in with reasons. A good and well funded PR campaign works "pretty well", for Democrats or Republicans in today’s climate - the appearance is more important than the underlying reality, as very few people do any research that might challenge the conclusions which emotionally appeal most to them. Emotional TV ads about ’felons’ play big in people’s consciousness even if they are anecdotal and contradicted by statistics - images trump numbers.

Currently, the political balance is very tight - with two presidential elections that were extraordinarily close. If both parties had had equal funding it probably would have been closer still, or tilted slightly to the Democrats instead of slightly to the Republicans. Neither party has any overwhelming mandate!

Look at the Pew reports statistics about health care or minimum wage or Bush’s tax cuts and see if the Republican party is representing the "little guy" or the population, or if they are representing a small economic elite. I mean that - please don’t comment until you have followed the Pew Report link and read down to the economic statistics. There is truly overwhelming support (no slim majorities) for things like raising the minimum wage. That might or might not be wise (I’m not arguing either way), but it’s clearly a strong mandate from the overall populace which is completely throttled by a small Republican elite.

One commenter thinks that the Democrats have no support outside the liberal east and the west coasts, and the Democrats have indeed lost some of their potential followers by taking on "radical" issues. However, the Republicans are at least a vulnerable; there is a real world disparity between their policies and the perceived self interests of a majority of Americans. This disparity has been covered over with patriotism and fear of terrorism, along with promises of economic good times. Selling sizzle only goes so far and so long if the steak actually tastes bad. If the economic recovery founders (eg: oil prices), the Republicans could be in big trouble - and not just on the coasts!

The first commenter, Tom, makes one of the few intriguing hypotheses (which he probably considers proven fact). Does the Democratic platform foster "learned helplessness"? Perhaps he has actually read some of the output of the "Positive Psychology" movement whose term he uses. Learned helplessness is a condition people fall into when their efforts to improve seem repeatedly thwarted and the essentially "give up" and distrust their ability to make a difference. It does not arise from "being catered to", like being a spoiled teenager. I don’t see that the Democrats particularly foster conditions of learned helplessness, but I’d be interested in more thought on that.

I would more associate it with the earlier concept of "internal locus of control" versus "external locus of control", which are closer to personality traits than conditioned responses. The Republicans may appeal more to people with internal locus of control personalities (among other traits). In general, internal locus of control personalities are more successful - even if sometimes they are less accurate in assessing situations where there are objective measures to compare against. It’s more "empowering" to believe that you can make the difference and acting accordingly. This could be a Republican strength and Democratic weakness - perhaps fostered not by Democratic policies "creating dependencies" but just by different appeal to different personalities. It’s worth more research.

Anyway, these words are probably wasted on people who prefer to use terms like "democrap" and stereotype anybody who differs. Some might possibly decide I must be radical leftist ideologue to be disparaged and ignored, because I point out that the Pew Report suggests that Repulicans are at least as vulnerable as Democracts, if their sizzle falls flat and they don’t deliver the goods they have promised to "average" Americans because the party’s real platform has been captured by an elite (even if the PR still sells to some in the lower economic classes for now). I think a more moderate and inclusive Republican party, or Democratic party, could improve the country. I’m actually an independent who would rather understand both sides than demonize either. A vanishing breed it sometimes seems.

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