Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Politics Of Divide And Conquer

A new study of Republican attitudes towards hot button issues has produced some interesting results.

The survey of 2,000 self-described Republican voters, titled “The Elephant Looks in the Mirror 10 Years Later,” showed that 71 percent consider themselves conservative, a 16 percent increase over the 1997 numbers.

Fifty-one percent of the GOPers said universal healthcare coverage should be a right of every American, and 49 percent favored allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military.

But, you are saying to yourself that we are no closer to Universal Healthcare and basically every republican member of congress is opposed. You would be correct. Here is how the issue plays out.

Our districts are drawn up now in ways that make many of them non-competitive. I am picking on the Republican members of congress in this case because they are evil. They have a safe seat. But, they are vainglorious critters and need to be sure they win through the help of campaign contributions. Many of these contributors are HMOs and other concerned citizens who think we have enough health care now.

Republicans who favor universal coverage vote for the Republicans anyways on other issues. The member of congress gets all the lucre, and nothing gets done. Polls now put approval of Universal Coverage at around 70%. In a healthy democracy, it would be more reflective in the make up of the congress. 51% of the GOP caucus would be fighting for a form of it. They are not.

This is why we are screwed. Until GOP voters decide that they would rather have health care guaranteed than a promise of a tax break, nothing will change. That 51% majority means less than nothing. In our representative democracy, these GOP voters have voted themselves no representation.