|By Simba (Simba) on Saturday, July 17, 2004 - 09:55 am: Edit|
Playing the Culture Card
Why the GOP is falling back on divisive social issues?
by Eleanor Clift
Republicans couldn't even muster a simple majority for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, but that didn't stop the GOP-controlled Senate from devoting the better part of a week to the dangers posed by recognizing same-sex unions as legitimate marriages.
The GOP’s unwillingness or inability to address the economic concerns of ordinary Americans is why it falls back on divisive social issues. The dividing line between the conservative red states and the more liberal blue states is all about cultural concerns. Americans cast their votes for the candidate who “shares my values,” which is why blue-collar workers in economically depressed regions who should be Democrats vote Republican.
A new book, "What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America," shows how conservative politicians court blue-collar workers by attacking the values of the so-called liberal elite. Author Thomas Frank wanted to understand how a poor region of struggling ranchers and dying farm towns on the Great Plains of Kansas became a Republican stronghold when the Democratic Party is more in tune with the economic interests of these left-behind workers. Frank discovered that economic issues matter less than the visceral appeal of a party that vows "to fight back against artists who dip crosses in urine, Hollywood stars who wear outrageous clothes, Ivy League journalists who slant the news, and snob judges who remove Ten Commandments monuments from the parks, and so on."
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