Monday, October 22, 2012

Identity Trumps Interest

Rosalind Helderman of the Post reports from Defiance, Ohio, a town dependent on GM for its existence. Obama's bailout may have saved their jobs, but the people still plan to vote for Romney. It would be puzzling if it weren't the new reality of American politics. People's emotional attachment to their identities as conservatives or liberals are much more important than their economic interests.

I suspect that this situation is predicated on a general level of well being, and that fact that the economic differences between the two parties have been in practice rather small. But even in the face of the 2008 Wall Street meltdown only a few million people switched their votes. Most Americans are as attached to their party identities as they are to their football teams.

1 comment:

pootrsox said...

What a dreadfully depressing start to my daily internet browsing :(

But I think you're correct; most people are too unwilling to spend the time learning and refining their understanding of political issues. They simply vote for what they simplistically believe they hold valuable.