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I must admit that, initially I bought the thesis proposed in "what's the matter with kansas ?" that republicans had cleverly subverted "values" voters into voting against their own interest. How else to expalin how a poor community that ought to be reflexively democrat could vote so overwhelmingly republican.

However, I've been gradually persuaded that a different dynamic is taking place. After all, religious people aren't the only ones with values or virtues or whatever. I'm as avowed an atheist as you could meet, but when I vote I do so according to my values and principles. There is a real issue that the religious are considered virtuous and those who are indifferent are less so. So values have become a specifically religious attribute. Which is hogwash.

No, the other dynamic that informs me is actually a cousin of Nader's "there ain't no difference between 'em". Quite literally most people in the USA feel disenfranchised by the political process cos nobody is talking about their concerns (most eligible citizens abstain from voting).

Republicans are billionaires for billionaires. Democrats are millionaires for millionaires. It's largely a plutocracy where the people who make it to Washington are those for whom the American dream worked. They have no interest in fixing a system they don't believe is broken; after all it worked for them.

So when most people are falling through the increasingly tattered safety nets of social security and health care in the US, they don't see it. And the people falling away can't see the point of voting for people who won't make any difference in their lives.

that's why Kansas voted republican, the only ones who could be bothered voting were voting in their self-interest.

Everybody votes for their values. Worrying about finding the right buzz-word misses the point. It's more important to find a more inclusive set of policies that work for middle america rather than merely the wealthy middle classes and above. Right now, most lower middle calss and poor people don't believe either of 'em will do that.

After all, the Dems won't admit it, but the working class know who signed the NAFTA bill; aka the fuck-the-poor-by-sending-their-jobs-to-Mexico bill. And it wans't Bush.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Oct 24th, 2006 at 10:15:08 AM EST

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