Taxes

BBC Offers the Extended Remix of Obama's Bitter, Angry Voters Speech

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bitter, angry, and wearing a blouse embroidered with flowers.

Last week, the BBC launched a radio series on voter irrationality, a subject dear to my heart.

The first installment, however, was little more than an extended remix of Barack Obama's riff on those bitter, gun-toting rural Pennsylvanians ("it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them") in which "political scientist Dr David Runciman gives his view on why there is often such deep opposition to reforms that appear to be of obvious benefit to voters."

Trying to understand the "explosion of rage and barely suppressed violence" in response to the healthcare bill, the BBC reports under the headline "Why Do People Vote Against Their Own Interest?" and illustrated with the photo above:

It is striking that the people who most dislike the whole idea of healthcare reform—the ones who think it is socialist, godless, a step on the road to a police state—are often the ones it seems designed to help.

In Texas, where barely two-thirds of the population have full health insurance and over a fifth of all children have no cover at all, opposition to the legislation is currently running at 87%….

If people vote against their own interests, it is not because they do not understand what is in their interest or have not yet had it properly explained to them.

They do it because they resent having their interests decided for them by politicians who think they know best. There is nothing voters hate more than having things explained to them as though they were idiots.

The subject headings are "Anger," "Stories not facts," "Reverse revolution." You can write the rest yourself.

NEXT: The Political Case Against Passing Health Care Reform

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  1. One of the saddest things in the world is how many people reach the adulthood without learning how to count.

    1. “It is striking that the people who most dislike the whole idea of healthcare reform are often the ones it seems designed to help.”

      “two-thirds of the population have full health insurance”

      “opposition to the legislation is currently running at 87%….”

      Do they have editors at the BBC?

      Clearly a few lessons in arithmetic are in order. But I don’t want to sound condescending unlike these pricks.

      1. There’s a reason our ancestors left Britain back in the 17th century.

        1. Not many Americans have ancestors from 17th century Britain…

            1. I have been watching too much BBC comedy lately, so allow me to sum it up in the most British way possible. Imagine that I am saying this in a British accent, with one of those 80s-era BBC laugh tracks in the background.

              There are four kinds of people in the world: The Irish, the Scots, the Welsh, and the British.

              The Irish have all the misery and humanity necessary to make them great artists, and all of the whiskey to make them horrible rulers.

              The Scottish have enough cold to make them connoisseurs of horrible philosophy. The only thing that’s more disgusting and poorly packaged than Scottish philosophy is their food.

              The Welsh are much to busy with the sheep to get much of anything done. Except for the sheep, of course.

              And British are very good at managing people without themselves possessing a shred of humanity.

              “And what about the French, Commander?”

              Oh, come off it Basil. You know the French aren’t real people.

              *big laugh, scene*

              1. The Irish have all the misery and humanity necessary to make them great artists, and all of the whiskey to make them horrible rulers.

                That is self evident. If they were any good at measuring, the Titanic would still be afloat.

            2. I have been watching too much BBC comedy lately, so allow me to sum it up in the most British way possible. Imagine that I am saying this in a British accent, with one of those 80s-era BBC laugh tracks in the background.

              There are four kinds of people in the world: The Irish, the Scots, the Welsh, and the British.

              The Irish have all the misery and humanity necessary to make them great artists, and all of the whiskey to make them horrible rulers.

              The Scottish have enough cold to make them connoisseurs of horrible philosophy. The only thing that’s more disgusting and poorly packaged than Scottish philosophy is their food.

              The Welsh are much to busy with the sheep to get much of anything done. Except for the sheep, of course.

              And British are very good at managing people without themselves possessing a shred of humanity.

              “And what about the French, Commander?”

              Oh, come off it Basil. You know the French aren’t real people.

              *big laugh, scene*

              1. Oh, come off it Basil. You know the French aren’t real people.

                Missed the best part the first time through. Glad you are a graduate of the SugarFree Art of Posting.

                1. ohhhh Twice in one day.

                  OUCH!

            3. “Piss off.”

              Is that 17th century British slang or something?

              1. Relatively modern, I think. Similar to “bugger off.”

    2. There are three types of people in this world. Do the English.

      1. Yep; those who can count and those who can’t.

    3. I used not to like Obama and the Democrats and all their stimulus, but I just finished the rough draft of my 2009 Form 1040.

