Everyone knows that the south is pretty much synonymous with the Republican Party. Most folks south of the Mason Dixon are proud supporters of God, guns, and Donald Trump. Racism is still rampant, and LGBTQ rights are something no one wants to talk about. People hold tight to their rifles and their “freedom.”
The southern states have pretty much voted Republican since the late 1960’s, and virtually everywhere south of Indiana voted for Trump. The same Trump that’s determined to cut funding for everything from Medicaid and food stamps to Meals on Wheels. To say the least, southerners hold tight to their Republican beliefs. They holler and fuss about folks “working the system,” and bitch and moan about their tax dollars going to Medicaid. Yet, these are the same people that rely the most on assistance.
“I’ve come across people that don’t think The Affordable Care Act and Obamacare are the same thing. They’re supporters and users of the ACA, but want Obamacare eradicated simply because it has the word “Obama” in it.”
Nine out of the top ten states that rely on welfare are in the south. Most of the poorest states in the country are in the south. We have staggering under/unemployment rates and some of the lowest minimum wages in the country. So why are the people that need the most help the ones that are voting against it?
I’ve lived in the south all my life. Born and raised in Kentucky with just a tiny stint in Virginia. I know the people down here are generally good hearted and well meaning. But they’re also as Republican as they come. They cling to their ways and traditions, complaining right along with the rest of them about tax dollars, Millennials, and moochers. And most of them are broke as hell. They rely heavily on the very programs they’re complaining about. They use food stamps to feed their families and are enrolled in Medicaid to help pay for the doctor visits. But whenever you try to point this out to them, you may as well be arguing with a brick wall.
A lot of this boils down to a lack of education. I don’t mean a lack of education as in they didn’t finish high school or go to college. I mean they’re not educated on their argument. I’ve come across people that don’t think The Affordable Care Act and Obamacare are the same thing. They’re supporters and users of the ACA, but want Obamacare eradicated simply because it has the word “Obama” in it. They don’t understand that they’re one in the same. A lot of people rely on one-sided sources such as Fox News for all of their information; only hearing the “good” things about Trump, as if there are any good things about him. And then you have those that just don’t care to learn or hear anything new. They’re Republican. That’s all that matters.
That’s where another issue comes in. People down here have a tendency to stay loyal to their roots. Their granddaddy was a proud Republican. Their daddy fought in the war and worked for a company where they were in a union. He voted for Reagan and both Bush’s. It’s a family affair, and the last thing you’d want to do is double cross your family. So instead of challenging any ideas or beliefs, people stick to what they know. They figure if it worked for their daddy and his daddy before him, why wouldn’t it work for them? No one seems to take into consideration the changing of times or the fact the economy certainly ain’t what it once was. If great-great grandpappy was a Republican, then a Republican you shall be as well.
On top of this uneducated loyalty, you have shitty politicians making half-baked, bottomless promises that give people around here a false sense of hope in exchange for a vote. The south’s economy is shit, and we all know it. Places around here have always relied heavily on factory work and coal mining. Now renewable energy is taking its place and the coal is running out.
There aren’t any jobs left, and the few you can find don’t pay you a wage you can live on. With a minimum wage of $7.25 and an average of four kids per family, you’ll go in the hole trying to eat. So when someone like Trump pops up on the TV, promising to bring back the coal industry, do away with all the environmental going green nonsense, and build a big wall to keep all those job-stealing illegals out of here, folks jump on that promise. It doesn’t matter that he can’t back them up. They don’t care that he can’t tell you how he’s going to make all of this happen. They don’t need a game plan for how he intends to “Make America Great Again.” and they don’t seem bothered by the fact he has yet to back any of this up 6 months into it. So what if he hasn’t done a damn thing that’s productive as of yet? He SAID he was going to, that’s good enough.
The majority of these people don’t want to rely on government assistance the way they do. They want a job. They want to work and provide for their families the way their daddy and granddaddy did. They want it to be 1953. And when someone like Trump dangles this American dream in front of their faces, they bite without hesitation or question. However, the fact of the matter is, it’s not the 1950’s. Trump isn’t making any jobs and there’s no wall in sight. You still need that assistance, and those promised jobs aren’t coming. These poorly informed voters have paid for a prize that they’re never going to receive.