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View Diary: "Americans React to the Poor with Disgust" (139 comments)

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  •  why dont they? (8+ / 0-)

    isnt this the most mysterious thing? The poor have the most to gain from voting.

    I think your voting participation is somewhere near 50%. Lets say its 50%. Thus, a close election that is reported as 52:48%, is actually decided as 26:24 % in real participation terms.

    now imagine somehow the poorest 10% of voters, hitherto not voting, would come out suddenly and all vote one side because of some promise. Then this close contest would suddenly be 36:24 % ! I. o. w. a complete and utter rout.  

    so isnt it equally mysterious that noone tries to get the nonvoters, supposedly poorer ones, on their side? They could win every election doing so.

    Why not? What hinders it?

    •  ACORN used to (13+ / 0-)

      Look what happened to them.  And current voter ID (aka suppression) laws are intended to militate against those with lower incomes, as well.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 11:17:47 AM PDT

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      •  And notice how quickly the Party (9+ / 0-)

        disowned itself from ACORN.  Why, you'd think ACORN were Shirley Sherrod or Van Jones or someone like that.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 11:32:13 AM PDT

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      •  what happened? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        thats actually amongst the most opaque things to me, observing from far away. Just that with Acorn. I never understood how they did anything bad? I seem to recall faintly there were some undercover guys trapping some local doing or saying something untoward, but such a thing doesnt stop an organisation?

        In any case, it cant be illegal to agitate amongst poor nonvoters to vote. And if they dont have the funds to pay for their ID´s it cant be illegal to pay it for them. Heck, I personally could pay the ID´s for a thousand poor people and what vote multiplier could ever compete with that?

        by this I mean, I sure understand that any such drive would have the blast of "publicized opinion" fully against it, but all the more, what mobilization was ever successful that gave a shit about what enemies said about them?

        dont get me wrong - I just wonder how is it possible that this obvious potential lies unused. so many people here seem to wonder why the system is in such a bad shape, this must be amongst the prime reasons.

        •  It was the loss of funding (5+ / 0-)

          They were a shoestring operation, and didn't have any reserves to survive after that.

          The 40-year-old liberal group was crippled by scandal six months ago when a pair of conservative activists posing as a pimp and a prostitute secretly videotaped two ACORN employees appearing to give them advice about setting up a prostitution ring and evading the IRS.

          The video led to the employees being fired.

          Afterward, Congress halted Housing and Urban Development grants to ACORN.

          Some small bit of justice a few months ago, late as it is

          Remember James O’Keefe?

          That would be the same James O’Keefe who brought down community organizing and voter registration organization ACORN in his march to becoming a conservative icon for his alleged ‘good works’.

          It seems that the master of the cleverly edited—if highly deceptive—video reel is now being required to pay the sum of $100,000 to Juan Carlos Vera, a one time California employee of ACORN. Mr. Vera had been portrayed by O’Keefe as being a willing participant when O’Keefe and his accomplice, Hanna Giles, proposed smuggling young women into the United States to work as prostitutes.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 12:08:39 PM PDT

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          •  aha (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dizzydean, Catte Nappe

            was it really that? OK, loss of congressional funding.

            it would mean that another funding source is needed, one that isnt dependent on such hypocritical elements as the same Congress whose makeup would be changed if such an organisation had success.

            good (or not good), if that organisation has died since it was dependent on such a money source, is it then not totally necessary to re-found it, but with an independent funding source?

            If you ask - wheres the money supposed to come from. I could ask - where does the D party gets its money from now. You could say - rich liberals, who have no interest in helping the poor making their voice heard. I could say - then what about all the small donor funding that places like DKos organize to flow to the D party. Would all that small donor money then not better flow to a resurrected Acorn? The rich ones will keep the D party afloat anyways. The not so rich ones dont need to add what little they can, to that bandwagon. They´d better help the now disenfranchised ones to become political partners?

    •  they don't vote bc politics doesn't affect them (4+ / 0-)

      Besides the effects of a life of poverty on mental state (thought limiting depression, focus on immediate needs only, etc), the poor as a group are not being served by either major party. Democrat - Republican - it's all the same to them: they are still getting screwed.

      Democrats, and many supposed progressives, are only really interested in the middle class and upwards. Because they are the ones who vote.

      See how circular that logic is?

      History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce - Karl Marx

      by quill on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 11:32:25 AM PDT

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      •  sounds like circular logic (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dizzydean, quill

        "Since you wont care for me, I wont vote for you."

        "Oh well, since you wont vote for me, I wont care for you."

        It only requires once to step out of this cycle to break it. And what a reward!

        •  breaking the cycle is on the poor? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dizzydean, marsanges, Laconic Lib, PhilK

          Poor people don't vote for a lot of reasons. In this discussion, we seem to have taken as a given that political parties should ignore the problems of poor because they don't vote, as opposed to taking care of them because it's the right thing to do. You seem to be suggesting that it's the fault of the poor that society and our political system treats them badly - because they don't vote in large enough numbers. That sounds like more scapegoating to me.

          History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce - Karl Marx

          by quill on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 12:10:10 PM PDT

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          •  no, not at all! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dizzydean, zmom, quill

            opposite is the case.

            seems to me, mobilizing the poor might be the key to actual change. (Huh, I can´t be the first one to have that genius idea.)

            •  Yes, it could be revolutionary... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              But, I think it won't ever happen if the lower class doesn't feel that they are going to get anything out of it. But getting the political class to pay attention to the poor is nearly impossible right now, and so a stalemate.

              I see one hopefully possibility: immigrants, particularly Hispanic, often bring their own strongly held political views and the Democratic party is paying them lots of attention to bring them into the fold. In coming years as we become minority-majority we may see more of a focus on poverty as Latinos and other people of color who are a little more radical move into politics. That is, if we have anything close to a functioning democracy by that time.

              History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce - Karl Marx

              by quill on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 02:16:52 PM PDT

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      •  As a poor person I heartily disagree. Without (11+ / 0-)

        Medicaid and SNAP I would be so much worse off. So I encourage everyone to vote for Democrats who will vote to keep these programs alive rather than kill them off as Republicans are trying to do!

        Of course there is a host of other reasons for voting for Democrats.  

        "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

        by Gorette on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 01:19:58 PM PDT

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        •  I totally agree, though it's a hard sell (4+ / 0-)

          It's kind of hard to get people on board with the Democratic party on the basis of what they won't do (cut social welfare programs). Even worse, these days with the Austerian fad, the big selling pitch would be "vote for Democrats: they won't cut your benefits nearly as much as the Republicans!".

          History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce - Karl Marx

          by quill on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 02:25:23 PM PDT

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    •  access? disenfranchisement? despair? mental (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marsanges, dizzydean, Odysseus

      illness?  Probably a combination.  My guess is that many people who are poor/homeless experience such a yawning chasm between their situation and the posturing sheningans of wealthy Washington elites that they don't even feel the need to connect.

      Also--why should the poor believe that--even if they were to vote in large numbers--we'd pay a lick of attention to them?  Have we shown even the slightest inclination to do so in the last couple of decades?  FDR and Great Society programs aside--these more recent generations have been 'me' generations--even the 'altruism' that's supposed to exist on the left is completely contrived.  I don't think the left IS altruistic.  I used the term cause celebre in an earlier comment--we look for things to get riled up about and--in doing so--feel better about ourselves.  Somehow, addressing the poverty issue doesn't seem to be one of those things...

    •  Too many difficulties (0+ / 0-)

      In my experience being poor means having bigger worries than voting.  It is very disempowering

      Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion. An activist seeks to change opinion.

      by Mindful Nature on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 09:56:57 PM PDT

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