      After filling out Schedule M I discovered that they gave me an $800 tax credit.

      Now I love Obama and the Democrats. I love the stimulus. They’ll eventually make only the very, very, very rich bankers pay for my tax credit.

      Maybe now Joe Klein, Tom Frank, and the BBC won’t think I’m so dumb. But anybody with three digits in his IQ would I understand that the foregoing is sarcasm.

  2. “it seems designed to help”?!?! Um, there’s your problem. It’s not a given that liberals are always right on every issue and their plans will always work. Once you assume the possibility they might, you know, fail, then opposition makes a bit more sense.

    1. I say, old chap, what government programme has ever failed to help those it is intended to help? For example, the BBC exists to employ me, and, by Jove, I am employed. Or, I dare say, at least provided a weekly pay packet.

  3. Middle Americans (see: Wrong Kind of White People) angry, irrational, gross. Film at 11.

  4. They aren’t buying what we’re selling! What the fuck is wrong with them?

    1. One need look no further than their ill-fitting clothes and tacky hairstyles.

    2. That’s precisely why you get that type of person in govt – the market has very efficiently sorted them OUT.

  5. “Reverse revolution.”

    I supposed they thought “counter-revolutionary” sounded a bit too … socialist.

  6. If it’s one thing voters hate, it’s arrogance. Just look at the last year.

  7. Thomas Frank is British?

    1. Thomas Frank is, unfortunately, not alone in his genius.

    2. No. The BBC doesn’t accept submissions written in crayon.

    3. No. The BBC doesn’t accept submissions written in crayon.

    4. No. The BBC doesn’t accept submissions written in crayon.

      1. That was awesome. The damn thing double posts me all the time. The rare quad post is a sight to behold.

    5. No. The BBC doesn’t accept submissions written in crayon.

      1. How the hell did you manage to quadpost? Is SugarFree running a posting class now with HTML on the side?

        1. I don’t know. It just stuck. And kept posting.

          1. That’s what he tells everybody too. Do you get a federal loan for the class or is it a community workshop?

            1. It is done in a trailor in the back of his house. I was able to get a Pell Grant. Loanwacko and I were the only students though.

              1. So how’s he doing post-banhammer?

                1. Poor LW can barely even bring himself to masturbate with his favorite silicone burrito.

                  1. Lone Wacko? NOW THAT IS TOO MUCH!

                  2. Rough day for SF

                    No. The BBC doesn’t accept submissions written in crayon.

              2. Gotcha donchano. I can tell by the class list you were not the teacher’s pet.

          2. The site has become sentient and especially liked that point, maybe?

            1. No. The BBC doesn’t accept submissions written in crayon.

              1. No. The BBC doesn’t accept submissions written in crayon.

                1. I’m afraid I can’t do that, Hal.

          3. John, I understand.

    6. No. The BBC doesn’t accept submissions written in crayon.

      1. Yes. The BBC does accept submissions written by crayon.

  8. The people are unworthy of their government.

  9. Nothing makes good policy like short term self-interest.

    See also Democrats and Senator Brown.

    1. He gets sworn in tomorrow.

      1. Isn’t that just his request? Is there anything official on that yet?

  10. It’s worth reminding these people that tea that was thrown into Boston harbor in 1773 was also “cheaper” and that the “explosion of rage and barely suppressed violence” (sometimes more suppressed than others) was over the principle of the thing, not whether “our betters” thought it was “in our interest.”

  11. I don’t care what you say, I cannot believe that Chris Matthews gave Obama a thumbs down about anything. That horribly doctored photo needs to be replaced.

  12. “How can these rubes and hicks not want socialized medicine? We limeys have it and it’s great, especially the dental care.”

    1. +1

  13. They need to interveiw Chomsky. He hasn’t rolled out his “manufactured consent” in a while.

    Or would this be “manufactured dissent.” It’s so confusing when the “people” aren’t following the “ruling class” like they should.

  14. Kurt Haskell tells the truth. The government keeps lying about the underwear bomber. The MSM refuses to cover it.

    http://original.antiwar.com/ju…..essed-man/

    1. I wouldn’t expect the government to be truthful when it comes to counter-terrorism.

      Then again it could just be that tracking down this guy in a suit requires work and we know how few government employees actually want to do any work for their welfare checks.

