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Why The GOP base believes what it does

Vox_Veritas
Posts: 7,076
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12/10/2015 7:02:28 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
Many Liberals are perplexed by why the GOP's conservative base acts the way it does. Like many people on the Right do, Liberals often resort to unflattering stereotypes that rarely tell the whole story in order to explain GOP base behavior.
This thread will explain why the average "stupid" GOP voter believes what he/she does.
I won't necessarily be taking the side of the GOP base here but rather I'll be telling it how they see it.

1. Communism
First, you must understand that most of the GOP base consists of Evangelical Christians.
To this day the Evangelical base has a deeply rooted fear of communism dating back to the days of the Cold War. The reason for this isn't just a disagreement with Communist politics (most of them don't really put a ton of thought into economics). The reason is the fact that in the 20th century the institution which treated Christians most barbarically was various Communist regimes. Think Stalin. Think the Cultural Revolution. Think the Khmer Rouge. Think North Korea.
In the Evangelical community hundreds of books have been written which describe the persecution of Christians which has occurred in communist nations in the 20th century. Magazines such as "Voice of the Martyrs" had for decades been informing the Christian community of the atrocities occurring in communist nations. To this day some persecution occurs in the PRC.
Because of this, Evangelicals tend to equate communist government with persecution of the church as if the two things cannot be separated. As a result, they tend to automatically oppose everything that is related to communism and vote in kind. This is why you hear some Conservatives saying crap like "Obamacare will lead to the persecution of Christians!"
Likewise, socialism is equated with communism (due to the obvious fact that historically they have been related). This association is reinforced by news of the Norwegian Gestapo er, I mean, child services agency taking children away from fundamentalist parents in Norway on grounds of "indoctrination", hate speech laws passed in Europe which may prohibit the ability of Christians in Europe to denounce homosexuality, laws passed in Denmark which require churches to allow their buildings to be used for gay weddings, and so on.
Many of the more extreme members of the Evangelical Community may believe that Left-Wing politicians are literally trying to kill them but are unable to do so because America hasn't become quite Liberal and non-Christian enough for this to happen yet. As a result, many Christians view the current American political arena as something that will determine whether or not their religion is legal.
In an environment of paranoia, false rumors which increase the paranoia tend to circulate rapidly, which in turn reinforces the media narrative of the Misinformed Conservative.
So to sum it up they oppose communism because they feel that to not do so would be to invite horrific persecution. This fear of communism and socialism translates to opposition to Obamacare, business regulations, progressive income tax, common core, minimum wage, etc. They see a more Libertarian society as being key to countering communism and socialism. This is also why they freak out over military exercises such as Jade Helm 15; they see it perhaps as practice for the Communist takeover.

2. Muslims
Many people were shocked to learn how high a percentage of GOP voters supported a ban on Muslim immigrants, despite the constitutional ambiguity of such a measure.
Like the above, this is explained by the fact that much of the GOP consists of Evangelicals. Like with communism, Christians hear constantly about the persecution of Christians which occurs in Muslim countries, and since communism became less of a threat in 1991 the church's attention shifted more towards persecution in the middle east.
It is no secret that the Muslim world has a higher birthrate than the western world. Even second generation Muslim immigrants are likely to have a higher birthrate than everyone else.
From these two facts (that Christians are persecuted in the Middle East and that Muslims are growing in number in the United States rapidly) Evangelicals have come to the conclusion that if nothing is done then the Muslims will soon become the majority in the United States and persecute Christians like they're being persecuted in the Middle East.
Like with communism they consider banning Muslim immigrants a matter of survival.
Of course, there probably isn't a secret Muslim plot, but then again the Pilgrims probably didn't plan on eventually dominating North America and suppressing the native population.
The GOP base has, of course, gravely miscalculated just how much time it'll take for Muslims to gain the kind of majority needed to pull this off.
Ultimately the threat of terrorism does not play as large a role in this as one might think but rather acts of terrorism in the United States committed by Muslims merely reinforce the idea among Evangelicals that the Muslim-Americans are out to get them.

3. Race Relations
First of all, I'd like to clear a certain misconception about the GOP base. Most of them are not white supremacists.
Most of them would be fine with blacks, whites, and Mexicans having the same level of income (provided this equality didn't come about by means of redistribution) and living in harmony.
However, several things sour the GOP voter's outlook on race relations. First, most blacks are poor. Poor people have high rates of crime as do blacks. This makes GOP whites distrusting of Blacks. Also, they feel disgust at what they see as the Black community continually screwing itself up (I.e. low employment rates, living on welfare, high rates of pregnancy, high rates of abortion, high rates of drug usage, etc). This furthers their negative views of poor blacks.
Also, they resent the race card which is usually used against them. They resent talk of reparations for slavery, white privilege, being called racist, their race being blamed for the world's problem's, etc. They feel both disgust at the Black community's behavior and the fear that whites are under attack from the media, minorities, and the Government.
This is why they'll almost always take the side of the cop when a black man attacks a white cop and gets shot. They see attempts to blame the cop as an attack on whites.
As for illegal immigration, well, they reason that since these people broke the law in coming here, most of them are probably untrustworthy and dangerous people who need to be sent back ASAP.

4. Gun Rights
Guns are used widely for recreation in the United States. However, they really aren't used for recreation enough for Conservatives to be that opposed to gun control. There must be another reason.
Well, first of all guns provide a sense of security against criminals that many people don't want to give up, especially in a time where news of violent crime is everywhere. They feel as though overall they're safer from criminals when guns are legal.
Second, they associate gun control with communism and Nazism. In the event that the "communist plot" comes to fruition they'd prefer to have some way of fighting back. They see gun control as a plot to make them unable to resist communism.

5. Gay marriage
They see themselves as the resistance to growing secularism and ungodliness, not much of an explanation needed here.

Conservative politics is influenced very heavily by the siege mentality and the idea that they are being attacked. They see themselves as acting in self-defense against Liberalism. They see political correctness as a weapon used by the Left to prevent them from speaking out against this ongoing attack, which is why you constantly hear Conservatives railing against political correctness.
They see the Democratic Party as the main instrument used by "the enemy" and the GOP as the main instrument of those who oppose "the enemy". And now you know.
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

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YYW
Posts: 36,345
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12/10/2015 8:32:38 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
Some of this is correct, some of it's not... there's a lot of stuff that's missing. I may offer some thoughts on it later, but it's not likely because correcting this is just going to take a tremendous amount of time.
Tsar of DDO