On the surface, it doesn't make sense. Why do poor white people vote for a party that doesn't care about them?

Poor Republicans want their government to do more, but their leaders refuse. To quote Romney: "I am not concerned with the very poor. We have a safety net there."

Republican leaders send a consistent message: if you don't like being poor, get a job or work harder.
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Mitt Romney
Such rhetoric encourages people to blame the other guy. With so much finger-pointing going on, it takes considerable effort to tune it out, and replace it with a different view of fellow citizens; one that is far more constructive.

Politicians often use blame to access the dark side of our personality. We are drawn to blame others when we are in pain, even though it never does us any good.

I was listening to conservative talk radio yesterday. The host made fun of people who say the economy is not fair. He mocked them. His tone oozed with disgust, disdain, even hatred. It was like anyone who thought the economy should be fair did not deserve an ounce of respect. There was absolutely no possibility in the host's mind that our economy should be fair. It was what it was, so get a job or work harder, you lazy bum!

Surely this is one of those destructive "blame tapes." Essentially it says: "People who complain about economic fairness are the problem. They are freeloaders, taking advantage of those who work hard. They hurt themselves, and our country."

Surely a more constructive tape would be something like: "How can we change our economy so that more people benefit? Or, how can we fix an economic system that consistently favors a few and puts everyone else at a disadvantage?"
10/11/2013 12:52:52 pm

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