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Why were residents in Spokane, Washington so worried about crime even though they were listed as the fifth safest city in America?  What does this have to do with conservative populations and how they vote?

I work with communities, districts, and public agencies on branding and identity projects; oftentimes in struggling areas, including lower-income suburbs, rural towns, and edge cities.  This means I spend a lot of time in conservative locales, gaining insight into why those that lean right are so engaged by extreme Republican messaging, and are prone to voting against their own economic self interest.

The identity-framework process we employ in these communities is rather unusual in that we utilize the same story framework that improvisation artists use to help communities and public sector agencies build their own authentic story with their own words.  This framework allows us to quantify all of the elements of a place's story…even (or especially) the elements they might not be aware of, or that they might want to ignore.  

So, what has this process revealed about our more elephantine brethren?   I will tell you below the fold!

The city of Spokane is a conservative community, which colors their approach to land use and governance: they don't want to be the first to do things, they like to watch how others do, and then implement what they think is best. This can be a very prudent method of governing.  They also reap the benefits of conservatism's appreciation for tradition by having an incredible array of their historic assets designated, and therefore preserved, throughout their city.  

One of the questions I asked as a part of my work there was, "What do the residents of Spokane most want to feel?"  And two of the answers that popped up a lot were "Safe" and "Secure" -- in fact, those two words were themes throughout most of my outreach work.  It was pretty clear that people felt very unsafe, and were worried about crime.  

This puzzled me because I saw that Spokane was listed in a Forbes article as the fifth safest city in the country at one point.  So, I just couldn't figure out from where this rampant insecurity, and concern for personal safety, was coming.

Until, that is, I realized the complex interconnection of insecurities that exist in conservative communities that are under financial distress.

Spokane has a median income that is about half that of the rest of the State of Washington, so there is a lot of economic insecurity to be had.  And, what I came to understand during my time in eastern Washington, and that I’ve seen played out again and again in other communities, is this: if a neighborhood or city is economically insecure, then they feel a heightened sense of insecurity emotionally and criminally too.  And if that community is conservative, then everything gets notched up another order of magnitude.

Interestingly, there isn't much distinction about the source of the insecurity, just that there is a strong sense of people not feeling safe.  In fact, I have found that it is common for people who feel economically insecure to focus more on their feelings of being personally and emotionally unsafe than on their underlying cause--their financial circumstances

So, a conservative person who is economically insecure is going to worry about crime.  A lot.  And they are going to feel they are living on shifting sands emotionally, which, for people who naturally eschew change, is further exacerbated by the times we live in today.  Present days do not exactly provide a bastion of safety.  Stalwart companies, like Kodak, have gone bankrupt.  Newspapers are fading.  Kids don't care about cars because they socialize, shop, and work via the internet.  Inner cities are massively gentrifying and the poor are being pushed to the suburbs.  Cultural mores are shifting.  The country is becoming more culturally diverse.  Even in the best of circumstances, it feels to a conservative as if they are under assault.  Add in a lost job, or dwindling wages, and voila, you have a person who is emotionally wrong footed.

And this is where the genius of the Republicans comes into play, they do a much better job than Democrats of connecting with this general sense of insecurity.

Red staters address personal insecurity by making guns readily accessible, by pushing for mandatory sentencing, and by continuing the ridiculously costly, and ineffective, war on drugs.  

They address emotional insecurity by touting vague, but traditional, "small town values," by opposing gay marriage, and taking a strong anti-immigration stance.  Their seeming desire to go back in time to the policies, the mores, and the mono-culturalism from another age is really a policy designed to address those in our country who feel adrift and disconnected from our rapidly changing society.  

Ironically, the root of most people’s rampant insecurity, their terrible economic plight, is not addressed adequately by Republican policies.  But, that hasn’t seemed to matter, for two reasons I think:  1) It is not easy to admit to financial insecurity and the sense of failure that it invokes, so they ignore it.  2) Because conservatives feel their emotional and personal insecurities are addressed adequately by the GOP, it makes it easier to pretend all of their insecurities are being addressed.  Because financial insecurities are more complex problems to explain, and because they are harder problems to solve, they are often avoided by everyone.  

Moving forward, the political reality for Democrats is this: to be more effective, they are going to have to address safety and security, in all of its forms, in order to make stronger connections with conservative communities.

The first step is to talk about, acknowledge, highlight, and participate in  the strengths of conservatism -- not in a political sense, but in a human sense.  I know that I seek out surgeons that generally take a conservative approach to surgical intervention!  I admire business people that don't leap into the latest fad; instead, they study and watch others, picking the best strategies and implementing them better than anyone else.  I love to participate in community tradition and ritual, which plays a powerful role in creating human connections in cities and towns.   Democrats, rather than always presenting themselves as agents of change, should find ways to highlight, and participate in, tradition and ritual.

