When you stand in line to vote, what do you feel? Eager to finally get your beak wet? Or humbly virtuous, for doing the right thing, for the greater good?
One of the most regular rhetorical canards of the white-collar Left about the working-class Right—is, "They don't vote their interests."
We Left, who pride ourselves on voting on principles and ideals and values. Who boast about our magnanimous willingness to pay higher taxes for the common good. Who accuse the rich on the other side of selfishness—and then deride the working class on the right for voting on a higher plane!
In her new memoir Heartland, about growing up in Kansas, Sarah Smarsh points out that while liberals insist they be taxed to help the less fortunate, they leave "impoverished people"—working-class whites, she's talking about—to "do one one of two things: Concede personal failure and vote for the party more inclined to assist them, or vote for the other party, whose rhetoric conveys hope that the labor of their lives is what will compensate them."
The Left must offer more to the working-class Right than promises of financial aid. It must appeal to their ideals and pride and deep wish to work for their bread—and to their own generosity. Because the chance to be noble drives poor people to the voting booth, just like it drives you and me.
Liberal friends, we're very good at identifying rhetorical fallacies that come our way from the Right. We should work harder to get our own rhetorical house in order.
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