Vote Against Your Interests!

Every election cycle, we Democrats in the “blue” states look at the big swath of Southern and Midwestern states blocked out in “red,” shake our heads, and grumble about how that populace “votes against their own interests.” Thomas Frank even expressed it in book form, in “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” Much of this grousing concludes that the folks who vote “red” have been fooled, tricked, hoodwinked, cajoled, lied to, and otherwise duped into buying a bill of goods because, the reasoning goes, there’s no other possible explanation for why they would cast their ballots for Republicans who throw in their lot with the rich.

While it’s certainly true that there’s an enormous amount of chicanery going on, especially in political ads, it strikes me as too facile to attribute vast stretches of the country voting Republican over decades to sheer “gullibility.”

Be that as it may, what I really take exception with is the basic premise that people should vote their interests. nike air max tn hombre Nolan Ryan Baseball Jersey Asics Gel Nimbus 17 męskie In fact, I’d argue the reverse: that the problem we face is that too many people vote strictly in favor of their narrow interests.

Let’s start with simple math: automatically voting for whoever favors your self-interest is incredibly selfish. nike air max 1 ultra moire donna New England Patriots Jerseys scarpe nike air max bambino scontate Canotta Caratteristiche As a matter of “numbers” alone, it means that you’re putting your own self-interest above the good of 300 million other Americans.

The very concept of “society” depends upon us voting beyond, and in many cases, contrary to, our personal interests. Jake Arrieta Authentic Jersey

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  • nike air max 1 essential donna We vote to tax ourselves to build schools and roads, even though we may not have children or live near that road; we elect to provide a safety net for the needy, even though we may be well-off; we intervene in stopping slaughters abroad despite its cost and endangerment of American lives. goedkoop nike air max 2016

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  • nike air max 2017 goedkoop Nike Air Max 90 Fleur Homme The same is true for abortion rights. Kenley Jansen Authentic Jersey adidas riot 5 femme Canotte Memphis Grizzlies One could argue that most social progress in this country would’ve been impossible without members of the “privileged” class at the time being willing to cede some of that privilege and extend it to include others.

    Contrary to the “Frank” outlook above, I’d say the real problem progressives have with many conservatives is the perception that these voters only cast ballots based on their self-interest.

    Because they are against abortion, they don’t want it allowed for anyone.

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  • Womens Nike Roshe One Because they are opposed to gay marriage, they want it denied to others. kanken fjallraven soldes nike air max 2017 pas cher homme nike tn noir femme ASICS PAS CHER FR Because they have an ideological or economic interest in denying climate change, they’re willing to put the entire planet at risk.

    This argument certainly extends to economic self-interest. fjallraven kanken nike air max 2017 pas cher femme

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  • To many on the left, the very essence of villainy is embodied in the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson, billionaires who are literally trying to buy the election solely to advance their own economic self-interests, or in the case of Adelson, to reportedly also stave off possible criminal charges.

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  • For many years, and today still, to a lesser extent, tobacco companies were judged the epitome of evil because they acted solely to protect their economic self-interest, the greater good and health of the public be damned.

    It’s true that progressives tend to perceive that their personal interests often align with “the greater good.” Hence Occupy’s “We are the 99%,” and Obama’s appealing for middle-class votes by promising to keep their taxes down while raising them on the rich. New Balance 530 męskie Nike Air Max 2016 Dames Wit But on issues where they don’t align, or simply don’t intersect at all, a central tenet for progressives, libertarians and even a certain strain of conservatives is the willingness to recognize the legitimacy of society’s interests beyond our own.

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