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.