Three Big Questions

I’ll be on the radio from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time this afternoon with Joe Thomas on The Daily Constitutional. The flagship station is WCHV, 107.5 FM, in Charlottesville, but the show is syndicated throughout Central Virginia, from Richmond to Roanoke, and you can find a local station or listen live online at

I had a topic in mind to discuss on the radio today which I thought I would use to draw readers’ attention to a feature on my new website: the comments section, where readers can offer their own reactions on the topics discussed in The Tracinski Letter. I’ll be moderating these comments and replying to them, and today I wanted to open up a discussion for readers to offer their answers to three big questions.

In this year’s election, as in the previous three presidential elections, the countryside and to a certain extent the suburbs have gone for Republicans, but the coasts and the big cities have consistently gone for Democrats. This was not always the case. (Reagan won New York City in 1984, for example.) Which raises the question: how can advocates of free markets and limited government recapture some of the constituencies we have lost?

President Obama won re-election on the strength of the youth vote, the racial/ethnic vote, and the urban vote. If we want to change these voting patterns, we have to ask how these became electoral monopolies for the Democrats in the first place. And I think we have to begin by recognizing that all three bastions of support are, at least in some sense, unnatural. So let me pose this question in the form of three paradoxes of American politics.

Paradox #1: Why do the young vote for dependency—when the essence of youth is a quest for independence?

Paradox #2: Why do racial and ethnic minorities, who ought to be seeking equality before the law, vote against the party that offers a universal ideology and in favor of the party that appeals to racial and ethnic divisions?

Paradox #3: Why do the great centers of wealth and commerce, the cities, vote for the party that is hostile to wealth, commerce, and money-making?

Before some wisenheimer chimes in, let me point out that these are paradoxes, that is, apparent contradictions. I think there is a resolution to all of these paradoxes, though I am not yet settled on the best answer to all of them. (The answer to #2 is easiest, in my opinion, while the answer to #3 still has me somewhat stumped.) So to help me out, please post your suggestions in the comments field below. Post them before or during this afternoon’s show and I may use them on-air. Or keep posting afterward—I hope there will be a vigorous discussion in the comments—and I will draw on them for an upcoming article on “The Three Paradoxes of American Politics.”—RWT


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34 Responses to Three Big Questions

  1. roger sause November 29, 2012 at 2:35 PM #

    The answer to #3 is that the majority of people are parasitic in nature and gravitate to where wealth is and whatever crumbs will fall off the truck for them to pick up. Look at cities like portland oregon and santa barbara CA for example. These cities are profoundly altruistic to the homeless and thus infested with them. The same holds true for “working class” people, who see earning money as a necessary evil not a “passion.” Unions inevitably come into these urban centers and set up camp pandering to class envy and hence there ensues a leftwing majority looking for handouts.

    • jim swanik November 30, 2012 at 6:23 AM #

      Roger already made the case for #3, but I will add that votes are not weighted for individual productivity. It takes relatively few productive, creative people to generate enough wealth that even their “crumbs” will support tremendous legions of parasites… and those parasites all get to vote.

  2. Paul D. November 29, 2012 at 2:43 PM #

    #1 Youth have spent their whold lives in a protected environment, first in the cocoon of their families, later in the university. So they aren’t exposed to the realities of the real world. When they finally are out on their own, they expect someone to be there to take care of their problems, and usually look for a government solution. It takes time in the real world to develop a sense of being able to take care of yourself, and to realize that the governement one size fits all doesn’t always work.

    #2 This is a mystery to me, but perhaps they are attracted to a party that does foster racial/identity differences because it makes them feel special?

    #3. The big cities have strong union constituencies, both public and private, and the union philosophy is counter to free enterprise.

  3. Tim Starr November 29, 2012 at 2:50 PM #

    The answer to all is the same:

    1) Government has convinced the young that it will help them achieve independence from their parents;

    2) Government has convinced minorities that it will help them against racist oppression by whites;

    3) Government has convinced the poor that it will protect them against the rich.

    In all 3 cases, Government (G) poses as the protector of X against Y, without admitting the possibility that X could ever need protection against G. In the rare instance in which it’s impossible to deny that X needs protection against G, G blames that on Y.

