Amanda Marcotte recently wrote that “White men, as a group, vote Republican because they vote their resentments.”
The New York Times article she cited didn’t say or even imply anything about resentment. It did say that straight, working-class white men vote Republican because the Democratic Party has devoted the majority of its resources to appealing to women, gays and the various groups of less-white men who are nostalgically referred to as “minorities.” The Democratic Party has been on the opposite side of issues that working-class white men have cared about for decades, and according to the Times piece, many strategists within the party think it’s a waste of time trying to win them over.
Working-class white men vote Republican because the Democrats have made it clear that they care about representing the interests of everyone but working-class white men. These guys vote Republican because Republicans actually make an effort to tell them what they want to hear.
Basically, white men vote Republican because they’re suckers.
The likes of Marcotte say that working-class white men are motivated by fear and resentment, but the majority of people who vote Democrat are doing it for nobler reasons.
They’re not. Most of them are voting for their own short-term self-interest.
Sure, there is a small class of progressive white men who make a big show of putting everyone else’s interests first. They demonstrate their moral superiority by standing up — mostly online — for whatever “rights” they believe that women or blacks or illegal immigrants or transsexuals or chickens are somehow entitled to.
Everyone else is just voting for stuff they want.
Women vote Democrat because they understandably want the convenience of being able to kill their unwanted children. They vote Democrat because they want free birth control and they want free healthcare for the kids they decide to keep. Women also vote for Democrats because Democrats offer special programs to help women get education and jobs.
Women have always depended on men for protection, but they’d rather depend on many men than just one or a few, so they are happy to vote for measures to increase “security.” As a group, women don’t like or understand guns, so they vote Democrat because Democrats promise to take guns away from men — usually those working-class white men — and give them to the big group of men in the government.
Men have historically been suspicious of what big groups of men will do when they have all of the weapons.
Blacks vote Democrat because they are smart and racist. They were going to vote for Obama no matter what he did because he was black, and like sensible people they figure it is better to have one of your own in power. Democrats, as a group, are known for caring more about giving free stuff to black people. Blacks are smart, because they know that it is always better to get something for free than to pay for it.
Blacks also know that you don’t need a permit to buy a gun. You just go buy one from that guy down the street and, you know, take care of business. White men are afraid to buy guns without following the rules, so more rules means less white men with guns. This is good for black men, because they like the convenience of being able to wear a hoodie in the rain without getting shot by nervous white men with guns.
Latinos vote Democrat because their families came to America to take advantage of employment opportunities and all of the benefits and protections that America offers to its citizens. They figure more benefits and protections are better than less, and Democrats always offer more benefits and protections.
In places with a lot of Latinos, Democrats say that you shouldn’t have to go through the trouble of becoming a citizen to get those benefits and protections. This is convenient for Latinos who are not citizens, because using a dead person’s social security number can sometimes be inconvenient.
Gay people vote Democrat because Democrats offer gay people stuff they think they want. Aside from marriage and the sadistic thrill of being able to force Christians to make wedding cakes, this includes free healthcare. Free healthcare comes in handy when you’re a man who occasionally has sex with guys he met 30 minutes ago on Grindr, or a lesbian who occasionally gets drunk and has sex with men. (See the first point about women above.)
Transsexuals vote Democrat because they want the government to pay for the very expensive cosmetic surgeries and hormones that are necessary for them to become who they really are. Also, they are confused about which bathroom to use, so they want more special bathrooms for confused people.
(Chickens are not technically allowed to vote yet, but we hear they want to be free range, which sounds libertarian.)
As Gari Day, the white male bus driver featured in the Times article said, “Republicans make you work for your money, and try to let you keep it.”
He probably doesn’t understand how the government can afford to keep giving everyone free stuff forever. He probably does figure that some of that money for the stuff other people want is coming out of his earnings. But he’s not alone in that — I’ve yet to see a successful Democrat turn down a tax break. No one actually wants to pay more taxes.
Aside from voting to keep more of their own money and to keep the guns they bought, a lot of these straight, white, working-class men are not asking for anything. They’re too proud for that.
As old-fashioned voters, they see themselves as part of the government. They’re not just trying to get more stuff from the government and come up with reasons why they deserve it. They’re voting for a society that works the way they think things should work.
And that’s why they’re suckers.
Democratic and Republican politicians, like everyone else, see the government as a way to get what they want. Politicians want power and status. To get elected, they accept money from regular people, from rich men, from businesses, and probably from foreign countries. In return, they promise favors. That’s how the system works.
People who don’t want anything from the government are useless to politicians, because they are difficult to manipulate and impossible to please. The government, like every big bureaucracy, is in the growth business. Making the government smaller isn’t in the short-term interest of any ambitious bureaucrat. Contraction only makes political sense when you’re trying to reduce an opponent’s sphere of influence.
Democrats promise more government, and more free stuff. Republicans promise less free stuff for poor people, and promise to lower taxes in return, but they rarely manage to lower taxes for anyone but rich guys who — let’s be real — were usually born into money and didn’t work any harder than the guys driving buses. Many of the wealthy elite are white guys, true, but they care about as much about the working-class white guys as the Democratic Party leadership.
White men are suckers because they haven’t figured out that the America they believe in is already gone, and that they are the only ones who aren’t asking for whatever they can get while the gettin’s still good. They’ll vote reliably Republican as long as the Republicans keep talking about self-reliance and how things shouldwork, and that will free up Republican politicians to do favors for people who actually want stuff.