Reddit Reddit reviews What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America

We found 19 Reddit comments about What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America
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19 Reddit comments about What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America:

u/flyinglunatic · 10 pointsr/

Someone wrote a book to try to answer that very question

u/[deleted] · 6 pointsr/politics
u/clvfan · 4 pointsr/PoliticalDiscussion

If you haven't read it yet, I think you'd enjoy What's the Matter with Kansas?

u/whitedawg · 4 pointsr/politics

The thesis of your comment is brilliantly expounded upon in Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas?

u/AmbitionOfPhilipJFry · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

Read "Whats the Matter with Kansas" and watch Jesus Camp.

Basically, in the late 80s large wealthy conservatives shipping jobs overseas blamed the decline of jobs on liberal values (abortions, decline of marriage, religious attacks etc) and said they needed more tax cuts to give jobs back to Americans. The guy out of work whom is scared listened to them because they have an alternative reality set up with Fox news and conservative radio.

This cycle has continued until today.

u/INEEDMILK · 3 pointsr/politics

If you are interested in this topic, I'd highly recommend a book by the name of What's the matter with Kansas, by Thomas Frank.

It details how the various political entities, seeking to dictate economic policy, took steps to keep the "masses" uninformed, and, subsequently, ended up tricking them into voting for individuals that represent the opposite of their best-interests.

u/Circus_Maximus · 2 pointsr/politics

Looks like the book, What's the Matter with Kansas is going to need a second edition.

u/asdfman123 · 2 pointsr/

The funny thing is that many of America's poor and otherwise marginalized people vote Republican, thus denying themselves benefits and helping the rich get richer. Check out What's the Matter With Kansas?.

u/jeepster4 · 2 pointsr/politics

Did you ever read a book called "What's The Matter With Kansas?" Thomas Frank pretty well summed up the story of contemporary American politics in this book.

u/Benthos · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Social conservatism, primarily abortion and gay rights; but also, euthanasia, drug policy, welfare, etc. "Conservative" republican politicians tout "family values", and frame campaigns as us vs. them, or the godless liberals. So while you ostensibly vote pro-life, anti-gay, drugs-evil, anti-socialism...what you get is pro-corporate, anti-poor, do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do hypocrisy. This might help.

u/darkcalling · 2 pointsr/atheism

At this point in the US its kind of a feedback loop, the republican party made their bed with christians (particularly the powerful ones at the top) and they now lend their political influence to rightwing causes.

That being said, there are larger trends that show religious people, especially the very religious tend to be very conservative and this is a trend that has held for centuries. What is new is the hollowing out in America at least of the political middle of the laity.

One could and people have written whole papers and books on this very subject.

I will just say a lot of this solidified around and because of the Reagan presidency, he built the "moral majority" coalition and it still affects us.

More basically, those who are taught that an old book contains the greatest truths handed down by a divine being who is the ultimate source of authority tend to be more susceptible to accepting things that are and resistant to change, as well as having a susceptibility to authoritarian acceptance and worship (they already literally worship a god in this structure, so why not politically?).

These are also people who believe in absolutes, in an unchanging, perfect god and an unchanging set of perfect morals. Much easier that way.


> In its broadest sense…fundamentalism is a form of ideological intransigence, which is not limited to religion, but includes political or social positions…


See also:


Here are some books of relevance:

One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America


American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America

(Note the author of this one Chris Hedges, has a background in theology, but a very leftist/liberal one. He isn't an atheist, but is very hostile to much of christianity in america)


What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America


And here are some links to online free content that may be of interest:


An overview of christian political affiliations, it also has citations and sources for those who doubt that increased religiosity correlates positively with right wing/conservative voting and views.

u/dareads · 1 pointr/AskReddit
u/reddit_user13 · 1 pointr/politics

Or maybe they don't. The fact that the GOP fabricate a culture war to make people vote against their economic interest is not new. (2004)

u/DiamondBack · 1 pointr/obama

>I don't know about brainwashing

Okay, then let's start with a definition of brainwashing: any effort aimed at instilling certain attitudes and beliefs in a person — beliefs sometimes unwelcome or in conflict with the person's prior beliefs and knowledge, in order to affect that individual's value system and subsequent thought patterns and behaviors based upon the brainwashing tactics and content.

