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Fri Oct 19, 2012, 03:48 PM

Why do people vote against their own self-interests?


•Religion
•Ignorance
•Propaganda
•Us vs. Them
•Bigotry
•Jingoism
•Programming
•Laziness
•Grudges
•Cultural
•Legacy
•Psychological

That's a lot to be up against!

46 replies, 3861 views

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Reply Why do people vote against their own self-interests? (Original post)
superpatriotman Oct 2012 OP
loli phabay Oct 2012 #1
SharonAnn Oct 2012 #19
Flashmann Oct 2012 #2
dchill Oct 2012 #3
Risen Demon Oct 2012 #4
Mad_Dem_X Oct 2012 #5
Tansy_Gold Oct 2012 #9
murray hill farm Oct 2012 #17
We People Oct 2012 #33
murray hill farm Oct 2012 #41
Mariana Oct 2012 #18
Ikonoklast Oct 2012 #43
War Horse Oct 2012 #6
superpatriotman Oct 2012 #7
meow2u3 Oct 2012 #31
ErikJ Oct 2012 #8
superpatriotman Oct 2012 #13
Jamaal510 Oct 2012 #40
murray hill farm Oct 2012 #10
jorno67 Oct 2012 #11
Gregorian Oct 2012 #12
superpatriotman Oct 2012 #14
Gregorian Oct 2012 #29
superpatriotman Oct 2012 #30
Gregorian Oct 2012 #45
B Calm Oct 2012 #15
Qutzupalotl Oct 2012 #16
Mariana Oct 2012 #24
tulsakatz Oct 2012 #20
hughee99 Oct 2012 #26
lpbk2713 Oct 2012 #21
meow2u3 Oct 2012 #22
nichomachus Oct 2012 #23
upi402 Oct 2012 #38
slackmaster Oct 2012 #25
NeuroEcon Oct 2012 #27
Lone_Wolf Oct 2012 #28
Populist_Prole Oct 2012 #32
AsahinaKimi Oct 2012 #34
underoath Oct 2012 #35
ErikJ Oct 2012 #36
upi402 Oct 2012 #37
ThomThom Oct 2012 #39
Evergreen Emerald Oct 2012 #42
aletier_v Oct 2012 #44
warrprayer Oct 2012 #46

Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 03:50 PM

1. ii think its hard to ascertain what their self interest is

 

We are complex creatures and what may seem a non issue to one person may be the most important to another person.

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Response to loli phabay (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:26 PM

19. Phrasing should be "against their economic/financial self-interest."

They may feel/believe that their religious beliefs or party affiliation are their primary self-interest.

I don't really understand that, but I know that some people think that way. Their economic/financial self-interest is not their primary self-interest.

Of course, there are also those who believe that their economic/financial self-interest is best served by voting Republican, but they're usually misinformed.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 03:51 PM

2. against their own self-interests

You left out stupidity.....There is a distinction between that and ignorance..Just sayin'...

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 03:51 PM

3. Ignorance pretty much covers...

the other reasons. Call it a prerequisite.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 03:52 PM

4. In general

You must mean their financial well-being? If that's the case, then most of those things fit.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 03:52 PM

5. I simply can't wrap my head around

why any self-respecting woman would vote Republican.

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Response to Mad_Dem_X (Reply #5)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:03 PM

9. Maybe because

Not all women think exactly alike? Not all women were raised exactly alike? Not all women want the same things? Believe the same things? Fear the same things? Value the same things?

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Response to Mad_Dem_X (Reply #5)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:24 PM

17. Because her bible tells her to!

and she takes every word literally! So...god tells her in that bible not to self-respect! The Rebulican party uses that to control her and they do a really good job of it.

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Response to murray hill farm (Reply #17)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 09:38 PM

33. Or because her husband tells her so

I believe that those same women, had they been divorced or never married, would have been more likely to consider the Democratic way of looking at issues that affect them.

A lot of married women accept what their husband say and really don't hear many other sides to political issues, especially if their neighborhood, circle of friends, extended family, or church is saying the same thing. Perhaps they're exposed to other things, but to keep the peace at home, they subordinate those thoughts and feelings and just "go along to get along" with their husbands.

I believe that the other group of women voting Republican - against the self-interest of reproductive rights and other women's issues - do so because they agree with the economic policies and feel it will benefit them most. So they subordinate the personal issues that impact their lives because of the financial goals they believe will be fulfilled.

It seems that both groups are either self-deluded or misguided.

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Response to We People (Reply #33)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 11:03 AM

41. Oh yes!

All the social institutions of society work together to maintain the status quo of particular and regional supressive magic.

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Response to Mad_Dem_X (Reply #5)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:25 PM

18. I don't believe any self-respecting women vote Republican.

Unfortunately, far too many women aren't self-respecting.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #18)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 11:17 AM

43. This is the correct answer.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 03:54 PM

6. Good list

I'd add tribalism

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Response to War Horse (Reply #6)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 03:59 PM

7. Cultural & Us vs. Them

I thought the combination would encompass Tribalism.

