It's easy to be almost awed that so many people will be voting against themselves in November.
In the current presidential race it's important to note that half of likely Republican voters will not be voting for Mitt Romney.
Thomas Franks, in his book What's The Matter With Kansas?. deduced that Kansans were voting against their own economic interested because Republican politicians had distracted them with "cultural issues" . That's still a useful tactic for Republican leaders.
I'd say about 47% of the 47% who will be voting for Mitt Romney will not be voting for Romney – they will be voting against Barak Obama. And there's a reason.
Almost none of the Republicans I speak with are enthusiastic Romney supporters. A minority seem to be at first, but it quickly turns out that their enthusiasm is actually for someone who is running against Obama. It could just as well be Newt Gingrich or Elmer Fudd (if that isn't redundant).
Like all Republican candidates in the last thirty-five years, Romney is a terrible candidate, and his running mate Paul Ryan has become a laughingstock in both economic and political circles. Republicans simply don't have anyone to run for president who isn't a terrible candidate, and the reasons bundle neatly with their core problem, which is that the people behind the Republican party, the elite 1%, are feeling their oats.
It's fairly obvious, but I think this is what happened, and what's playing out in the 2012 elections. The numbers are interesting...
The 1% began to be deified in the 1980s under Reagan Republicans. The mass media did it for entertainment value, focusing on their wealth but never probing deeply into the people themselves; it was all about their possessions. The 1% enjoyed being admired and encouraged it. A group of people (think Karl Rove, Phil Gramm, Grover Norquist, etc.) saw an opportunity to get some of the excess money belonging to the 1% (and at that level almost all their money is excess).
The power behind the Republican party, the 1%, were encouraged to believe that they should run things ("things" being everything). They began a thirty-five year trek to where we are today.
The biggest obstacle was always democracy. That pesky feature of America meant that 99% of the public would be voting for their own self-interest, and that self-interest was opposed to the self-interest of the 1%.
Their solution was to buy middlemen/salesmen, paying some of them enough so that the salesmen became part of the 1% and then were propagandizing for their own self-interest. The list of salespeople for the 1% is very, very long. Here are some examples…
The median American household income in about $50,000 a year.
Some spokespeople for the 1% masquerading as spokespeople for the Middle-Class:
Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and other "regular contributors" (they don't have their own shows) to Fox News are paid about a million dollars a year. Not to do a regular job, but simply to be guests on scheduled shows. These folks attempt to persuade the middle-class viewers to support the agenda of the 1%. Their income just from being Fox guests ($1,000,000 per annum) would take twenty years of actual work – half the expected work life – of the middle-class families they're hired to trick.
Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News, makes $21,000,000 a year. His contract is running out and he's negotiating for a raise to $30,000,000. Even at twenty-one million, though, the average American family would have to work for 420 years to make what he gets in a year. With the raise it would be 600 years.
Bill O'Reilly gets about $32,000,000 a year to convince the middle-class to support the agenda of the 1%. The middle-class family would have to work 640 years to make what he gets in a single year. Six and a half centuries.
Another salesman for the 1%, Rush Limbaugh, got $69,000,000 last year. That's more than a quarter of a million collars an hour as a spokesman for the 1%. (Again, over a quarter of a million dollars…….an hour.) His victims would have to work 1,380 YEARS to make what he is paid in ONE year.
The King of Cons, Glenn Beck received $80,000,000 last year to spread terror among The Gullibles at the behest of the 1%. How long would the average American household have to work to make his twelve month income? One thousand, six hundred years!
Who gives these salesmen of the 1% these huge piles of money? The 1%. of course. For example...
Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News, is apparently on a mission to destroy America. For this he is given about $30,000,000 a year (600 years of work for the average American household.) But his net worth tops two billion U.S. dollars, and some reports put it at $4-7,000,000,000. Even at the low estimate of two billion it would take the average American household 40,000 years to earn that much. Forty thousand years.
These folks, along with thousands of others in the media from Ann Coulter to Michael Savage to Charles Krauthammer to Rick Warren, and behind the scenes (Rove, Gramm, Dick Armey, Frank Luntz, etc.) are paid 1% level incomes to be salespeople. (Some may actually believe some of the twaddle they spew, but they are salespeople nonetheless.)
We have multi-billionaires and mega-millionaires – not a very bright group to begin with – wanting to justify their pettiness, a group of slick manipulators that is only too glad to take their money, and a public face of very rich sales people. Forums have been created or, as in the case of the Washington Post and CNN – and, come to think of it, most of the former mainstream media, they have taken over existing media.
With unelectable second-rate candidates who will do their bidding (not least because they're members of the 1% themselves) and a large force of sales people, they have turned attention away from their unqualified candidates (Nothing to see here, move on!) toward the opposition.
The result of the propaganda onslaught by sales people of the 1% has worked on about half of the Republican voters (the most gullible). 47% of the 47%. So they are voting against Obama rather than for Romney.
A Southerner in Yankeeland