Why do you vote the way you vote?
Monday, January 06, 2014 4:00 PM
Have you ever wondered why you vote the way you vote? It seems it is a little more complex and a little less comical than some would like to make it.
Take the recent study by National Media Research Planning and Placement suggesting there might be a link between Republicans, Democrats and the type of alcohol they prefer. The study seems to be nothing more than an amusing diversion at best. Seems a better analysis would include having bartenders use the information to do some predictive analysis about which patrons are more likely to pay for their own drinks as opposed to those who might try to get their drinks for free.
All kidding aside, since 1948, researchers from the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research have worked to understand why people vote the way they do and have found voting habits have changed very little over the years, despite significant advances in technology and now with social media. The data results are a bit surprising, finding that independent voters are less engaged politically than they are regularly given credit. Research also found the average voter to be "surprisingly unsophisticated," not always voting based on policy.
So why do we vote the way we do? I regularly hear from disenfranchised Democrat readers who tell me they continue to vote their party's ticket, despite the fact it has been hijacked by political arsonists who seem content to watch their party and the country go down in flames. In doing so, and many times at the expense of their own conscience, otherwise sensible people have given unwritten consent, empowering those espousing opposing progressive values, to move forward. In reality, many of these disenfranchised Democrats' values better align with those on the other side of the aisle.
So here's a trick question: What group historically despised the free market, embraced policies like government-supplied jobs, guaranteed retirement and free healthcare? They were zealous animal rights advocates, promoted gun control, abortion and euthanasia. They were fanatical environmentalists, endorsed a healthy lifestyle, railed against smoking, promoted organic veganism and sponsored alternative medicine. And in their universities, they promoted racial quotas and held to strict, politically correct, speech codes.
The Democratic Party you say? Not quite. The correct answer points to one of the most reviled groups in history - the Nazis during the 1930s. Their motto, "Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz," loosely translated meant: Service before self; the good of the many is more important than the good of the individual. The motto was nothing more than propaganda; meant to make you feel good, and not much more; a feel-good sentence for a very bad agenda.
While I am not suggesting today's Democrat party is in any way equivalent to the Third Reich, I do ask that my left-leaning friends take some time out to do a little soul searching. If you find yourself somewhere in the middle-left politically, prepare to be run over.
And here's why. Resolution number 13 of "Fourteen 2014 New Year's Resolutions for Progressives - and One for Every Year" published in Huffington Post by political organizer Robert Creamer states : "Next November, progressives must do everything possible to make certain that Democrats maintain control of the Senate and put the Speaker's gavel back into the hands of Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi...if we are successful ...the last two years of the Obama presidency could be the most productive, progressive period in recent American history."
If progressives believe the last five years were somehow unproductive in advancing their agenda, God help us for what is in store the next two years.
Susan Stamper Brown is an opinion page columnist who writes about politics, the economy and culture. Email Susan at email@example.com.