Mitt Romney's Misguided Blue-Collar Voting Bloc
The differential is staggering. Non-college-educated white men give Romney a 37 point advantage over President
White men have been fed the myth of the rags-to-riches, self-made man, the quintessential American narrative that says hard work and perseverance will equate to success. The idea cemented in the male cerebral cortex is that people who start from nothing can work themselves from the Horatio Alger mailroom to the corner office.
The unflattering flip side of this is the accompanying perception that failure is a character flaw. If you don't succeed, you didn't work hard enough. As the story goes, anyone who takes government help falls into this category.
A recent Romney campaign ad draws on this theme by accusing Obama of trying to take the work requirement out of welfare. (A false assertion by the way.)
Actually, here's the story of today's economy that blue-collar workers should take to the voting booth: Our striving Horatio Alger hero watches helplessly as his company is bought out by a private equity firm that then saddles it with debt, cuts wages and worker benefits, outsources jobs overseas, and leaves the company foundering after having made a fortune for investors.
Americans are all about hard work. We've increased productivity by 80 percent since 1979, but with almost no corresponding income gains for average workers. It nearly all flowed to the top 1 percent. Shhh, don't tell the working stiffs!
Obama does better among white women and minority voters because they never bought in to the self-made-man myth. After all, for them, no matter their work ethic or ability, longstanding societal barriers stood in the way of climbing the economic ladder. It took anti-discrimination and fair-pay laws to wrench open opportunities. Government was an essential player in making the marketplace fairer.
This idea that people succeed entirely on their own is a fallacy that doesn't even survive scrutiny in Romney's ad exploiting Obama's faux pas on small business owners. The "you didn't build that" attack ad features
So, too, were the "no government help" businesses featured at a Romney campaign stop in
Today there is less social mobility in America than in hidebound
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Mitt Romney's Misguided Blue-Collar Voting Bloc | Politics
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