• WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH MANHATTAN?

    Democrats and Republicans both vote against themselves
      NEW YORK--Why do the poor and middle class, who get screwed by Republican policies, vote for them anyway? Old-school liberals accept the vexing explanation offered by Thomas Frank's influential book What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America. "Our long culture wars," posits the Los Angeles Times in its review, "have left us with an electorate far more concerned with their leaders' 'values' and down-home qualities than with their stands on hard questions of policy." Frank blames the phenomenon of trailer park Republicanism--people whose votes support right-wingers who export their jobs overseas, raise their taxes and starve their kids' schools--on the GOP's astute use of "cultural wedge issues like guns, abortion, and the sneers of Hollywood whose hallucinatory appeal would ordinarily be far overshadowed by material concerns."
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