I have to admit it—I’m one of these people that gets excited when I hear Ron Paul rail against the military industrial complex, the barbarity of the War on Drugs, and the massive erosion of civil liberties that has taken place since the Bush presidency. Sure, the twelve-term congressman from Texas isn’t the greatest orator—his declaration after the Iowa Caucus that “We’re all Austrians now!” has to be one the most awkward political moments in recent memory— but he seems to possess that increasingly rare quality: adherence to principle. It isn’t uncommon for American politicians to declare their undying love for the Constitution, but one gets the impression that Paul really has it. It gets more complicated when you ask why.
As someone who was raised in red state America but holds left-leaning political views, I’ve frequently thought about the reasons that lower and middle class families vote much more strongly Republican than should be expected. In my estimation, there’s quite a bit of misunderstanding about the reasons for this voting behavior by coastal liberals. One refreshing exception would be Stan Greenberg, the partner of James Carville in the political polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. (more…)