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The 47% Want Free Stuff

By The Reverend Published: November 9, 2012


There's a "common thread" being woven by those on the right who have been busy licking their political wounds after Republicans lost their fifth out of the last six presidential popular votes Tuesday. In a roundabout way, that common thread helps us to better understand something else as well.....what extreme conservatives and the Tea Party mean when they say they want to "take their country back."

My blog bud, King, wrote about that "common thread" yesterday....

If you look at all these demographics together, a common thread appears. What do Obama's supporters all have in common ? Minorities, young people, and single women (think of all the single mothers out there) are Obama's biggest supporters, and they propelled him to victory on tuesday despite our nation's economic woes. When these voters vote for the "economy", they aren't voting for the economy in the grand sense. They aren't analyzing tax and economic policy to determine how productivity and GDP will be affected. These Obama supporters are the least well-to-do people in the country on average. They are voting for their own personal economy, and Obama is the one they see giving them free stuff, whether it's free health care, food stamps, Pell grants, welfare, Obama phones, or whatever. It's not much more complicated than that.

Obama voters all have something in common, says King. They all want "free stuff."

Obama won 93% of the black vote and 71% (some argue 75%) of the Latino vote. Women voted for Obama by a 55-45% margin. Obama won the 18-29 youth vote by 60-37%. On the other hand, Romney won the white vote 59-39%. Romney also won the male vote 52-45%.

On the strength of blacks, Latinos, women and younger voters, Obama was able to win re-election. Proving that candidates who depend on the white vote alone to win national Romney sought to no longer a tenable strategy.

Of all votes cast for Romney, 88 percent came from white voters. Yet the white vote declined to 72 percent of the total vote, down two points in four years and 11 points in 20 years.

The almost knee-jerk reaction by conservatives to these numbers, this new to claim that the demographic groups who elected Obama are, somehow, morally inferior. The implication is that, if a candidate wins a national election without a majority of white votes....that winning candidate won illegitimately.

Thus....the claim that Obama voters only voted for the president in order to get "free stuff."

Rather than acknowledge the indisputable changing nature of the U.S. electorate, many conservatives this week are falling back to their 'flat-earth' positions that white Americans who vote conservative are our nation's makers and producers and should, therefore, determine who leads our nation.... those who don't vote Republican are, somehow, inferior takers, slackers who want "free stuff" and perhaps not even fully American, you know, in the "real Americans" way.

The conclusion drawn from a lost presidential election where whites made up 88% of the losing candidate's that there must be something wrong with women, Latinos, young people, blacks and highly-educated whites....because they voted for Obama. In other words, many Republican voters now believe that a majority of the United States electorate, not just the president they voted for, are, somehow, illegitimate.

The Romney 47% remark and King's "free stuff" claims have already been debunked....

As many others have pointed out, over 60% of this 47% (actually 46%) do pay federal taxes. Payroll taxes are paid on their incomes at a rate approximating Romney’s 14% federal tax rate. These people have jobs and are working.

Of the remaining 18% of households that don’t pay income or payroll taxes, over half are retired after paying income and payroll taxes for decades.

That leaves about 8% that are disabled, still in school, or otherwise unemployed. Many of this group either have worked and paid taxes for decades–or in the case of college students will do so in the future.

The number of adults on traditional welfare (currently know as TANF) averaged 1.1 million last year.

The idea that there is a large, non-working, moocher class is a fantasy.

Yes, it is....a fantasy. What's worse.....a bigger fantasy is thinking that women, blacks, Latinos, young people and highly-educated whites all voted for Obama in order to get free stuff. It takes a huge amount of chutzpah to think you know the motivations of voters....which brings me full circle back to "taking our country back."

Who do conservatives and Tea Partiers want to take their country back from?

The demographic groups who returned Obama to the White House. Blacks, Latinos, women, young people and elitist whites....apparently, have taken a once-predominantly white-vote dominated country away from the control of....well....white Americans.

Sadly, rather than accept our nation's new demographic makeup....rather than the Republican Party reforming itself to become a more demographic group-inclusive political party....many conservatives have dug in deeper, calling into question the integrity and morality of those many non-white demographic groups.

That is exactly the wrong response to Tuesday's election.

That response ultimately leads to the extinction of the Republican Party as a viable political party. America is no longer a country which belongs exclusively to white males. White voters are not, somehow, morally, ethically or intellectually superior to any other demographic group and the ideas that Obama voters are unwilling to take personal responsibility for their own lives, or only voted the way they did to get free stuff.....are as reprehensible as they are factually ridiculous.

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