by Chris Bowers, Fri Nov 12, 2004 at 10:50:17 AM EST
Here is how people voted according to annual income in the 2004 Presidential Election (in thousands of dollars):
Bush Kerry Under 15 36 63 15-30 42 57 30-50 49 50 50-75 56 43 75-100 55 45 100-150 57 42 150-200 58 42 200 + 63 35There is an undeniably direct correlation between a voter's income and their voting pattern. The clear correllation is that the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to vote for Bush. the poorer you are, the more likely you are to vote for Kerry. If, after seeing this, you still buy into the lie that the tax dollars of Kerry voters are overfunding Bush voters, you are both blind and have bought into the idea that thee is a liberal elite running the country. Only 13% of self-identifying liberals voted for Bush, and only 15% of self-identifying conservatives voted for Kerry. Considering these two facts and the table above, there is simply no conceivable way that liberals occupy a disproportionate share of the higher income brackets in relation to conservatives. Not only are there more conservatives in the higher income brackets than there are liberals, there are disproportionately more conservatives than liberals in the higher income brackets. Exactly the opposite is true of the lower income brackets.
The tax dollars of wealthy liberals in blue states are not the primary source of funding for red states. For us to buy into that is simply to buy into conservative lies about liberals, and help to reinforce those lies. To beleive that claim is for liberals themselves to believe that we actually are a small elite that oppresses conservatives. "Blue states" may be overfunding "red states," but it is not because liberals are overfunding conservatives. Instead, what is clearly happening is that wealthy residents of blue states--and blue states have more wealthy residents than red states--are the source of red state overfunding. While these wealthy people live disproportionately in blue states, it does not obscure what the exit polls make clear: they still heavily favor Bush. The wealthy conservatives in blue states are simply overwhelmed at the ballot box by the far more numerous, and less wealthy, liberals of those states.
But go ahead, keep talking about deadbeat states and the need to end red state welfare or to pass some legislation to "even things out." Buy into and internalize the conservative lies about you. It is something we are good at, and at the very least it makes us feel superior. Hopefully one day I will see you in detox.</rant>
Update: The first criticisms I have seen in the comments are on-target. However, I still think the way we present this argument does nothing but reinfornce an already false and damaging narrative about liberals. At the very least, reframing is needed.