The second step is to really begin to listen to conservatives in these rural and suburban settings.  I work in these communities all of the time, usually in revitalization and economic development capacities, and I cannot tell you how much of a thirst there is to feel that someone is actively, and genuinely, listening.

Third, talk about safety and insecurity, but connect the dots correctly: dire financial straits make us feel that we are out of control and that change is being imposed on us from outside of ourselves.  Within traditional red communities, ones that lionize being in charge of their own destinies, and that celebrate rugged individualism, the byproducts of financial insecurity create stronger than normal concerns about criminal safety and deteriorating societal norms.  So let's talk about it!

Fourth, and lastly, aggressively begin addressing the income inequities that exist in this country.

To be successful in the future, Democrats cannot depend solely upon demographic shifts to stay in office.  They will need to work to close the income gap and restore the middle class to its previous might, because some of the biggest obstacles to Democratic policies will come from economic insecurity and the grab bag of issues it allows Republicans to leverage relating to criminal and social insecurities.  

At the end of the day, everyone wants a decent life, happiness for their loved ones, and a community to call home.  Blue…red…we are not so different when you zoom in and achieve a more finely grained resolution than a red/blue state-by-state voting map.  So let's spend time with our fellow countrymen and women in conservative districts, one person at a time if we have to, so we can get to a point in America where we stop voting our insecurities, and instead choose our elected officials to reflect our most positive attributes.  

Originally posted to MichRee on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:04 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  re crime: (8+ / 0-)
    A new statewide law enforcement report shows Spokane has a higher crime rate than Seattle, Tacoma and Yakima and for a city our size; there are fewer officers on the street than we should.
    Using the 2011 crime report put out by The Washington Association of Sheriff's And Police Chiefs, KREM 2 news compared the crime rate in Spokane to Seattle, Yakima, Tacoma and Moses Lake. Per capita, Spokane tops all of them, with a crime rate of 78.5.
    •  Crime rates, etc. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, TheDuckManCometh

      Overall, there has been a big increase in property crime in Spokane, which is not unique as most places have experienced the same when they have been heavily hit by the recession.  Generally violent crime is steady, and overall, crime rates are still way down compared to the high rates of the 90s.

      The point though is this.  In general, conservative communities have a stronger need for security and safety than progressive communities.  When those in a conservative community feel insecure in one area of their lives, say economically, then they tend to feel insecure in all areas of their lives.  And they particularly focus on crime and social issues rather than the root of their insecurity:  finances.

      I think this is true outside of conservative communities as well, but it is true to a higher magnitude in conservative communities.

      •  the crime rate is actually rising there, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nextstep, VClib

        which probably goes a long way to explaining why people are as sensitive to it as they are.

        •  So that's what I'm trying to say... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ratcityreprobate, wbr

          ...if you look at in-city Portland, Oregon, hard hit by the recession with high unemployment and with crime rates also rising (particularly property crimes), as a progressive community they did not have nearly desire for safety and security, nor did they have an obsession with crime and social issues that I find in more conservative communities, like Spokane.  

          This despite the fact that one of Portland's most popular inner city neighborhoods in SE is considered one of the top 15 worst neighborhoods for property crime in the entire country!

          When I ask communities what people most want to feel, or what they care about, or what motivates them.  It is very common for conservative leaning areas to cite the words "safe" and "secure" much more frequently than progressive communities.  

          •  Many see keeping violent and property crime down (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib, Odysseus, MichRee

            as one of the most if not the most basic function of government.

            Low crime rates are fundamental to economic growth and jobs, as it raises business costs (higher security costs and losses from theft and vandalism), makes it more difficult for businesses to hire good employees and attract customers, as well as being a quality of life issue for management and employees.  However, the crime rate issue is mainly about having it below a threshold.

            The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

            by nextstep on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:06:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Different types of crime... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The thing that is interesting to me about crime rates is that property crime really does have a different impact than say violent crime.  That neighborhood I mention in the comments above in SE Portland that is one of the 15 worst in the country for property crime is one of the best places to live in the city.  Housing prices are high, there are many vibrant and active commercial and mixed-use districts, new construction is happening there.  In short, a very successful neighborhood that no one feels afraid to live in, be in.  A true work, play, live district.  

              So, the increase in crime that has happened in Spokane has been primarily around property crime, but it doesn't necessarily lend the city an aire that it is an unsafe place to be personally.