  4. RD November 29, 2012 at 2:50 PM #

    The first paradox I think has to do with inability of youth to connect outcomes AND processes. They traditionally think exclusively in terms of outcomes without much thought to processes. This can be connected to inability to critically think, but it is probably something that may just be part of being young, not having amassed a lot of life experiences. Older people may possess the same inability to critically think but they certainly understand the process they went through to accumulate and earn wealth. Consequently, they tend to shudder at redistribution when they think of how hard they worked to earn what will be redistributed. If you ain’t got nothing to redistribute…probably doesn’t seem like a bad deal. Certainly, all age groups seem to not see the ruse in all of it to get them thinking about putting their hand in the pocket of the person above them, distracted and not noticing the hand in their pocket from the person below them.
    The third paradox – guilt, lack of understanding free markets or why what they do works, crony capitalism. All of the above, some of the above, that and in addition to the above.

    Education still seems to be the key. Rare to find a rational person, someone that wants to understand, that doesn’t “get it” when explained to them correctly. Even on the big issues that is true – Paul Ryan took on the toughest issue and was able to win the argument. Rand Paul, Ron Johnson, Marco Rubio, Susan Martinez, Haley Barber, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindahl, ….those who can properly define and defend the principles do quite well (unless they trip over social issues). Add in Regan – really, he was no brainiac but he could communicate the ideas. Romney seems like a good man, but he clearly was unable to define and defend the principles of limited government and free markets. Unfortunately, it will take someone on a national stage to educate the masses back towards our founding principles. They are there….their turn in the rotation is the next election I believe.

  5. John U. Parker November 29, 2012 at 2:55 PM #

    #1: The educational system has left young people screwed up (intellectually disarmed). They can’t think and are not looking for ideas, they are looking for someone who looks and sounds good.

    #2: If the Republicans really have the ideology you mention, they don’t know it, they don’t hold it consistantly, and they don’t communicate it very well, if at all.

    #3. People who earn a lot of money through finance, as opposed to manufacturing or construction, don’t seem to realize what is at stake. They can earn money (they think) no matter what happens. And due to the lousy educational system and the culture it produces, they have a noblesse oblige attitude toward people who don’t earn as much.

  6. Greg Foster November 29, 2012 at 2:58 PM #

    I think the answers to all three questions are very simple.
    Question #1: The voting youth see a chance for “free” health insurance until age 26.
    Question #2: The minorities are generally in favor of amnesty for illegals and consider the Republican Party to be a “hard line” party.
    Question #3: The large cities are populated with blue collar and minorities with the wealthy living in the suburbs or remain a minor factor in the makeup of the population if they remain in the urban setting. The blue collar and minorities want to protect what they perceive as their benefits from Social Security and Medicare or Obamacare. The Republican Party is perceived as a threat.

    In summary, the Republican message, as currently portrayed, is far from appealing to the youth, minorities, labor and women. The general view seems to be that we just don’t have to pay for the benefits and no one wants to face that.

  7. Shayne Wissler November 29, 2012 at 3:04 PM #

    The answer to your question, at least in part, is that the message coming from the pro-liberty leadership is biased and doesn’t recognize root problems. To pick a timely example: at the moment, perhaps 95% of the population is in favor of government licensing of medical doctors and the FDA (and they are in favor of more regulations I could list). This leads to inflated prices that some poor people can’t pay. Given that these poor are prevented from creating their own medical care (they would be thrown in jail for practicing medicine or for creating cheap drugs), then there is some justice in them getting some help from the government.

    This is a simple and obvious truth: if you insist on interfering with someone helping themselves, then you are morally and should be legally required to give them the help you deny them. In part, this is what ObamaCare *is*, even though most do not recognize it. So long as pro-free market people don’t recognize this truth explicitly, and boldly declaim *all* government interference in the market, they’ll lose the argument. Instead, those self-styled free market supporters ignore the government interference via regulation and licensing, and they fixate on welfare, which again, is in some part a *just* remedy for the unfair regulations. Ergo they are in fact perpetrating injustice, which is grasped on some level by the youth (even though, ironically, these very youth are also in favor of what amounts to fascist regulation of the economy.)

    • David November 29, 2012 at 11:55 PM #

      “This is a simple and obvious truth: if you insist on interfering with someone helping themselves, then you are morally and should be legally required to give them the help you deny them.”