  15. Those Leftists always think they know better how to run other people’s lives.

    Whereas I actually do know what’s better for Leftists…more healthcare…in the form of certain medical procedures.

    1. “Those Leftists always think they know better how to run other people’s lives.”

      Despite having never accomplished anything that proves that they do.

      1. Except for every positive change this country has ever experienced.

          1. ahhh…now the universe is right again.

            friggin priceless

        1. Like what?

          1. People of colour being equal.

            The poor having the same lives as the rich.

            Unions ruling industry.

            Our viberant agrarian society.

            All USAians speaking romance languages.

            No longer a need to subtitle French films.

            All people are in touch with their inner gay and no longer refuse advances from the ugly gays.

            All cars are electric.

            All electricity is solar or wind.

            All Capitalists have been jailed and golden shower fetishists get to play with them.

            No more transfats in food.

            Everybody is a veagan.

            Must I go on?

            1. Come on, you’re pulling my leg! Leftists never intended for the poor to live like the rich – quite the contrary.

              😉

              1. Doode! It is the intent that counts, not the outcome.

                1. You’re still being generous to most of them.

            2. Must I go on?

              Yes, please do. I’ll even throw in a few:

              All children are aborted.

              The government pays a salary to stay-at-home moms.

              Every American understands that America invented racism, pollution, militarism and sexism and feels guilty about it.

              The entire Midwest of the US has been forcibly depopulated in order to reform the “buffalo commons.”

              Well, ok, maybe that last can’t really be attributed to leftists.

          2. Their successful campaign to switch the US over to the Metric System back in the 1970’s

            Also let’s not forget their highly successful campaign to save gas by imposing 55mph (88KPH) speed limits on the Interstate Highways…

        2. Unfortunately, Reason does accept submissions written in crayon…

  16. New Book
    “The Political Feedback Loop: or how continuing to make bad decisions can lead the populace to stop trusting you.”

  17. What the?? Who in the goddamn fuck opposes the health bill because it’s “godless?”

    “This Obamacare deal is just a bunch of campaign payoffs and pork, dude. I don’t like it.”
    “JAYSUS DINT ET NO PAWK AH’M AGIN’ IT TEEW!”

    Is there really a that guy?

    British Won’t Fund Mars Probe
    “Not boiled grey,” they say.

  18. This, all of it, legitimately boils down to one point (with a semicolon):

    Leftists are literally incapable of conceiving of opposition to their opinions as anything other than ignorant; Leftist opinions, at least concerning every fiscal issue, are deeply irrational.

    1. micsolana:

      Leftists are more nuanced than you assert.

      They are capable of attributing opposition to their opinions to two distinct causes. The first you correctly identify as the ignorance of their opponents. The second is the evil, self-serving meanspiritedness and greed of their opponents. Keith Obermann isn’t known for his “Most Ignorant Person in World” rant. Instead, it’s the “Worst Person in the World”.

  19. By the Brits’ logic, I should vote for people to steal from my neighbor and imprison him if he doesn’t cooperate, and give the money to me. Because that’s all most of these bills are, and they certainly would benefit me.

    I guess I am just foolish for not wanting my neighbors to be punished in order to make my life easier.

    1. You need to take the SugarFree seminar on quad posting like no-last-name-John did.

  20. By the Brits’ logic, I should vote for people to steal from my neighbor and imprison him if he doesn’t cooperate, and give the money to me. Because that’s all most of these bills are, and they certainly would benefit me.

    I guess I am just foolish for not wanting my neighbors to be punished in order to make my life easier.

    1. No. The BBC doesn’t accept submissions written in crayon.

  21. British Won’t Fund Mars Probe
    “Not boiled grey,” they say.

    Dammit, i did not need to be heard cackling in my cubicle. Not after how THIS day was.

    1. Get your yearly evaluation back? Still hanging on by a thread?

  22. Still hanging on by a thread?

    To my job? Probably.
    To my sanity? Well, we’ll see.

  23. I had my evaluation today. Jerk boss only used “great job” three times and “fantastic” twice.

    Lousy ungrateful midget.

    1. Still working on the 7 1/2 floor?

    2. Work on your oral skills. State jobs require a whole different type of performance than real jobs.

      1. No, if you’re working for the government, all you really need is a large bottle of lube and a comfortable desk to bend over on.

        I would suggest getting leather padding- pleather tends to stain.