When the rightwing repeats the same lies and distortions regarding liberals until people begin to believe them, then I would say that fits the definition of brainwashing. In fact the majority of Americans hold liberal beliefs but the right has so demonized the word that many liberals will only refer to themselves as "moderates." And what passes for a "conservative" today would be more accurately described as a political extremist.

>but isn't a lot of backlash against the Left's support of communism and socialism back in the day?

How far back are you going? Are you saying the Johnson administration supported communism? That's a stretch, to say the least, especially given their expansion of the Vietnam conflict... allegedly a "fight against communism." As for socialism, it is a word that has been stigmatized in this country to the point of absurdity, often with the ridiculous claim that it is a "stepping stone to communism." Again, repeat a lie often enough and loud enough and some people can be made to accept it without question (a good question being: where has this ever happened?).

>The idea that because they are "smarter" than us they can control our funds and dispense it more appropriately?

If you look at the "socialist" polices of Democratic administrations you find that they lead to some of the most productive periods in our nation's history. Out of the New Deal and the G.I. Bill came a robust middle class. Beyond the US if you look at other nations which have accepted socialism (that would be most of Europe, Canada, Australia and Japan, among others) you'll find they are healthier, better educated, have better employment (higher wages and more time off) and overall are happier than the US. Has it occurred to you that allowing the "smarter" people control the distribution of wealth really is the best way to go? And what of the "conservatives" who balk at this notion of "helping the less fortunate" (actually, "helping everyone" would be more accurate)? Given the chance, they immediacy granted themselves huge tax breaks, shifting the burden to those least able to shoulder it, then ran up the greatest debt in history transferring the public wealth into the accounts if the the top 1-2% richest Americans. As a result the rest of us are becoming less educated, less healthy and working longer hours for less pay. The right has convinced Americans that "they" don't want a "welfare state" and effectively given them a kleptocracy in it's place. When the right claims they are against "socialism" and "New Deal policies" they are effectively declaring class warfare on the middle and lower classes. That they can convince people in those classes to fight a war on themselves either says a lot about the conniving shrewdness of the ultra-rich or the overall stupidity of everyone else... probably a degree of both.

>I think you paint a too simplistic, absolute picture.

You seem to be referring to the first sentence of my post... it's rather of difficult to make a detailed, non-simplistic analysis in a single Reddit post. If you want a more in depth analysis you could read something like What's the Matter with Kansas?... with shipping it will cost you a whole $4. There are a multitude of reasons why people vote the way they do, and Republicans have become very skilled at manipulating every human shortcoming they can find... greed, prejudice and religious superstition being chief among them.

>I think that someone being smart should neither be a reason to vote or not vote for them. Brains can be used for bad purposes.

While you've taken some down modding over this comment I think you have a point and I made a similar comment on Reddit about a month ago. Nixon was certainly smart but overall not a very good President due to his domestic corruption. Likewise I don't think the problem with Bush is his general lack of intellectual prowess but rather, like Nixon, it is his corruption that has most hurt this nation. I'd take honesty over raw intelligence any day, though ideally to be a good president requires both.

u/erincait · 1 pointr/politics

Yeah. 1984 reads as a horror story to me.
That quote reminds me of this book.

u/parcivale · 1 pointr/politics

But what about the fact that people, the less educated most especially, will be persuaded by propaganda and will often vote against their own interests? There was a book published a few years ago, What's the Matter with Kansas? that shows how the working class in the United States does exactly this over and over and over.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but they would be better off today if they hadn't voted at all and had let the votes of the better educated, (and the better educated people are, the more left-of-centre/progressive their voting patterns are) have more weight as a result.