      This is very bad analysis. It’s true enough that licensure and other impediments to cheaper and more competitive medical care should be rolled back. But it is not “morally required,” if you are beating somebody over the head with a stick, to beat them even harder in response to the problems caused by the earlier beating. How is further exacerbating the problems in the medical industry, further enslaving the doctors and patients, etc., at all a “moral requirement”? The writer’s assertions are sophistry, in part because he does not even specify the “you” that is causing the problem. Because somebody ELSE interfered with MY medical freedom, it’s justice to ME to further stomp MY medical freedom? It is never a “moral requirement” to tighten the chains of bondage because either the enemies of liberty or the supporters of liberty have an inadequate understanding of the situation or make bad arguments. The “simple and obvious truth” is this: “If you insist on interfering with someone’s helping themselves, then you are morally and should be legally required to STOP that interference.”

  8. Charlie Patterson November 29, 2012 at 3:07 PM #

    Youth vote, as they always have, with their heart. Passion over logic, or even common sense, has ruled that demographic since democracy began. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, one is liberal when young because he has a heart, and conservative when older because he has a brain. Kids aren’t voting for dependency as your column might suggest. They are voting for what’s socially acceptable in their circles, and against “The Man, who they view is the conservative candidate regardless of the reality.” The best analogy I know is the fish tale. We see a starving man and a liberal cries, “give that man a fish!” The conservative says, “yes, give him a fish, and then teach him to fish so that he will have dignity and be able to feed himself.”
    Youth must grow into this perspective.

  9. Charlie Patterson November 29, 2012 at 3:09 PM #

    Youth vote, as they always have, with their heart. Passion over logic, or even common sense, has ruled that demographic since democracy began. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, one is liberal when young because he has a heart, and conservative when older because he has a brain. Kids aren’t voting for dependency as your column might suggest. They are voting for what’s socially acceptable in their circles, and against “The Man,” who they view is the conservative candidate regardless of the reality. The best analogy I know is the fish tale. We see a starving man and a liberal cries, “give that man a fish!” The conservative says, “yes, give him a fish, and then teach him to fish so that he will have dignity and be able to feed himself.”
    Youth must grow into this perspective.

  10. Michael Webb November 29, 2012 at 3:31 PM #

    “Why do the great centers of wealth and commerce, the cities, vote for the party that is hostile to wealth, commerce, and money-making?”

    Perhaps two things are going on: first, the fact that you are in a city means that the influence of the predominant intellectual culture is concentrated by the media: more universities, more Local TV news and newspapers, etc.

    Second, the larger population means the pyramid effect is also concentrated, where there are more large organizations with a few powerful people at the top (not just employers, but cities themselves, and quasi-government mass-transit outfits, etc.) and lots and lots of wage earners who are susceptible to the influence of the prevailing culture.

    Finally, as a sort of death spiral, as the prevailing culture’s ideas fail, it creates more unemployed people (susceptible to unionizing), and more inner-city poor to take advantage of, etc.

    In short, in the cities you just get more of the prevailing culture, more concentrated. If the prevailing ideas were better and more sound, it would be a positive force. As it is, so few people are expressing better, more sound ideas (the business community hasn’t caught the fever yet), these voices just continue to be overwhelmed.

    I think these are great questions, and I look forward to learning how you analyze this question.

  11. Mark Wilson November 29, 2012 at 3:41 PM #

    Paradox 1 – Because the educational system is dominated by Progressives, and hence teaches all the Progressive tenets, including such bromides as ‘we are all in this together’ ‘we should all learn to be compassionate to our fellow man’ no man is an island’ ‘we are best when we work together’ ‘the moral man is the man that dedicates his life to the service to others’ etc.

    Paradox 2 – The Dems don’t necessarily advocate racial division, but rather common interests, sacrifice, service to others, and brotherhood (see the answer to question 1). These answers tend to resonate with those who have been taught that they are particularly oppressed by an uncaring system.

    Paradox 3 – The Dems don’t portray themselves as being hostile to wealth, commerce, and money-making, but emphasize a ‘greater good’ that subsumes these crude activities as spiritually incomplete. They seek a ‘higher truth’ – one that emphasizes the points outlined in the answer to question 1.

