I was thinking about Rocky's comment on my previous post (go read it, I'll wait). I know quite a few people who vote Republican all the time, and most of them are normally reasonable and intelligent people. If they are friends, it's understood that we never never ever talk politics. Or religion.
Piper took a long time to learn that. He kept trying to "educate" me. He couldn't understand how I could be so invested in stock and real estate, and not vote my self-interest. He finally gave up, but he will still rail in front of me at people who make stupid financial decisions, who don't work, who use "the system", and he fumes at the "socialist" government that forces him to pay for those people's mistakes. There's a large "I made it, why can't they" component to his rants.
So, anyway, I was thinking about my politically conservative/Republican friends. How would I define them, what are their characteristics?
They seem to fall into two very different groups.
One group is Rocky's rich white men, some rich white women, and women who live off the rich white men. This group is not as large as the second group, but they have the money to contribute to candidates, and money counts heavily. Money wins elections. These people see government as a good investment that can help them acquire more money.
The second group is much larger. These are people who make just a little bit too much to qualify for social programs and financial aid. They work hard. They aspire to the good life they see on TV. They are less well educated, tend to distrust "book-smarts", and are the target audience for Madison Avenue advertisers. They fall for buzz words and sound bites. They tend to be patriotic and love their cars and their guns. This is a very large group. They vote. Votes win elections. They fiercely resent that the government is taking money from them and giving it to people they see as less deserving.
Think about the conservative political rhetoric. It's tailored to appeal to the second group. But the first group knows the real agenda (nudge nudge wink wink).
I said that the second group falls for buzz words. Here's an example. Say "socialism" to a member of that group and you get an immediate spittingly negative reaction. Now ask that person what socialism is. Dollars to donuts you won't get an answer beyond that it's bad. They seem to equate it to the perverted form of communism practiced in Russia. (I wonder if they are aware that the Israeli kibbutz is pure communism?) If you want to get punched out, point out to them that their local fire department and police force are socialistic. And how about bridges and the highway system? Socialism. Streetlights? State colleges? Utility rate regulation? Socialism. Ask them if they really want every road to be a toll road, including the street they live on.
Pure unadulterated capitalism puts profit above everything else. The first group loves capitalism.
Socialism puts profit secondary to the social good. Pure unadulterated socialism discourages innovation.
The ideal is a mix of the two - capitalism dominating for non-necessities, socialism dominating for necessities. The first group, the group with all the money and ability to control "the message", hates being restricted in their quest for profit, so they want to ensure that the second group, with all those votes, rejects socialism.
It seems to me that the only argument should be in defining what is a necessity and what is not.
Shall we discuss health care?