Why Do People Often Vote Against Their Own Interests?

Posted by: Buellboy

Americans voicing their anger at the healthcare proposals at a town hall meeting


The Republicans’ shock victory in the election for the US Senate seat in Massachusetts meant the Democrats lost their supermajority in the Senate. This makes it even harder for the Obama administration to get healthcare reform passed in the US.

Political scientist Dr David Runciman looks at why is there often such deep opposition to reforms that appear to be of obvious benefit to voters.

Last year, in a series of “town-hall meetings” across the country, Americans got the chance to debate President Obama’s proposed healthcare reforms.

What happened was an explosion of rage and barely suppressed violence.

Polling evidence suggests that the numbers who think the reforms go too far are nearly matched by those who think they do not go far enough.

But 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%.

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Filed under 2010 Elections, 2012 Elections, 2016 Elections, Barack Obama, Birthers, Congress, Conservative, Creepy right-wing antics, Deathers, Democrats, DNC, Economy, Elections, Government, Governors, Health, Health Care Reform, Independents, Mayors, Media and Entertainment, Neo-Progressives, News, Obama Administration, Partisan Politics, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, Public Option, Republicans, RNC, Senate, Tea Party Protestors, Tenthers, United States

One response to “Why Do People Often Vote Against Their Own Interests?

  1. Thanks for posting this BB. It’s always interesting to see articles written outside the US, they always have a different perspective. The folks across the pond must think we’re a bunch of idiots. If I watched the videos from last summer, that’s sure what I’d think. Good grief…

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