  12. Allen Weingarten November 29, 2012 at 3:58 PM #

    Paradox #1: Why do the young vote for dependency—when the essence of youth is a quest for independence?

    Paradox #2: Why do racial and ethnic minorities, who ought to be seeking equality before the law, vote against the party that offers a universal ideology and in favor of the party that appeals to racial and ethnic divisions?

    Paradox #3: Why do the great centers of wealth and commerce, the cities, vote for the party that is hostile to wealth, commerce, and money-making?

    These are not paradoxes, but assumptions that the chosen characteristics are the predominant factors. Suppose the primary motivation of: the youth is not independence, but perhaps an emotional high; the minorities is not equality but perhaps hostility; the cities is not commerce but perhaps liberalism. Then there is no paradox, but rather mistaken descriptions of motivations.

  13. Mark Tammett November 29, 2012 at 3:58 PM #

    Q3: Those living in rural areas are closer to physical reality, and the demands that nature places on man to survive. It is hard to live a comfortable life of dependency in the country. Usually physical reality is there in your face every day and hard to evade. Large cities by contrast, although they are the product of capitalism, also provide a mechanism for dependency. Someone else has solved the day-to-day problems that rural dwellers have to contend with – the transport networks, utilities, and well stocked supermarkets. They are also the centres of bureaucracy. So it’s possible to live a comfortable life in a city, and take for granted everything that’s required to make your life comfortable – precisely because capitalists have solved those problems for you. This is not unique to the US; a similar pattern exists in Australia and NZ, in that the more socialist party always does better in the city, and the more free market party has solid support in rural areas.

  14. Pankaj Kishore November 29, 2012 at 3:59 PM #

    1. Public schools and universities are dominated by left leaning teachers.

    2. Migrants are so used to politics which divides people on ethnic grounds, that they take it for granted, and vote for the party that they believe will benefit their group.

    3. Bigger cities have bigger work forces labor unions.

  15. Tom November 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM #

    The first one is a damn good question. I wonder if it points to a change in what youth think of as individualism. Instead of thinking in terms of self-reliance or independent thought, they seek to merely distinguish themselves through superficial things like their choice of music (most of which reinforces collectivist ideas). This isn’t a complete answer though, and I’m afraid I don’t have one. I look forward to reading your Paradoxes article.

  16. Christine McNulty November 29, 2012 at 4:03 PM #

    If the problem is the anticoncept, altruism, look no further than Darwin. The alternative to Darwin’s culpable incomplete theory of evolutionary processes is not Intelligent Design or any other form of creationism – it”s perhaps Craig Venter.

  17. Brianna November 29, 2012 at 4:08 PM #

    1) I think it’s a combination of what we’ve been taught in school (I saw “we” because I’m 27, which is only 1 year older than the max age to be on your parents’ health plan, under Obama) and a fear of failure. What we’re taught in school, because the history classes that cover the early 20th century paint a picture of free-market capitalism at its worst, complete with starving waifs, abused workers, and the avenging social workers and crusaders who came in to save them. Sinclair’s “The Jungle” was an entire unit in class, and Theodore Roosevelt the hero who created the FDA to save the streets of Chicago from the factories’ shoddy products. A fear of failure because we are young and untried, and it’s getting harder and harder to find a good job with benefits fresh out of school. The promise of health insurance is especially enticing, due to both the current recession and the fact that jobs with good benefits are naturally harder for younger people to get than experienced ones. I do not fall for these things because a) as an engineer, I have the sort of education that still does guarantee a reasonably good job with benefits straight out of college, and b) certain aspects of my upbringing taught me a horror of dependency.

    2) The first reason is that minorities have been lied to a lot, especially in the case of blacks. Despite the longstanding history of the Democrats being the party of the Old South and the KKK, the Left has managed to shift that burden onto the right by implying that because the Southern vote and the white vote are primarily Republican, Southern and white racism must now be the province of the Republican party as well.

    The second reason, in the case of hispanics, is the Republican aversion to immigration, particularly low-skilled immigration from Mexico. It doesn’t help that there is some truth to these accusations, but I think the main reason the Right does not like immigration is a) they see what’s happening in Europe with Muslims, and want no part of it, and b) they’re afraid immigrants will not be productive citizens.