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Response to War Horse (Reply #6)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 06:02 PM

31. The psychological defense mechanism of splitting

That's the core of the us vs. them, good guys vs. bad guys mentality.

Allow me to add one of the reasons for such tribalism: splitting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splitting_%28psychology%29

From the introduction to the article:
Splitting (also called all-or-nothing thinking in cognitive distortion) may mean two things: splitting of the mind, and splitting of mental concepts (or black and white thinking). The latter is thinking purely in extremes (e.g., goodness vs. evil, innocence vs. corruption, victimization vs. oppression, etc.), and can be seen as a developmental stage and as a defense mechanism.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:03 PM

8. Self-hatred?

I would say the main reason is racism. I debate these people all the time and they hate illegals and blacks on welfare. They hate thge idea of them getting health care or anything else for that matter. The GOP has amped and ginned it up with dog-whistle galore.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #8)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:15 PM

13. Haven't you heard?

Racism only occurs on the Left, according to Ann Coulter.

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Response to superpatriotman (Reply #13)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 11:37 PM

40. "Racism only occurs on the Left, according to Ann Coulter."

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:12 PM

10. I think that many, many just do not pay that much attention to the big issues.

and so...they just connect with the the smaller ones. So many people that I know where I live (rural Arkansas) just base their vote on limited information via Fox news (and the hate and fear that is generated) and then just base their belief on what they hear from friends or their churches re: the "higher power" as they see the word of god in the bible. So many decide who they will vote for based on a candidates views regarding abortion, same sex marriage, etc. and this "bible as the final word" decides their vote. Obama's policies, in this regard place him in the category of not being a "god fearing man" and not following the "word" of god. Then all the fear mongering on fox news re the affordable health care bill, taxing the job creators just adds to it. And then there is that whole idea of a black man and his family in the white house....racism lives big time in rural Arkansas! And...yep! Will vote against their own self-interest every time.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:14 PM

11. They are delusional

They don't believe that they are the people who are being talked about (47%) and others believe they don't want to tax the rich because they are a lottery ticket away from being rich. Some believe that they will never get sick, or their insurance company will never drop them or their daughter will never be raped...the list goes on and on but the bottom line is that most people are in complete denial about the real world.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:14 PM

12. Read Alice Miller's book The Drama Of The Gifted Child.

But the problem is, almost no one is ready to hear what she wrote back in 1979, even now. People just can't break out of the Fourth Commandment to see that they were mistreated by their parents when they were very young. But once you discover this, everything falls right into place.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #12)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:17 PM

14. I haven't (and likely won't) read it

Could you summarize?

Is it a Freudian Mommy/Daddy analysis of human behavior?

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Response to superpatriotman (Reply #14)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:53 PM

29. Messed up parents raise messed up children.

By the nature of our dependency upon our parents for survival we repress our emotions. Later on in life most people tend to see relationships as the same parent/child situation. The extreme cases are like the Bush, Romney, Hitlers of the world. They look for victims to punish. And they have large groups who identify and follow them. Like Republicans who vote against their best interests.

What's interesting about the book is that the last page is all political. It's 100 pages, and the most profound book I've ever read. Like altering.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #29)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 05:10 PM

30. Thanks!

That was nice.

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Response to superpatriotman (Reply #30)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 01:33 PM

45. Now that I think of it, I did the book injustice by trying to abbreviate it. There is so much more.

So much crucially important stuff. I woke up last night thinking about it.

I think what happens is that those who work out their repressed childhood emotions go on to be liberals. Those who don't go on to become conservative types.

What's more is that almost every bad thing on the planet is caused by this problem. Alice Miller also wrote a book called The Body Never Lies. It's about how this causes illnesses.

So war, illness, conservative politics, crime, and a lot more are all the result of people reacting to the world as if they were still that infant in diapers trying to keep their parents from abandoning them.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:22 PM

15. I think it's like sadomasochisma.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:23 PM

16. Republicans believe they're standing up for the unborn.

Believing fetuses are people, they act accordingly. They are willing to overlook unfavorable economic issues to defend the weak and defenseless. In their minds, they are acting out of altruism. These are the hardest minds to change; you have to unpack a lot of other beliefs, such as their church and pastor being wrong on this issue.

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Response to Qutzupalotl (Reply #16)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:36 PM

24. Except most of them are obviously lying when they say

they believe fetuses are people. Most of them are willing to make exceptions, and allow abortions for victims of rape or incest. How many of them also say that it's acceptable to kill born people who were conceived during a rape or act of incest? None of them do. Anyone who would allow such exceptions clearly doesn't really think a fetus is the same as a born person.