          •  Good point. (0+ / 0-)

            I live in a popular Portland inner city SE neighborhood. People worry about crime, sure, but it just not the first thing that comes to mind when you're asked what residents "want to feel."
            I love how you point the way for progressives to take back, or at least compete better for, the rural vote.

    •  Crime (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Spokane, a conservative community, has more crime than Seattle, a liberal community. Therefore, conservatives commit crime at higher rates than liberals.

      A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

      by edg on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:49:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Crime and Perception (9+ / 0-)

    One phenomenon that is repeatedly shown in studies and surveys is that people who watch a lot of fictional TV crime shows, crime "reality TV", or the local news perceive a more dangerous world than it actually is.  These people also greatly exaggerate local crime rates. These fearful CSI watchers perceive crime going up, rather than down as it has consistently done across the board for 20 years. Don't take my word at face value. Here's the 20 year FBI overall crime chart:

    Do you think these fearful conservatives also tend to be big Crime TV watchers?

    •  like the comment above yours? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ojibwa, MichRee


      This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

      by Karl Rover on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:54:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Spokane & Crime (0+ / 0-)

        An uptick in Spokane property crime is not a "blip" if it happens to you.  Having said that, it is still a small short counter trend in comparison to the long downward trend of property and violent crime rates.  In medium sized cities similar to Spokane, the crime rate for many offenses is down to early 1960's levels, though the number of incidents may be up if the population is larger than it was in 1962.  Of course some of the dying rust belt cities are exceptions to the national trend.  Rates can go up while the number of crimes go down when there is  a shrinking population and industrial base.

    •  TV! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, wbr

      Good Lord, I think anyone who watches local news has an outsized idea of the local crime rate!  I rarely tune in, but when I do, I feel that there is a war being conducted where I live, everyone is being robbed, and there is a 50 car pileup on every freeway.  It's ridiculous.

      I don't know that I can comment on whether conservatives are bigger Crime TV watchers, because I haven't really studied it.  

      But if you are already part of a community for whom safety and security is a prime goal, then I can't imagine it is too helpful to watch!

      •  Local news exists to scare the crap out of you (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichRee, milkbone, wbr

        "Is your child's school bus driver a serial killer? Don't miss WKTV News at 11:00!"

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:34:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  another view of local news (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I can't really comment on tv news as I haven't had a tv since 1972, but I do get my local newspaper, which reports on crime and traffic accidents but is mostly filled with things like "Water Board Discusses Pipe Upgrades", "Valley Churches Raise $$ For Homeless", and "Poetry Festival Revived". Just plain local news, day in day out. I'm a fan of local news.

          •  Newspaper vs TV (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            out of left field

            You are right, we were referencing local TV news above.  There is nothing wrong with "local" news, only the way TV has turned it into a sensation circus filled with crime, speculation, car accidents, and titillation.  I think local TV news needs more segments on Water Boards upgrading pipes!

      •  It's not even a good source (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichRee, out of left field

        for news on local crime.  I have known about crimes that happened in my neighborhood that were never reported on the local news.  So they are scaring people but they aren't reporting everything (or even really accurately).  

  •  I wish I could rec and tip this (9+ / 0-)

    more than once, but DKos won't let me!

    Thank you for providing a big step toward what I've been searching for here -- a respectful, compassionate way to approach and include those who disagree with us and who seem to be acting irrationally. I've read dozens of diaries and comments that ridicule and deride these folks for being stupid, racist, ignorant, and for voting against their own interests. I find all of that singularly unhelpful. This is one of the first to start with acknowledging our common humanity and proceed to describe a practical program. Very well done!

    •  Why thank you General Hubbub! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      General Hubbub

      Such a lovely comment.  You totally made my day!  I spend a lot of time in conservative communities and I see so many positive points of intersection, I would love for us to bridge those gaps more successfully, and am excited others feel the same.

      •  You're most welcome! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think it's essential to find bridges. Otherwise we'll continue to witness our country becoming more and more divided. I'd like to believe that most Americans agree we don't want that.

        •  Here here! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          General Hubbub

          I have been happy to see many of my conservative friends this election cycle lament the divisions we have created in this country.  I am hoping it is a step toward more common ground.

          As I wrote to a conservative friend the other day:

          I think in a lot of ways we, as Americans, are all victims of a political process that has worked to cleave voters away from each other, focusing everyone on incendiary single-issue, primary color, non-nuanced positions. These tactics have been very successful for decades. But, it has led us to gridlock. And you see this reflected over the last 30 years in congress. There has been a 63 percent decline in the number of U.S. senators willing to vote across party lines during the last three decades, and an 84 percent decline during the same period in the house. We used to have leaders like Lyndon Johnson, Bob Dole, and Edward Kennedy who could establish coalitions of people from both parties to work together to get things done. Now, not so much. This is going to have to change, obviously. And, I think it will change, but only when we tell them to stop behaving badly and figure it out! Are we there yet? Not so sure.
  •  Must have missed something (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick, MichRee

    ... or were not the GOP just pounding the drum for less public "safety" spending as part of their platform?

