Yesterday, Frankie Gamwell left the following in a comment:
The Republicans have been better at marketing themselves to the working class, appealing to their hearts rather than their heads with ideals rather than policy. ... I find the idea that the Republican party best represents the interests of the working class is nonsensical
Frankie's comment is not unique, and represents a common meme among liberals which holds that working class whites are somehow stupid for voting Republican, and if they were smarter they would vote for Democrats who are better looking after their interests.
But what exactly are the interests that Democrats will help them with? Free healthcare? That would surely be a benefit worth a few thousand dollars per year, assuming it didn't result in a tax increase to pay for it.
But notice the typical liberal double standard at work again. Why do rich people vote Democratic when it's surely in their interests to vote Republican? Republicans promise lower taxes for the rich. Obama flat out says he wants to significantly raise taxes on people earning more than $250,000 per year. Why would anyone making $250,000 ever vote for Obama? The way the liberal would explain it is that the rich person is placing other issues above personal interest, and is thus making a smart decision. However, when the working class person places other issues above personal interest, such as abortion, traditional marriage, gun rights, and other cultural issues, the liberal says that the working class person is stupid for caring about anything besides the balance of payments between the government and himself. Thus, the same motivations which make the Democratic voter smart make the Republican voter stupid.
Furthermore, the preceding paragraph gives the benefit of the doubt to Democrats that liberal Democratic policies really are in the best pecuniary interests of working class whites. There is a stronger case that liberal policies are not in their interests. For example, Whiskey makes this case in a comment in response to Frankie.
Probably the biggest expense for the working class is the cost of housing. As Steve Sailer wrote:
According to the data gathered by the nonprofit organization ACCRA, which measures cost of living so corporations can fairly adjust the salaries of employees they relocate, Bush carried the 20 states with the cheapest housing costs, while Kerry won the 9 states with the most expensive.
Liberal policies, which include heavy zoning regulations which prevent construction of new housing or significantly increase the costs of housing construction. It's not a about cities versus rural areas. Vemont is a rural state that's also very liberal and thus has very high housing costs compared to Red states.
Liberal policies allow large amounts of immigration to the United States. The typical liberal voter is likely to work in a regulated profession that foreigners find difficult to enter such as law, medicine, or highly verbal occupations. The working class white man, on the other hand, is likely to see his salary directly impacted by competition from immigrant workers. Most of the benefits of the cheap labor go to the rich: owners of businesses, or people rely a lot on service workers. The working class family that washes its own clothes, mows its own lawn, cooks its own meals, cleans its own house, and cares for its own children, doens't benefit from cheap immigrant labor.
Finally, working class families want to be able to send their children to a "safe" school. "Safe," of course, is a politically correct euphemism for a school that doesn't have a lot of low-IQ minorities. School desegration, which was championed by liberals, and has now become so sacrosanct that one can't even question it (it's hard to believe that 60 years ago, the majority of white people thought that school segregation was a good idea), has done more harm to working class whites than any other liberal policy. Rich liberals send their kids to private school. People who aren't quite rich, but have above average incomes, are able to move to neighborhoods with "better schools" (a euphemism again). But working class whites with below average incomes are often screwed in this regards. Liberals continue to work against the natural desire of working class whites to find a school in an affordable neighborhood without too many minorities. Whenever rich liberals find such a school, this is deemed a problem that needs to be fixed. Yet the same rich liberals would never send their own children to such a school.
In conclusion, it seems to me that working class whites are making a rational decision that voting Republican is in their best interests.