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Why so many ordinary Americans support Bush [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 4

Post time 2004-10-11 18:20:05 |Display all floors
Yesterday morning, I heard an interesting speech on Pacifica Radio by Thomas Frank, expalining why so many ordinary Americans support a Republican Party that works directly against their own economic self-interest. Here's an excerpt of a review of Frank's book "What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America":

One of 搊ur most insightful social observers? cracks the great political mystery of our time: how conservatism, once a marker of class privilege, became the creed of millions of ordinary Americans

With his acclaimed wit and acuity, Thomas Frank turns his eye on what he calls the 搕hirty-year backlash敆the populist revolt against a supposedly liberal establishment. The high point of that backlash is the Republican Party抯 success in building the most unnatural of alliances: between blue-collar Midwesterners and Wall Street business interests, workers and bosses, populists and right-wingers.

In asking 搘hat 抯 the matter with Kansas?敆how a place famous for its radicalism became one of the most conservative states in the union桭rank, a native Kansan and onetime Republican, seeks to answer some broader American riddles: Why do so many of us vote against our economic interests? Where抯 the outrage at corporate manipulators? And whatever happened to middle-American progressivism? The questions are urgent as well as provocative. Frank answers them by examining pop conservatism梩he bestsellers, the radio talk shows, the vicious political combat梐nd showing how our long culture wars have left us with an electorate far more concerned with their leaders?搗alues?and down-home qualities than with their stands on hard questions of policy.

A brilliant analysis梐nd funny to boot梂hat抯 the Matter with Kansas? presents a critical assessment of who we are, while telling a remarkable story of how a group of frat boys, lawyers, and CEOs came to convince a nation that they spoke on behalf of the People.

As for why so many Americans STILL support the war in Iraq, after all the lies, the deceit, the treachery, the tortures and the war crimes committed by the Bush administration, what can I say. I guess an imperial culture that glorifies militarism has done its work. For many Americans, it just feels so damn good to kick some foreign ass, especially if it is dark-skinned.

Even if Kerry is elected, there will be enormous pressure for Kerry to prove his manhood by bombing some recalcitrant but defenseless Third-World country - a rite of passage for all modern American presidents. It is the urgent duty of each and every incoming American president to teach the world who's boss.

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Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2004-10-11 19:23:25 |Display all floors

Don't worry, Martingale, these Middle America conservatives will have their day the killing fields....the day will certainly come when they too have to learn their limitations.

Lessons of history are never learned quickly by a people accustomed to success and self-aggrandizement.

It took the Byzantine Romans four centuries to know that the East Roman Empire was glory no more.

Dark-skinned souls should never despair, for they are only seeking equality, nothing more....

and therefore that day will sure come with the rise of China.

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Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2004-10-11 20:43:27 |Display all floors

The citizenry is largely..

...unable to (or perhaps unwilling) spend the time or effort to decipher the differences between parties and candidates. If your dad voted republican and his dad before him, you automatically vote republican. I've heard many ordinary 'mercans' talk of their nations politics. Most really have their mind made up before the election campaigns even start.
It takes a term as tumultuous as the last one to get them to move away from what they are accustomed to checking on the ballot.
Bush got his presidency on the back of Republican tradition and his last name.

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Post time 2004-10-11 23:45:14 |Display all floors

Bush a good man

Bush is from a wealthy familly, and I am not. So I should not vote for him?
Kerry has the wealth of 10 Bush's and Kerry is a democrat. Kerry will raise taxes on us. Do you think he will raise taxes on himself?? He has an army of accountants that make sure that will not happen.
Also Kerry seems to me as a leaf that blows in the wind. He is not steadfast. With terrorism rampant you must be steady.

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Post time 2004-10-12 05:09:34 |Display all floors

The " pulling up the drawbridge " syndrome.

Thank you martingale for this piece of analysis by Frank. It has been puzzling me for a while. For what it  is worth, I think that the West ( developed and rich countries ) has had enough of being the bleeding heart. Sept 11 was the last straw. The great ungrateful and unwashed out there can go to hell.We are going to insulate ourselves and enjoy what we have left. Nationalism is the coward's castle. Thus governments like Australia, USA and UK are moving so far to the right Ghengis Khan has to move out to avoid being squashed. And the masses; the majority of hard working people are easily seduced into isolationism. Human concern and empathy, quiet diplomacy and understanding have become arcane. Leave us alone.
The second layer of this phenomenon is that internally the elites and the elitists ( read rich and powerful) also gear up to put the poor and disadvantaged in their places.They are going to suffer from the policies of the very politicians they cast their votes to get them in power. It boils down to ' everyman for himself" It is sad and scary.

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Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2004-10-12 08:58:22 |Display all floors


You are so bleak. Remember China is just getting into the world game after spending a long time in a box. I wish you no bad luck in your ventures but China will make mistakes. Learn from your international mistakes and move on. Like the saying goes "sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you."
Everyone has their self protection first, but some of the world players are very greasy and slippery. Their word means little, and when the time comes for you to depend on them, they are long gone to mooch off of someone else.
We Americans can be loud and obnoxious at times, I am the first to admit, but the USA will go to great extreme's to keep it's word even at their own determent.
The big concern is Nuclear weapons. There is already enough nuclear weapons to blow up the world 8 times(every city in the world), and more countries want to get them. Let抯 hope the grandchildren of today have a world to live in.
Someday we will all have to learn to get along.

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Rank: 4

Post time 2004-10-12 09:55:48 |Display all floors

Ethereal and evangelcal mind set now.

The rich of this world find themselves on an oasis which is shrinking. The sea of poverty around them is rising and will always threaten to drown them as well. They are in an anxious and uncomfortable mood because they realise that their well being is tied to continued misery of the rest of society. The rich are rich because the poor are poor; and as the number of poor increases, the number of rich decrease though the rich gets even richer. This is a vacuum that nature abhors. Socially a day soon would arrive when the whole system collapses and sweep everyone away with it. The myth here is that a lot of blue collar workers in the US ( and the other rich countries) think they can be exempted from the plight of the poor if they vote for the likes of Bush; bible bashing self righteous souls. These are men who seem to offer security and strength but they cannot. They are of blinkered vison, unilateralists  and bullies; to the world and to their own. Like lemmings the poor and disadvantaged flock to vote in the very people who are likely to craft a future more bleak and difficult for them. What an irony.

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