Do lower classes vote against their own interests?

I recently stumbled across a thought-provoking picture I want to comment on.

Why poor and middle class Republicans vote against their own interest.   "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket.  Hell, give him someone to look down on and he'll empty his pockets for you."  Lyndon Johnson.
Poor Republicans voting against their interests?

I have mixed feelings here.

The landscape of racism has changed

On the one hand, I think that one cannot apply this quote straightforwardly to modern America (let alone to the modern Western world as a whole).

Luckily, horrendous discriminations against black people sanctioned by the law belong to the past. The large majority of modern-day Republicans believe in racial equality and the racist demagogy Johnson rightly decried isn’t very likely to be found nowadays.

There is no denial that black people are still suffering from revolting injustices, such as the consequences of the war on drug. But politicians demeaning them for getting white votes have obviously become much rarer.

In the modern Western World (at least in France and to a much more limited extent in Germany) one can clearly see the existence of an anti-white racism I have partially documented here.

There is a dangerous imbalance here: while racism against blacks and Arabs is (rightly!) as severely combated as it must be, anti-white racism is almost always swept under the carpet. This situation is one of the reasons why the fascist party “Front National” is progressively becoming the first political power of France. This can only foster a vicious circle of hatred.

This is why I consider it absolutely necessary to take all racisms seriously and combat them in the same manner.

The fact that white slave holders have committed atrocities during the course of history gives no justification whatsoever for bullying a young white boy in a schoolyard just because he appears to have the same skin color.

Many Western liberals (I prefer to call them Slaves of Political Correctness (SPC)  ) are upholding the myth that white males can only be oppressors and never be oppressed by other groups.

This refusal to face reality promotes extremism and creates an explosive situation which has already taken a dramatic shape in France.

Even if this makes me extremely unpopular, I must urge my fellow progressives to become real impartial enemies of injustice wherever it is found.

Poverty in America and political manipulation

10 things you should know about poverty in America.   1) 15.1 percent of population 2) Increase of 20% since 1962 3) Economic growth doesn't fix poverty. 4) American in deep poverty.
Poverty in America

On the other hand, I think that Johnson is completely right that the lower classes (and actually even the middle classes) are manipulated in Western democracies, especially America.

It is obvious that  the lack of social protection and unconditional access to healthcare goes against their interest.

As I pointed out in my last post, the idea that an invisible hand automatically takes care of everything is a wicked myth.

Self-interest + competition = invisible hand
The Invisible hand at work.

At most, such a process can only ensure the survival of wild capitalism which solely blesses a small wealthy minority.

Poor people who are voting for proponents of unlimited capitalism compound their misery in one of the worst ways one could imagine.

As a Christian, it sickens me to see the Christian Right misusing religion for upholding revolting inequalities.

In that respect, they fulfill Karl Marx’s verdict that religion is the “opium of the folk”.

Fortunately, it does not need to be.

At Patheos progressive Christian, Fred Clark did a great job debunking one of their favorite verses used for arguing against a charitable and compassionate State.

If we are sincerely concerned about justice, love and the suffering of innocents, we ought to reject political and economical structures leading to inhumanity.

I think there is overwhelming evidence that a society where the fight against poverty is limited to personal private donations is a fiery hell for the needy.

We need judicial laws instead of anarchy because we cannot count on all or  even most people freely choosing to avoid evil.

Likewise, we need laws protecting the poor instead of economical anarchy because we cannot expect a sufficient number of wealthy people to make donations large enough for meeting the needs of all of those suffering from poverty.

While I myself reject the concept of inherited sinful nature taught by Western Christianity, I think that the second point should be obvious to anyone believing that every human being is wicked from his birth on.

6 thoughts on “Do lower classes vote against their own interests?

  1. I feel you’re missing a very important aspect of this dialogue and likely due to your bias. Abandon any and all affiliation with any political party as part of your Christian identity and you’ll see the part of this picture that it is obscuring. Otherwise, you won’t.

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