Sometimes when a person is kidnapped or taken hostage, a psychological alliance develops between the abductee and their captor. It's a condition called Stockholm Syndrome, and the American working class has been stricken with it — bound and gagged by a Republican Party that has become increasingly conservative.
At the core of the GOP's manipulative strategy to keep the poor poor is a philosophy that promotes the removal of obstacles to economic growth. Rather than nourish society from the ground up, what we get from the GOP is trickle-down economics. It's a phrase that was coined in the Reagan era, and has been rationalizing the disenfranchisement of the American working class ever since.
Why Do Poor People Vote Republican?
If the GOP is so outwardly against helping the 45 million Americans living below the poverty line improve their quality of life, why do the poor so consistently vote Republican? Surprisingly, according to poll results, they don't.
You may have heard it said that poor people vote Republican, or seen a map of how certain counties vote that shows less affluent areas casting ballots for GOP candidates. However, it's easy to misconstrue some data to support the appeal to the common man that recent GOP hopes have run on.
Consider the fact that about 40 percent of eligible voters don't visit the polls. Now think about who in those poor, rural counties has the means to get to the polls. Not the poor, many of whom are unable to make it to increasingly distant voting locations.
Make America What Again?
There is only one demographic within the American working class that consistently supports the GOP: white males.
Unlike minority families that might be first- or second-generation immigrants, the victims of longstanding oppression that has kept them from the education and opportunity needed to advance — or both — conservative white males view the class culture gap as the barrier to their success. So the GOP has lowered their standards in a bogus appeal to the common man.
Many middle-aged white males adhere to GOP values, the same family values that the GOP began promoting in the early '90s. The problem is, these aren't '90s values. Promoting a predominantly Christian agenda in the form of foreign policy that alienates immigrants, health care that leaves the old and sick uncared for, and tax policy that turns a blind eye on the poor but makes big businesses fat and happy isn't family-friendly for the working class.
Manly Men Eat Blood Soup
Still, these appeals prevail. There are enough white middle-class voters out there that, when combined with the large number of upper-class white voters, give the GOP a winning strategy.
The working class and the middle class are not the same, and so what we have is a pocket of white GOP supporters earning modest incomes propping up a Republican agenda that funnels cash away from the families less fortunate than them using fear. Fear of Mexicans stealing their jobs, Arabs with bombs in their shoes and black lesbian CEOs.
The curmudgeons that fuel the GOP's bacon-powered war machine are in love with their manly dignity. They resent the poor. They adhere to stringent budgets eschewing luxuries like alcohol and fine dining, and scrape by just so. Who are these paupers who think they deserve a place at the table? Can't they even help themselves?
Death to the Dream
Sadly, the answer is no. Policies that would allow the poor access to the assistance and resources they need are gutted and funds are rerouted to the military industrial complex and other GOP harems. While the progressive movement flourished under the Obama administration, class equality was one of the least talked-about issues, and today the American poor are still suffering at the hands of a much less sympathetic despot.
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