    The third reason is affirmative action and benefits. Many minorities have been suckered into believing they deserve preferential treatment because of slavery or past discrimination, and the Democratic party provides. Also, I believe the current black illegitimacy rate is around 70%. There is a genuine element of people voting for Democrats because Democrats give them free stuff, which is espeically pronounced among blacks because single mothers are espeically prone to dependency on welfare and government aid.

    3) I think this is part guilt, part appeasement. Guilt, because these rich people have been taught that making money is bad, but giving it away is good. Appeasement, because they’re hoping they can buy off those who make accusations of greed against them by urging the government to take their wealth and redistribute it.

  18. George Barker November 29, 2012 at 4:14 PM #

    #1. The youth are confused. Basketball playing, truth-to-power Obama appears independent. Mormon goodie goodie Romney appears to want to put the breaks on. That’s my best guess as to how things appear to the hazy, confused minions of youthful Obama voters. The products of the American education system can’t be expected to look deeply into either candidate. And of those that do, altruism will lead many to Obama, even if they come to realize Romney would offer them more independence.

    #2. Cynicism. In a mixed economy equality before the law is not enough. The game is rigged. Better do unto others before they do unto you.

    #3. The great centers of wealth and commerce are also the filled with either “educated” people or those who aspire to appear educated and behave educated. The educated elite is in the tank for Obama and more generally for anti-capitalism.

  19. Ryan Jamieson November 29, 2012 at 6:22 PM #

    I have some thoughts on point #1 & #2. I watched the election from Canada with two black teen-aged twins (a male and female), one of whom I teach high school physics. He’s a very large 230 pound basketball player, who is into economics and very bright academically, and who lived in America for several years, has his American citizenship but was born in Nigeria. For him, it was all about race: he cheered on Obama to my horror out of sheer racism/racial identification. He would scream out that “Obama was his man,” and “all them white folks in Alabama are votin’ for Romney.” As the election results poored in over CNN in the various cities, such as Miami, Detroit, Chicago, etc., he would talk about his brothers going on in large numbers. It’s was primitive tribalism at its ugliest. He didn’t connect Obama’s substantive policies or positions to the election at all. I later convinced him that all such policies are leading to economic destruction.

  20. Steven Finder November 29, 2012 at 6:33 PM #

    1. It may only be me, but your new website is putting all those little tags for facebook, twitter, etc directly over the screen so that it is difficult to see what others write and what I am writing right now. They move when I scroll around. It may just be my computer, but if it is affecting me it is probably affecting others. It would be nice if you could have who ever created your site fix it.

    2. I would write more but it is hard to do so with the screen acting the way it is. I would argue that there are two sides to these paradoxes. On on side are the paradoxes but on the other side is how we approach the paradoxes. In some ways asking why these seem to be present seems like asking why someone didn’t understand what you told them. The reality is that the person giving the message has the burden to be understood not the person receiving the message. If the young, the immigrants, and the cities aren’t understanding the message it may be that the right is clearly articulating the message.

    I look back on this last political season and ask where were the messages that clearly explained why we believe these values to be correct? I never heard them. I don’t think they were ever said. I don’t ever remember any one actually explaining why additional taxes on the rich are bad. I believe there is a valid economic argument that taking money from the rich (the money that is taken is always the last dollar and that is the dollar that is invested) and giving it to the government is wrong. It essentially takes the most productive money in the economy and converts it to the least productive money. Money spent by the government (even when spent on good things) is always the least efficient and least productive. But no one ever makes that argument. In fact there was a wonderful experiment in 1989 with luxury goods, especially yachts where we increased taxes on luxury yachts and decimated the yacht industry in the US. More money was lost in unemployment than was ever gained in tax revenue. But those argumentnts aren’t being made. So is it any wonder that people who are not predisposed to economic rational arguments don’t know them or understand them?

  21. Steven Finder November 29, 2012 at 6:36 PM #

    In the message above, Please note that I meant that the Right is not clearly articulating the right message. It is difficult to proof read with the way the site is behaving and I missed the “not” in a sentence.

