They Aren’t Voting Against Their Interests

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Admit it: You’ve wondered many times why so many people vote against their own interests. Perhaps you’ve included some character assassination adjectives into your question now and then. Well, the simple answer is that nobody is voting against themselves. We all vote for what we feel is most important to us and that isn’t always as obvious as we might imagine it to be.

In a most clear and enlightening article in the New York Times, The Peculiar Populism of Donald Trump, Thomas B. Edsall cites the work of Ronald Inglehart and Pippa Norris published by the Harvard Kennedy School. The piece makes clear the massive cultural changes that have significantly and negatively impacted millions of people, such that what they care about most and what they deeply fear have shifted, and so has the voting behavior of these people.

Here are some excerpts from the conclusion of Inglehart and Norris’ original work:

“Less educated and older citizens, especially white men, who were once the privileged majority culture in Western societies, resent being told that traditional values are ‘politically incorrect’ if they have come to feel that they are being marginalized within their own countries. As cultures have shifted, a tipping point appears to have occurred.”

“.  .  .  the rise of populist parties reflects, above all, a reaction against a wide range of rapid cultural changes that seem to be eroding the basic values and customs of Western societies.”

“.  .  .  it would be a mistake to attribute the rise of populism directly to economic inequality alone. Psychological factors seem to play a more important role.”

Read the Times piece and it’s likely, you’ll come away with a better understanding of what happened in the last election and you just might find a bit of compassion for “those people.” If you’re feeling ambitious, read the original research.

Just get that we need a heaping majority of citizens to demand better if we are to stop the insanity of killing our democracy and instead create a more perfect union. How we communicate with one another is and will be critical.

Also review No, people really aren’t turning away from democracy and How to stop arguing and actually change someone’s mind on social media.

In Other News

The Republicans in Congress want to do away with restrictions to severely mentally ill people owning firearms. At the same time, Governor Rauner of Illinois wants to make silencers legal. What could possibly go wrong?

From the Chicago Tribune editorial on February 4, addressing National Security Advisor Mike Flynn having warned the Iranians that they have been put “on notice” following their test of a ballistic missile:

“Putting Iran ‘on notice’ sounds like Dean Wormer’s menacing but vague ‘double secret probation’ from the 1978 movie Animal House.”

Just for fun, have a look at what the countries of Europe are saying to President Trump and his Inauguration Day declaration of America First. This started in the Netherlands and offerings are continuing to be posted from more countries. Just click on any flag, sit back and enjoy. Thanks go to LR for pointing out this site.

And finally  .  .  .

Action Alert!

Many people want to stop wringing hands and actually DO something to make things better. Perhaps that describes you. Easy. Go to https://dailyaction.org/ and sign up for the Action Alerts. You’ll receive a short daily text on what needs your attention and the necessary links and phone numbers. It will even dial your phone for you. Saddle up!

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

YOUR ACTION STEPS: Offer your comments below and pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe and engage.  Thanks!  JA

Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

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