“‘I voted Republican, which is unusual for me,’ said one woman… ‘My main concern is the economy. I couldn’t stand by and watch it continue to crumble.'” — from the Nov. 3 Philadelphia Metro.
You have to love the logic. The woman may as well have said, “I voted for arson, which is unusual for me. My main concern is my home. I couldn’t stand by and let it continue to crumble, so I set it on fire.”
How ironic that our ever-improving communications systems don’t make us any better informed than people in past eras, even about issues that directly affect our livelihoods. If they had bothered to look, the newbie Republican woman and tens of thousands of other confused PA voters could have accessed a ton of information that explains why voting Republican, if you’re poor and middle-class, is like voting to burn down your house.
They would have learned that Senator-to-be Pat Toomey has a well-documented history of support for the corporate elite and contempt for working people. He’s an ex-president of the Club for Growth, which sounds like a support group for balding men in denial but is actually a powerful right-wing lobbying organization that opposes all taxation and regulation of corporations. With Club for Growth, he fought for abolition of the minimum wage and was a direct advocate for outsourcing jobs.
In his campaign, Toomey did a good job of avoiding discussion of the role he has played in undermining the economy as it affects millions of working people. So good that I’ll bet the woman quoted in the Metro was unaware that she’d voted for a man who, over the next six years, will work hard to boost corporate profits while lowering her standard of living.
Most likely, the woman was too busy to do research; too disappointed by Barack Obama’s poor leadership skills and cozy relationship with Wall Street; and/or too scared by the current unemployment rate to do anything other than cast a knee-jerk vote for candidates offering false remedies for a sick economy.
She’s the sort of person the Democratic Party will have to begin connecting with in order to make a respectable showing in the 2012 elections. She is, or was, the base.
Unfortunately, Dem politicians still don’t seem to understand how important it is to pursue an agenda that is unmistakably opposed to the sort of corporate ruthlessness that hurts working people. Obama is still saying he “made progress” during his first to years instead of admitting he squandered a great opportunity to reverse destructive Republican policies. He has promised to continue reaching across the aisle, to use an insipid cliche, while Republicans remain dead set on cutting off both of his arms.
It all seems so obvious, yet, people insist on voting for these scumbags draped in the American flag. If we could somehow separate the candidate’s voting histories from the political rhetoric and flag waving, perhaps working class people would see more clearly and make better informed decisions. In a world where everyone is struggling to make ends meet and there is no time for the average person to spend time vetting the candidates, negative ad campaigns should be illegal.