The only people who can credibly claim they believe a fetus is a person are those who say rape and incest are not valid reasons to abort. They exist, but they are a minority of anti-choice people.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:27 PM

20. that has always confused me too...

...I just don't understand why someone would vote for someone who has already stated he will likely create policies that would hurt you & everyone else in your economic group!

Thomas Frank wrote a book about this called What's the Matter with Kansas Basically he questions why Kansans consistently vote for republicans while it's very clear that their policies hurt most of the people who vote for them.

I haven't read that one but I have read The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule Well, I didn't actually finish it though. When I had finished about 3/4 of the book, I got so depressed, I couldn't finish it! The things republicans have done & continue to do to block or stop democratic progressed just seemed monumental & impossible to reverse. I need to go back & finish it though because he really does make a lot of excellent points.

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Response to tulsakatz (Reply #20)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:39 PM

26. Couldn't one argue that a wealthy person voting for certain Dems

may also be voting for people that would likely create policies that would hurt them and everyone else in their financial group? In some cases, people vote based not on what's in it for them personally but on what they believe (right or wrong) is best for the country.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:27 PM

21. Too lazy to research the issues on their own.




So the end up voting for candidate X or Y because a friend or relative told them that's what they were going to do.


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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:28 PM

22. Republicans don't believe in democracy

Their idea of freedom is the privilege for the rich to have a license to oppress the poor; for men to have license to oppress women; whites given freedom to brutalize minorities; and for the law to enact injustice as sacred.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:36 PM

23. Funny you should ask

Noam Chomsky has a video that talks about exactly that

&feature=player_embedded

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Response to nichomachus (Reply #23)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 10:27 PM

38. ^ +1,000

"informed voters making rational decisions"

don't know whether to laugh or cry

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:38 PM

25. That concept has been brought up innumerable times on DU, and I think it's silly

 

People don't knowingly vote against their own self-interests.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:42 PM

27. People will do what they believe will

make themselves feel good. They found Ronald Reagan to sooth their anxieties in comparison to Jimmy Carter. By in large, voting for Reagan stimulated the dopamine center of their brain, while Jimmy Carter didn't do the same. Voting against your socio-economic interest is not too dis-similar to becoming addicted to heroine.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:49 PM

28. I think confirmation bias has something to do with it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs. For example, in reading about gun control, people usually prefer sources that affirm their existing attitudes. They also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position. Biased search, interpretation and memory have been invoked to explain attitude polarization (when a disagreement becomes more extreme even though the different parties are exposed to the same evidence), belief perseverance (when beliefs persist after the evidence for them is shown to be false), the irrational primacy effect (a greater reliance on information encountered early in a series) and illusory correlation (when people falsely perceive an association between two events or situations).

A series of experiments in the 1960s suggested that people are biased toward confirming their existing beliefs. Later work re-interpreted these results as a tendency to test ideas in a one-sided way, focusing on one possibility and ignoring alternatives. In certain situations, this tendency can bias people's conclusions. Explanations for the observed biases include wishful thinking and the limited human capacity to process information. Another explanation is that people show confirmation bias because they are weighing up the costs of being wrong, rather than investigating in a neutral, scientific way.

Confirmation biases contribute to overconfidence in personal beliefs and can maintain or strengthen beliefs in the face of contrary evidence. Poor decisions due to these biases have been found in military, political, and organizational contexts.


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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 06:27 PM

32. I'd say your list sums it up very effectively

I think the confirmation bias Lone Wolf highlighted is the catalyst that glues the OP's list together.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 09:40 PM

34. Brainwashed?

By Fox News/Limbaugh

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 10:13 PM

35. Because they can?

 




Let them ruin their own lives by doing it.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 10:19 PM

36. Bigotry mostly

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 10:21 PM

37. MEDIA propaganda

the 4th estate is gone.
we now have propaganda, 90% corporatist propaganda.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 10:33 PM

39. single issue voters

anti-abortion
guns
race

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 11:10 AM

42. It is a good question. I have experienced it with friends.

I have a friend whose husband was in the service. He became ill (not related to the service) and received SS monthly as well as retirement from the service. The government paid for the whole family's medical, kids education and--the kids received a monthly stipend from SS as well.

She works for the local government and has medical, and a pension account.

She is a republican who is voting for Romney--and actually actually said that under Obama, the government is paying too much in entitlements. Seriously.

She is educated, intelligent. And does not make the connections. When I attempt to gently discuss it with her, she does not want to talk politics.

Why can't she see it? She is obviously not thinking. She does not get that she is voting against the interests of her family.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 11:17 AM

44. The group vs the self

most of us would not loot and destroy companies for $300 million because its a net negative for the group, although astounding positive for the looter.

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Response to superpatriotman (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 01:36 PM

46. when they have to throw out registration forms

... apparently not enough people are stupid enough to vote against their interests!

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