  22. B. A. November 29, 2012 at 7:53 PM #

    1) Because Americans now have become like the Scandinavians. They are afraid to fail. Afraid that they will not have success in their life. And so they look for the Government to take care of them. They are scared little children afraid to grow up and take responsibility for themselves. So they vote for the guy that will provide a “social safety net”.

    2) Because they are racists themselves? I’ve met many blacks that are crazy racists. The only thing they had against the “old” racism was that it put them at a disadvantage. If the new, “reversed” racism can give them benefits, they are all for it.

    3) Because current culture and normal moral beliefs make them feel guilty about being wealthy. So they think they should “give back” to prove that they are not bad people. Or the nationalization of industry in America has now gone so far that practical every business is receiving some form of subsidies or other support from the government, so they, like the young, are afraid they might not make it without government support anymore, so they vote for they guy that will bail them out if they ever need it.

  23. Lee November 29, 2012 at 8:10 PM #

    1. My son goes to Santa Clara: an expensive University populated by upscale students. He reports to me that most of his very sincere (but misguided) friends express a willingness to give up some of their standard of living to “do the right thing”. This leads me to believe that what is at work here is serious brainwashing. They actually believe the bromides of the left about the injustice of capitalism.

    2. The emotional appeal of being a victim and not responsible for one’s circumstances is intoxicating. Obviously it does not hold up to critical thought, and for that reason critical thought is not applied to the issue.

    3. It always surprises me how many wealthy people I encounter who do not take genuine pride in their wealth. They think that to do so is insensitive to those who are not wealthy. Frequently these people turn into noisy leftists attempting to establish their moral value.

  24. Keith November 29, 2012 at 8:33 PM #

    I think the answer to #1 is that the Democrats continue to successfully sell themselves as the choice of the youthful rebellion against “the man,” especially when he is seen as attacking the choices of their generation (gay rights, right to choose) and as a group of old, white, rich men.

    The answer for #3 is that the cities concentrate not only wealth but poverty, in the sense that they have been the place of opportunity for the poor trying to succeed. Since the poor outnumber the rich in any city of substantial size, the cities go for the anti-wealth party on sheer numbers.

  25. Marvin J. Greenberg November 29, 2012 at 8:52 PM #

    Offhand, I don’t think any of our opinions attempting to answer the three questions is worth very much. Why not ask Nate Silver (or one of the other pollsters who called the electoral college vote so accurately) to poll the people you are inquiring about and ask them directly?

    I will say this re. question #1: Young people I know, all of whom voted for Obama, did not do so primarily because they want to be dependent on the govt. The sense I got from them is that the Republicans are a bunch of uptight repressive old fogeys, whereas Obama is “cool” and represents the social values endorsed by most young people. A young Republican woman wrote an op-ed for the WSJ shortly after the election supporting what I just said.

  26. M.Wray November 29, 2012 at 11:25 PM #

    #1: This may not be the entire answer, but I think part of the reason may be that students are strongly influenced by the very liberal culture at most universities. Having attended spent 9 years in academia getting my undergraduate and graduate degrees from two ivy league schools, I can attest to the fact that virtually all professors are extremely liberal, at least at the top-level universities. I have attended numerous classes completely unrelated to politics (e.g. biology, psychology) in which professors made insulting or derogatory comments about republicans (George Bush and Sarah Palin are favorite targets) to lecture halls of 200+ students. My impression is that this is not done maliciously — it simply never occurs to these professors that anyone would disagree with them. In my experience, most university professors assume that all intelligent, educated people are Democrats. If the professors and administrators at our country’s universities have this sort of attitude, it is not at all surprising to me that most young people who have attended college tend to vote for Democratic leaders…at least until they get out into the real world (which most professors, by the way, have never experienced) and discover that the “idealistic” views of their professors which sounded so good to them as college students simply don’t work in reality.

    The BIGGER paradox, to me, is why university professors have such a strong liberal bias. How can these people, who have such brilliant minds when it comes to their field of research, and whose professions require them to think rationally and use experimental evidence discover the truth about reality, fail to see the irrationality in the political policies they are supporting? If anyone has a good answer to this one, I would love to hear it!

