The Worst Kind of Greed

I’ve been trying to understand why Republicans (and Tea Baggers) win elections.  While I have my suspicions, I doubt many elections are outright stolen.  But, I have no doubt the non-rich outnumber the rich by a huge percentage.  And yet, often the party that blatantly favors the rich, the party that feels lowering taxes on the wealthy is the solution to all problems, gets elected.  Odd…

Given this phenomenon, I can only guess that many non-rich people are voting republican.  I wonder why.  Republicans publicly admit (hell, brag) they want to do away with social programs that benefit the non-rich.  Social Security, Medicare, prenatal nutrition, subsidized school lunches – all socialism and un-American they scream.  But for some reason, those who benefit from these social institutions vote for the people who would destroy them.  Why do some people vote against their own self-interest?  Weird…

After much thought (and a significant quantity of scotch) I may have stumbled upon an answer – greed.  A special kind of greed.

John Steinbeck once said, “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

I see Steinbeck’s observation as the basis for the odd behavior of voting for the people who screw you.  Apparently, many non-rich people feel that, one day, they may become rich.  And when that happens they want their taxes to be low.  They’ll be wealthy- and won’t want to pay for programs for poor people.  Someday…

This, in my mind, is the worst kind of greed.  It’s not the greed nurtured by a life of privilege, the “I’m rich and I’ll make sure I stay rich” greed.  I understand (but don’t condone) that kind greed.  It’s not the childish “I got mine and sharing may weaken me!” kind of greed.  We, mostly, all outgrow that type of behavior.  No, this is a particularly ugly greed based on the principle that “Maybe, one day, I’ll be richer (better) than others.  And when that happens screw them all.  As a mater of fact screw them now, even if I’m one of them”

Yup, the worst kind of greed.  Greed based on the false assumption that one day they will be invited into the ‘Privileged’ club.  And as an act of good faith they vote with the privileged – after all, one day they will part of that group.

They buy the bullshit!

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