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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Interesting maps of income and voting patterns in the USA






Immediately apparent is that if the poor had all the votes, Bush would have lost in 2002 - even in many "red states". To paraphrase Krugman, contrary to popular myth, The Democrats' base isn't the "latte liberals".

More interesting graphs and analysis here.

Via Creative Class

8 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

Unfortunately poor and working class people, get fooled into believing the Democrats represent their needs. The Democrats share goals with the Republicans.

The Democrats want votes of progressive people like you, not your ideas.

Dark Daughta said...

Hi RJ,
I didn't understand the maps because I don't keep the colours red and blue as indicative of US party politics in my memory banks.

Mental note deposited.

But once I understood what the maps were about and once I read the comment up above, I had to say that yes, the Republicans cheated.

But it's sort of a truism because the people who take part in elections on whatever side always cheat...the masses.

But I would also agree with Renegade Eye's assertion about both sides of the one US party sharing goals and not being interested in anything about the progressive or liberal left except getting their votes.

Though I'd add that they're also interested in seducing people, subtly shifting their politics, getting them in bed with folks who have agendas that will harm them...what do they call it? Coalition politics. :)

Yes, that's where conservative lesbians and gays of whatever political stripe will make peace with rabid right wing homophobes on whatever team...because party membership means they have agendas in common.

Sweet.

Voting is a ritual dance they inflict on the masses...a big lie....a big trick.

They need the masses to feel invested in the dance so that we will get excited over the act of rubber stamping their presence at the top of the hierarchy.

They want us to feel like they did what we wanted. As long as we invest, poo poo overtly direct action, look down on out of order behaviour that directly challenges their right to rule, their right to lie and inflict the dance, we won't riot, burn the whole thing to the ground and drag them out into the streets and chop their heads off. :)

Eek.

Did I just write that?

I've been channeling a bunch of spirits from the French and Russian Revolutions.

They explain that oligarchies...I hope I have the right term...aren't just about royal families. Oligarchies can also be higher ups dressed in suits who hold power and manage to never, ever share it.

Oligarchy members live in fear of the masses wising up, rising up and not participating in various dances that really have nothing to do with any of us. As long as we tell ourselves that this nasty, deceitful, selfish candidate's actions have something to do with us, our families, our children, our goals, our day-to-day, they're laughing easy.

Did I ever mention, I had an NDP sign on my lawn during the provincial elections. It was for show. To send a communication to my middle class conservative neighbours about who I am in a ritual language they will understand. I don't actually believe that the NDPs goals are about the people.

Their leader was trying to get cosy with the Conservatives. Their former leader ran as a Liberal party leadership hopeful.

It's just a dance.

Red Jenny said...

Well, I think we all know the Democrats do not represent the left or the average American - but the Republicans have been using the old populist rhetoric to position themselves as the party of the "regular people". Just like Reform did here in Canada.

But that Edwards, now he's a limousine liberal - I mean he's not poor and yet he's talking about doing something about poverty - that's insidious, dontcha know. But George Bush is just like you and me, right?

DD, it is *exactly* an oligopoly, and even worse in the States than here (at least we have campaign spending limits- there you have to be a millionaire to even consider politics).

Of course electoral politics has limits in terms of its ability to change anything of significance. But, for good or ill, these popularity club members are the "managers" of our country. They make decisions that affect us - like stupid tax cuts, underfunding everything important to most of us, neoimperialist military exercises, etc.

Dark Daughta said...

RJ,
My point is that people treat them and their fake elections as if there is no choice. We have the choice to not see them as the managers of anything. We have the choice to not encourage people to buy into their electoral charades. We have copious opportunities to expose the nature of their game. We can fire all their asses. North Amerikkka is probably the only place on the earth where governments have not been completely overthrown. We treat them as if their system is immortal and unstoppable. We don't actually have to invest in the idea that this politician "says" he's gonna do something about poverty or the living wage or gay marriage.
They say whatever they think will get them votes in the game. The ones who actually would do something rather than simply talk about it, they exclude from the game because it's a ritual...game, not reality. Religion isn't the opium of these masses. It's politics. It keeps us happy and compromised. We dream of politicians winning as if these people are visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads. None of it's real. I was at an empeach Bush blog site a few weeks ago and it was so sad. I read back a ways. The person blogging painstakingly outlined different situations Bush had found himself in that would lead to him being impeach. THIS time the blogger was sure Bush would be impeached. No? They didn't do it? With so much PROOF? Okay, he documented some more instances of completely out of order behaviour and assured his readers that THIS time Bush would be impeached. NO? They didn't do it? And he went on and on and on like this. When I finally arrived he was behaving like a malfunctioning computer: "Does not compute, Does not compute, Does not compute..." His belief system, his utter compliance with the idea that electoral politics have rules that the politicians follow that the public can count on as safe guards and protections, could not allow him to fully grasp what was/is happening. He was shutting down...more like, he was considering not blogging for Bush's impeachment anymore. But he still couldn't say that the system in which he put his hopes was beyond flawed, that it was a charade, an empty shell, a hologram set up to keep the masses content. Sad.

Red Jenny said...

ugh, that is sad. I understand what you are saying, and I don't disagree with you - not really.

However I guess part of the reason these maps interested me was not so much to do with the actual parties but rather the general ideological situated-ness among the population. Blue/Red can more or less mean centre-to-left (ish) and red is like right-to-far-right. Unlike what is portrayed in the media (and capitalized upon by the faux-populism of the Republicans), the nominally leftish side of things is supported primarily by the lower and middle income tier.

Ya, there is a huge spectrum within that group. Ya, most of the radicals probably don't vote. But it still defies the claim that the liberals (which is synonymous with "far-left" according to American media) are an undifferentiated group of elites.

I think the general rightward turn since Reagan (not only the USA, but really in most of the Western world) is fascinating. Why? What happened to the optimism, the idea that if we don't like the system we can change it? Mostly, how did the conservatives manage to convince everybody that they stand for "the little guy"?

benjibopper said...

and now we know why george bush doesn't care about poor people. or black people. or iraqi people.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody notice which class was decisive? The middle class. Why? Because the vast majority of Amerikans are middle class. The GOP were able to capture former New Deal Democrats throughout the US by pitting the numerically dominant labour aristocracy against liberal "elites" and their agenda of racial integration, homosexuality, secularism, feminism, abortion, welfare, affirmative action and multilateral diplomacy. If I was Amerikan, I would go Libertarian or Green or just stay the fuck home on the internet talking about some of the important political issues affecting the rest of the world: war, climate change, poverty, etc.

Red Jenny said...

The Democrats don't actually represent the left. Of course we know that. But voting patterns give us a clue to the position of the American working class on the political spectrum. We lefties like to claim things like despite the rightward turn of governments since the 80's, most people would be willing to pay a little more in taxes in order to have improved essential services and financial security. We aren't just making that up. Data like this help support these claims.