  27. Robin Craig November 30, 2012 at 3:18 AM #

    Paradox #1: I don’t think this is very mysterious. Youth seek independence from control more than from financial dependency or generally being looked after. Look at the common complaint about Y-genners, who stay dependent on their parents into their 30s. And look at their attitude if the very same parents who support them financially try to control their lifestyle! The Democrats are the natural party for that attitude (not of course universal to the young, but common enough to be proverbial): economic support coupled with social freedom.

  28. Robin Craig November 30, 2012 at 3:23 AM #

    Paradox #2: Racial and ethnic minorities do not generally see the problem as the individual against the collective, but as a struggle between collectives. So they will vote for the party that offers their personal collective the most goodies.

  29. Robin Craig November 30, 2012 at 3:26 AM #

    Paradox #3: There is always a pyramid of ability. This is not altered by concentration. Even in the cities, most people are employees not employers, and are subject to the same collectivist errors as anywhere else. In addition the major centres are home to intellectuals, academics and government facilities, all favoring Leftist philosophy.

  30. Bryan November 30, 2012 at 4:18 PM #

    “Paradox #1: Why do the young vote for dependency—when the essence of youth is a quest for independence?”

    I’m not sure all of the youth vote for dependency. An average college educated leftist doesn’t know much about economic issues, but they do know there are medieval bigots in the Republican party on social issues. The social issues are very clear to them, and they primarily vote based on these things. Most people are not intellectuals nor economists so they don’t see a big difference in additional economic regulation.

    “Paradox #2: Why do racial and ethnic minorities, who ought to be seeking equality before the law, vote against the party that offers a universal ideology and in favor of the party that appeals to racial and ethnic divisions?”

    It is a paradox that Asian immigrants overwhelmingly vote for a party that supports affirmative action that keeps Asians and Indians out of schools despite their hard work, in order to put a black or white with lower scores in their place–until you consider that Asians probably do not care much about this issue.

    The Republican party is not the Objectivist party. They do not have a “universal ideology.” There are weirdos who would like to line up along the border and shoot Mexicans that are associated with the Republican party. The best argument you can get out of the anti-immigrationists in the Republican party is legal positivism (which means a rationalization for their racism). People are not stupid–they can sense this.

    Obviously its wrong that the Republican party is a racist party, yet that characterization by the media can survive because most people are not intellectuals and because a large number of Republican voters are hostile to immigrants because “its the law” (which is the most pathetic rationalization). Its also wrong that the party is solely socially conservative. Asian immigrants, who often work more jobs, get more education, and earn more money than native born Americans, should be inclined to the economic liberty within the Republican party. But they’re horrified when they hear Republicans say that God will abort a pregnancy in the case of rape. These college educated people are not going to vote for that. That’s probably why they vote less as a group and focus on getting ahead instead.

    If you had a Republican party that had no social conservatism, then you would see more Asian and Indian immigrants voting for them. I can’t speak for what I see in hispanic culture because I’m an Indo-Canadian from Vancouver with a Korean partner. I don’t have much contact with hispanic culture.

    “Paradox #3: Why do the great centers of wealth and commerce, the cities, vote for the party that is hostile to wealth, commerce, and money-making?”

    These places are also centers of irreligion, acceptance of gays, etc.

  31. James Rothering December 1, 2012 at 4:50 PM #

    On #3, I believe Pankaj Kishore had the key. Cities are economically centers with a greater division of labor. Paradoxically, this economic sophistication makes it easier to evade the direct connection between productivity and prosperity. The consequences of larding on additional burdens (i.e., additional regulations, new bureaucracies, more laws, etc.) are not as clearly evident as they are in a less mature division of labor environment. In a similar fashion, I have notices that first generation immigrants are typically hard working. They remember the way things were in the “Old Country,” but each succeeding generation has more prosperity to obscure the link between hard work and success.

  32. Carlos Urrutia December 3, 2012 at 9:05 AM #

    I think that the centers of wealth in the United States, namely in the large cities, do not really understand what the essence of capitalism is. They believe that capitalism and individual liberty are not necessarily one. The brains behind the wealth management believe that big government is necessary for wealth creation. Hence their take that corporations and government must work together. Unfortunately capitalism is so misunderstood that the system is believed to be a chimera. I had an encounter with a young man who read Atlas Shrugged and completely misunderstood the book. To him individual liberty is a dream and that whatever liberty we enjoy comes from having big government. The job ahead to change mentalities will be humoungous.