        1. I misread that as “paddling” and it made perfect sense.

    3. I really don’t know, or care, what my boss thinks of me. Just keep the raises coming, pointy-hair.

    4. 0.5% raise!

      1. I know. That’s barely enough to keep me in bourbon and steaks. Thank goodness weed is super cheap here.

        1. Your school doesn’t pay you in Colonel’s Pride?

  24. Come on! I totally scooped this yesterday.

    1. Don’t go looking for hat tips around here until you become an intern.

      1. Not interested in joining the intern pogrom, thanks.

        1. i see what you did there

    2. That explains where I saw it. I knew I had seen it before.

      *hat tip

      You can have my hat tip.

      1. I don’t tip to people too lazy to join a union.

  25. I imagine your average opponent of Obama’s health care reform already has some sort of health insurance. They (quite sensibly) expect to pay more without seeing an improvement in service. Why wouldn’t they oppose it?

  26. Alternative explanation: There’s probably a broad enough group of Americans that support the idea of government-based health care reform, but they disagree tremendously on how. You know, “fractious coalition” and all. Some oppose the current bill because it goes too far, some support it because it doesn’t go too far. Heck, some probably support the bill because it takes true socialization off the table. You can probably fiddle with the dials and win some converts, but you’ll lose existing supporters and won’t get real support. People supported health care reform most when they didn’t know what it entailed. The horse-trading didn’t help, obviously, but that’s not the whole story.

    But no, that makes too much damn sense. It’s bitter rubes.

  27. It is striking that the people who most dislike the whole idea of healthcare reform?the ones who think it is socialist, godless, a step on the road to a police state?are often the ones it seems designed to help.

    One answer could be that the legislation is really NOT designed to help them and the voters KNOW it.

    1. That’s crazy talk.

      1. Count me in with the crazies, then.

        1. Thank goodness there is one sane Kathy in the world.

          If I am parsing your statement right.

  28. Oh, geez,not this “false consciousness” shtick again.

    1. They just didn’t take the right pill.

  29. The BBC article is bizarre and crazy.

    Firstly, it takes an extremely naive and artificially simpleminded approach to “self-interest” to make the claim that these people vote against their own.

    The inspiration seems along the lines of Marx who said that workers should take over factories because that was in the best self-interest of their class – but is it? Why isn’t it in the self-interest of the 55% of the population who wins the election to turn the 45% losers into fungus food and take their homes? Why isn’t it in the best interest of someone to poison their granny for a dime?

    Progressives normally have only scorn and derision for “The Economic Man”, but they seem to have no problems at all in using that rhetorical device when they feel they can.

    As for reasons why voting for might NOT be in the interest of these people:

    1) These people might feel they are at low risk to be unable to pay for health insurance, hence a system where the cost for the payers is shared by the payers, appears better to them than a system where the cost for EVERYONE is shared by the payers.

    2) They might be skeptical about the people responsible. If Hitler proposes a good idea, you still don’t give him power, because you don’t trust him with it.

    3) They might think that something is more likely than not to go wrong, such as, the massive COST SAVINGS of giving MORE HEALTHCARE TO MORE NONPAYERS might not materialize.

    And a million of other reasons. The BBC author is a lame and manipulative idiot.

  30. That was the most pretentious piece of crap I’ve ever seen.

    1. Ah but it appears to have put Chony in such a swoon that he has failed to post here.

  31. Not interested in joining the intern pogrom, thanks.

    Pogrom. Now that’s a fun word. Kind of like ‘pogo’ in pogo stick.
    I can totally see a pogrom sneaking up on my ass. Not so with ‘genocide’. You couldn’t hide a genocide because genocides are all about being fucking blatant.

    But if you told me we were going to the country side for a little pogrom, I would be like, “Yippeee! Should I bring a Frisbee?”

    By all means, bring the Frisbee.

  32. It is striking that the people who most dislike the whole idea of healthcare reform?the ones who think it is socialist, godless, a step on the road to a police state?are often the ones it seems designed to help.

    I’m getting visions of Cecil Rhodes pontificating on the Africa problem.

  33. “Your comment has been marked as spam…”

    What the fuck?!??!

  34. The squirrels are conspiring against you. But don’t let them know I told you.

  35. Where is Matt Welch (that turncoat) to say something about French healthcare and how crappy it is.

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