    If not us ... who? If not here ... where? If not now ... when?

    by RUNDOWN on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 04:09:50 AM PST

    •  I think the point of the diarist is to say... (4+ / 0-)

      Conservatives are offering an emotional (not actual) comfort to these people.  By blaming crime (indirectly of course) on the blacks and the illegal immigrants and acting as if they were the only group who understood or cared (even though they were the ones trumeting the scary memes) then people want someone to take charge.

      I took my kids to see Hillary Clinton speak at the local high school back in 2008.  We all dressed nicely, I in my suit, and enjoyed the speech.  Afterwards, since no one could park at the school, there was pandamonium outside where people had pushed their way across the marked bus lanes and no one knew what to do.  I stepped forward and started directing people with authority.  I told the people in the front of the lines to stay were they were while I moved the barriers out to make a new bus lane.  I directed the police officers to go an instruct the buses to take the new bus lane I created.  I directed the buses where to stop and told the crowd when they could start boarding the buses.  I was nobody, I had no authoruty what-so-ever and yet not one person questioned me as to who I was or why they should listen to me.  They did what they were told from the bus drivers to the police officers to the crowd itself.

      When people are scared or uncertain, they want a leader; they want somebody to take charge and tell them what to do.  The republicans understand this and use it to their advantage.  They help create people's insecurity and then act as if they are the only ones who can alleviate it.

      The key thing I agree with the diarist is that the Democratic Party needs to reach the people on an emotional level and replace the fear with hope.  Education as to why they feel insecure will only work once there is an emotional connection.  

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:49:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What a great story! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Buckeye Nut Schell

        I loved your bus lane story, such a great example of standing up and leading.  Really wonderful.  And I think you are exactly right that when people are scared or uncertain, they want someone to take charge.  And yes, the republicans are masterful at creating, and then exploiting, uncertainty.  Making it seem like they are taking charge, particularly on an emotional level.  I too want to see more emotional connection between Dems and particularly smaller suburb and small town folks.  

    •  Pounding the drum... (0+ / 0-)

      Thus far, I think they have been clever about this...they are not talking about fewer policemen, they are talking about smaller government... .

      Most of the small town folks I know (I grew up in a small town...very rural -- fishing, timber and farming economy) think that it's their massive personal armory that is keeping them safe, not the government.

      The GOP hasn't changed their tune on the war on drugs, on sentencing, on gun ownership...those are the things that still resonate and why they win on this issue.  But, if they keep going after public safety/fire/teachers, it will backfire, but the Dems need to make it backfire.

  •  There is a passage in "What's the matter with KS" (7+ / 0-)

    where they talk about how Howard Dean conducted a poll in the poorest county in KS (that was also one of it's reddest), the polling firm was shocked that the people of that county had a higher "economic anxiety" score than inner city Kansas city Missouri did.

    What they found was that parents generally want to protect their kids in two way, providing things (economics) and provide safety (their environment). As Unions and Democrats by extension were seen as less able to provide economic security to "white Protestant working class folk" the parents doubled down on protecting the children's social environment. To the people of this county that meant doubling down on "traditional values". This they claimed was the driving force behind the seemingly never ending rightward tilt to these folks.

    It in a way makes sense, especially if you image that others in the community (grandparents for example) also worry about "today's youth". The fact that so many young folk keep leaving also doesn't help.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 05:38:18 AM PST

    •  In other words FDR's Freedom from fear (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OleHippieChick, a2nite, MichRee, madhaus

      maybe that's why he added that to his 5 freedoms?

      -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

      by dopper0189 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 05:39:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hadn't heard about this survey! (0+ / 0-)

      I think that's fascinating...really interesting.  It's a great example of people connecting with the party that is seen to be addressing insecurities...not caring either if it's the root insecurity, or an ancillary insecurity.  Also interesting that the economic anxiety index was higher in the county than in the larger city.

      These feelings are only going to increase because of the massive shift happening in a lot of metropolitan areas.  In-city is hot, suburbs are not.  The burbs are getting more diverse, and poorer.  For the first time, more of our metropolitan poor live in the suburbs than in cities.  As these shifts continue to manifest, with more diversity and lower income residents being pushed out to the suburbs, we are going to see more insecurity in these former white flight colonies established after World War II.

