Home > political-economy > Plouffed: An alternative hypothesis…

Plouffed: An alternative hypothesis…

The BBC has an article which purports to explain why un-unionized working people will tend to vote against their own interest. They introduce the discussion with a shocking statistic:

In Texas, where barely two-thirds of the population have full health insurance and over a fifth of all children have no cover at all, opposition to the legislation is currently running at 87%.

In the BBC’s explanation,voters feel they are being taken for granted:

As Mr Frank sees it, authenticity has replaced economics as the driving force of modern politics. The authentic politicians are the ones who sound like they are speaking from the gut, not the cerebral cortex. Of course, they might be faking it, but it is no joke to say that in contemporary politics, if you can fake sincerity, you have got it made.

And the ultimate sin in modern politics is appearing to take the voters for granted.

This is a culture war but it is not simply being driven by differences over abortion, or religion, or patriotism. And it is not simply Red states vs. Blue states any more. It is a war on the entire political culture, on the arrogance of politicians, on their slipperiness and lack of principle, on their endless deal making and compromises.

And when the politicians say to the people protesting: ‘But we’re doing this for you’, that just makes it worse. In fact, that seems to be what makes them angriest of all.

The argument is tempting. The writer and his sources work off the implicit assumption that Washington is busily doing what is in our interest and getting slapped for it. This assumption, however, is never substantiated.

The article also does nothing to explain the other likely scenario: that Washington is taking them for granted – treating them as if they were of marginal concern. It tries to explain the voters’ response to the snub, but not the snub itself.

  1. coolguy
    February 1, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Thomas Frank seems like a pretty cool guy, eh.


    • charley2u
      February 1, 2010 at 7:47 am

      I watched part of one day of the hearings and had to stop – I was going to break my tv as questioner after questioner neglected to ask the only question we all wanted answered: Who was in the room when the decision was made to hand over tens of billions of taxpayer money – who had the authority to hand that much money over to the banks?

      Do these guys even have a decent former prosecutor helping them?

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