Most everyone agrees that the Republican party and their policies favor the wealthy. In fact, a recent New York Times/CBS News poll showed that 70 percent of all Americans believe that the policies of the congressional Republicans favor the rich, at the expense of the poor and middle class. Two-thirds of Americans disapprove of tax cuts for millionaires and corporations. In 2012, Obama’s “Buffet Rule,” which would place a minimum tax rate of 30% on millionaires received only one Republican vote in Senate, while most Americans (72%) supported the bill.
The question: If so many people believe that a particular political party has only the best interests of a small elite in mind, why do so many still continue to vote for them? Why do working class, low and middle income families continue to support a party that gives little to no benefit to them, and in fact, whose policies continue to harm them?
It makes economic sense for the wealthiest Americans to vote for the Republican party because they want to protect their own private finances without giving others the chance for more upward mobility. What makes people scratch their heads is the idea of a working class person, who earns $50,000 a year, voting for a party that continues to give tax breaks to the wealthy and pays for it by cutting the programs that benefit lower and middle class income families.
Wayne Flynt has written about why Americans often vote against their best interests in his book “Poor but Proud.”
“It’s because preachers tell them that the Democratic Party is a godless party, and because the rich (the owners of FOX News) tell them that the Republican Party is God’s party.”
Dr. Flynt points out that in many southern states, Evangelical Christians make up the majority of the voters, most of them Republican.
With the recent insurgence of the Tea Party movement into the national Republican party, Christianity has made its way into secular society. Today, more than ever before, religion has found its way out of the home and church and into the political process, a place where religion was never intended to be when our founding fathers crafted the United States constitution. And what conservative Christianity has emphasized more and more over the past few decades, over justice, over equality, over speaking out against oppression, over attending to the needs of the “least among us,” is sex (abortion, homosexuality, birth control, etc.).
“If you are a truck diver, a plumber, an electrician or a steel worker and you live in Alabama, and you are surrounded by conservative Christians, you figure that everybody thinks the way you do…and you vote Republican, because you’ve been told that that’s the “right” way for Christians to vote, that it is God’s Party because it is the “moral party,” regardless of how the Republican Party hurts you, your family and your community.”
“When conservatives leave church on Sunday, they go home and turn on the TV to Fox News, or set the radio dial to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck or Michael Savage – and, of course, those programs are owned by rich Republicans, and their message is loud and clear: ‘Vote Republican…it’s God’s party.'”