  •  Thanks for the great diary (7+ / 0-)

    and this great statement:

    To be successful in the future, Democrats cannot depend solely upon demographic shifts to stay in office.  They will need to work to close the income gap and restore the middle class to its previous might, because some of the biggest obstacles to Democratic policies will come from economic insecurity and the grab bag of issues it allows Republicans to leverage relating to criminal and social insecurities.  
    You are absolutely correct about Democrats. Successful campaigning in election after election is only the first part of a good game plan for the long-term fortunes of Democrats. The rest is actually addressing the needs of the people who voted for you, as wholeheartedly as you campaigned, while in office.

    In general, the demographic shifts well underway will certainly help Democrats for the long term, but won't seal their fate. Their will always be a pool of well-intentioned, ill-informed "traditionalists" for Republicans to recruit, and recruit, they always will.

    Unlike the hysterical "the-RW-is-picking-up-young-people" diaries that appear every so often, this is one I can actually tip and rec, not only for good, clear-headed observation, but for its good speculation about the broader picture.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 06:29:02 AM PST

    •  No no, thank you! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      General Hubbub

      Very nice and thoughtful comment.  Thank you for the kind words that made this a fantastic Monday for me!  And yes, it's not good enough to campaign on hope, we have to deliver.  I would prefer not have a repeat of the 2010 mid-terms anytime soon.  

      As you say, "There will always be a pool of well-intentioned, ill-informed "traditionalists" for Republicans to recruit, and recruit, they always will."

  •  thanks, great diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alexandra Lynch, MichRee

    We have so much work to do!

    ...inspiration moves me brightly

    by wbr on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:08:40 AM PST

  •  Obama was right when he said (7+ / 0-)
    "You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them," Obama said. "And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
    What Obama said was just a concise version of what this diary is saying.  
    •  Not quite. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hrvatska, MichRee

      The big difference is the word "bitter." If the President had used "fearful" or "anxious" it would have been a lot closer to this diary's point.

      President Obama got slammed for this because it was much too concise for general consumption and because it lent itself to extracting out-of-context sound bites. But the emphasis in many critiques was on "bitter."

    •  I love this quote... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      General Hubbub

      And yes yes yes.

      As I said in an earlier comment, this is going to keep playing out...failing communities filled with angry people.  The suburban post-war white flight fueled expansion of our cities (called the suburbs) are massively changing.  They are become more diverse and are attracting more lower income residents as walkable inner city locations are booming, attracting high income, high educational attainment residents.  Walkability and interconnectedness are the new coin of the realm.  So those suburban areas that cling to strip malls, big box, and spread out land patterns will wither over the next few decades, much like the manufacturing town of the mid-west has over the last few decades.

  •  We progressives are often blind to crime... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I used to live in what by any measure is a high crime area, North Minneapolis. And that's not just an emotional measure, I've got the stats to back it up. And fact is, crime was so prevalent there as to make normal life near impossible. I moved to a small town partly to get away from that crime, and some big city progressives retaliated by questioning my progressive cred, calling me a conservative, "tighty-whitey", and worse. Some even went so far as to demand the city fine me for the condition of my old house in the city, which I can't even give away.

    Before we try to educate conservatives, we need to remove the logs from our own progressive eyes.

    •  Progressive/Conservative do view it differently... (0+ / 0-)

      However, that is not to say that being progressive, or turning a blind eye, to neighborhood crime makes it easier to live with.

      In districts that I have worked to revitalize, I always admire the businesses that have been willing to open and take a risk on an area where there is open drug dealing, prostitution, and other illegal activity happening on every corner.  I know I wouldn't have done it -- taken that chance.  We all have different tolerances, and I don't think that is good or bad.  It just is!

  •  Conservative mind suffers from deep paranoia (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...and when the GOP is in power, of course the paranoia goes down, for there is no one left to spread spread fear!

    Recommended by:

    Mil danke Daily Kos for putting my wee humble Sunday blog up on the Community Spotlight today!   I went through much of Monday having no idea, so what a great surprise.

  •  It's the guilt ^_^ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They have this vague feeling that they got their wealth from some means other than honest. So, just as they got their wealth from ripping some vague "others" off, so do they need to continuously look over their shoulders for that vague "other" to come and rip them off.

    Or maybe not.

    •  Most of the communities... (0+ / 0-)

      ...where I work are not upper income areas, they often are struggling economically for one reason or another.  So I am not sure this applies.

      Now the 1%, on the other hand, have seriously crafted a world view that is skewed in order to justify their Robber Baron tendencies, but I think that's a very different situation than the rank and file rural, white Republicans, for instance.

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