Saturday, August 11, 2012

Old Republican Voters

I am not sure why really old Republicans would vote for Romney / Ryan, when Ryan's proposed budget plan has the average senior citizen's Medicare co-payments TRIPLING.  You see, medicare is funded by those in it, for Medicare and Medicare Part D.  My godfather, who worked for 40 years of his life and then retired, PAYS about $300 a month for this Medicare, and about $80 a month for Medicare Part D (or about $380 a month).  He's a rather healthy 60-something year old.  Under the Ryan budget, that would go up to nearly a $1000 a month.  Now, my godfather was the president of his craft labor union and an excellent machinist and wood worker.   He kept a small pattern making shop alive in Chicago suburbs even when the owner reitred and put his idiot son in charge to run the business into the ground, alienate customers, and decimate the skilled workforce.  He worked hard for a living, for 4 decades, helping automakers and tool and die and pattern makers manufacture usable, real, tangible goods in America.  He didn't earn a living through "investing" or "venture capital" or "inheriting it", and thus, he usually votes Democratic.

If you are an older, retired, middle class Republican, without inherited wealth, and you strongly support Romney / Ryan, I would like to hear from you, so as to understand why you strongly support two rich white guys, who were born into wealthy families, and have never suffered or had to scrape by for a living, and  who have their own self interests and the interests of their rich, country club and corporate executive friends in mind.  I won't mock you, I promise.  I just want to try understand you, and what motivates you.

My wife and I make good livings.  If we wanted to truly vote in our own financial self interests and say "F.U.!" to our maternal families and consciences and the rest of the international world, we could easily vote for the rich guys too.  But we'd feel...  I don't know...  guilty.  Dirty.  Ashamed.  Remarkably selfish, in doing so.  I am no fan of President Obama, and his lack of prosecutorial diligence against those who caused the 2008 financial melt down, his embracing of corporate money and super PACs, his failure to close Gitmo (though large strides have been made to de-populate it), his continuing of Bush era Patriot Act Constitutional trouncing, and his cozying up to corporate interests... but I think over-all, he's done more good than harm.  He's the lesser of two evils.  He didn't grow up wealthy and spoiled, and he's known what it's like to have to work for a living.  He married the daughter of a sewage plant worker, not an heiress or stuck up sorority snotty girl. 

When I hear Republican ideologues say how Obama is "destroying the country" I just don't get it.  Just how is he destroying the country?  By not giving Boehner and McConnel everything they want?  By deporting more illegal immigrants in 4 years than Bush did in 8?  By ordering the mission that killed Osama bin Laden and not listening to his advisers and VP when they all told him to abort the mission?  By not having Single Payer included in the Affordable Care Act - a health care law that has allowed our son to stay on his mother's insurance until he is 26, and paid for the end of life care to our dear friends' son who recently succumbed to a fatal cancer?  What actual, real, terrible things has President Obama done to the country, or to any of it's citizens?  I don't watch or listen to Fox News so I don't have all the rhetoric memorized - I only get it through a Daily Show hilarious filter. 

Please help me understand.


  1. My wife and I make good livings. If we wanted to truly vote in our own financial self interests and say "F.U.!" to our maternal families and consciences and the rest of the international world, we could easily vote for the rich guys too.

    Actually unless you're wealthy enough to live off your wealth (not wages), then it's not in your (long-term) self-interests, either. The best trick was convincing working-class voters to vote against their own self-interest, but it's also a con to get upper middle class folks to believe that the republicans would suit their self-interests financially and they have to vote for democrats as some sort of sacrifice. It's almost convincing until you think of long term consequences, how long you plan on living, how long you plan on working, and what kind of social safety nets non-billionaires might need.

  2. I concur. In the short term, we'd likely get a tax break, but the polarization would increase between haves and have-nots. We don't have enough wealth to afford body guards, bullet proof cars, and multiple-camera-monitored estates (like the elite of Argentina & Brazil, or for the uninformed American Audience perspective, Pacino's house at the end of "Scarface") and if we plan on living into our 90s, society's downward spiral might - by that point - make continued living unpleasant.

    But as fast as the poles are melting, and our water tables are being frakked and depleted, maybe living into our 90s is not such a good idea.

    [Please send me a email to let me know what simple html device you used to make the text italic above... I am remedial]


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