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

We found 91 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.

American History
United States History
U.S. State & Local History
What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America
ConservativeHeart of AmericaMid WestHeartlandPolitics
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91 Reddit comments about What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America:

u/degeneration · 110 pointsr/politics

I think you are pointing out the stupidity of the American voter. Various people have commented on this. I think the book "What's the Matter with Kansas?" talks a lot about how the right twisted people into voting against their own best interests by exploiting wedge social issues and creating a false image as the heroes of the "little guy". For a long time I was on the bandwagon of blaming institutions like Fox News for deliberately misleading people and manipulating public opinion, but at this point there has been 10+ years of direct, incontrovertible evidence of the sheer corruption and incompetence of the right. If people can't see that at this point they are either being willfully ignorant, or they are just ignorant.

u/maglen69 · 67 pointsr/news

A book written on just that subject

That and even though our govenor is a complete shitbag, he managed to get reelected just by having an R by his name.

u/BigBennP · 58 pointsr/politics

You're not going to get a serious answer from the reddit echo chamber. So far you seem to have gotten:

"Her vagina"
"the mainstream media is in the tank for Clinton"
"There are no Clinton supporters on the internet."

So here's what I consider the best arguments in her favor, mostly they're culled from my democratic pol/strategist friends, most of whom are serious Clinton supporters by virtue of where I live:

  1. Whoever gets elected is going to have to deal with a republican congress at least until 2020, if not further. So incremental change is a given. Exactly how much of Bernie's agenda is going to get adopted by a republican congress? How is he going to get it taken up? So what's going to get passed? How is sanders going to deal with a congress that says "lol no" and sends him a budget increasing military funding and cutting welfare? At the end of the day this boils down to the "experience" argument, but there's a twist. Sanders definitely also has a history of legislative accomplishments, but more than a few presidents, Obama included, have shown us that legislative experience doesn't translate to effective leadership from the White House. I'll be frank, it's pretty damn obvious that the Clintons inspired Frank and Clair Underwood from the house of cards. That is, however you care to look at it, a reality. Personal relationships and a willingness to twist arms is what gets legislation through. Inability to work congress has been Obama's greatest failing as president I think. (I'm not saying congress doesn't share the blame, but politics is the art of the possible, more could possibly been done had the situation been better managed).

  2. Clinton had a point when she said she's been the focus of partisan attacks for 10+ years. There's a SHITLOAD of dirt out there, but for the most part it's already been dug up. Think about the shit that Republicans dug up on John Kerry with the swiftboat nonsense, or on OBama with reviewing every single thing Jeremiah wright said, how exactly did it become a controversy that Obama's pastor said "god damn America?". You already largely know what Republicans are going to bring up with Clinton. Where's Bernie Sanders dirt? His personal life is largely unknown, and he's skated by on a northeastern tolerance for social indiscretions and refusing to discuss it. I guarantee you it's not because dirt doesn't exist, and not because it hasn't been dug up, but because it's being held in reserve for the general. Republicans forever tied to tar Obama with the idea that he was Saul Alinksy's protege, some kind of 60's radical reborn. Sanders actually is that 60's radical, and actually calls himself a socialist to boot. There's quite a bit out there of him associating with genuine revolutionary socialists and communists. There's going to be an army of people looking for every photo of everyone Sanders ever associated with and everything bad they said about America. His personal life wont' be off limits either. Did you know Sanders has an adult son that was born out of wedlock? Sure, millenials won't give a damn, but it will be the basis for tens of millions of negative advertising.

  3. Electability. It's popular here to point to head to head polls suggesting Sanders is better able to beat Trump. But those same polls also showed Clinton beating everyone but Kasich. In a hypothetical match up against Trump, Sanders comes out +13 and Clinton comes out +6. But the presidential campaign map matters a lot as well. Sanders did particularly poor among Latinos and African Americans, and does exceedingly well amongst poor white people in largely white (and largely red) states. Sanders tied Oklahoma, and won Wisconsin, West Virginia, New Hampshire and Vermont. Clinton, Among others has won California, New York, Illinois and Florida. Even taking election shenanigans into account, the former aren't going to matter so much in the general election and the latter will.

    They are what they are, but the real question is what are you going to do about them? because when you step outside of the echo chamber, it's pretty obvious that Clinton's going to end up the Nominee. Sanders is fighting the good fight and will carry a liberal platform to the convention, which I think is a very good thing for the party in geneal and the Sanders/Warren wing of the party in particular, but his chance of ending up the nominee at this point is virtually nil unless something radical changes like Clinton actually succumbing to a major scandal or getting criminal charges filed. Then question is then, are you going to succumb to the drawback of a two party system and vote for the lesser of two evils or do something that might result in Trump becoming president? It's easy to say now, how do you think Nader supporters felt in 2001 when Bush took office?

    I would add to this, your question makes the exact same mistake democrats have made for years as it relates to Republican voters. going back to Thomas Frank's Book what's the matter with Kansas and why Obama's comments about clinging to guns and religion caused such a fury on the right even though they're pretty true.

    At its heart, the way people choose political candidate is not 100% logical. People are not robots. The reason political disagreements exists is because people have different priorities. Priorities are not driven solely by logical connections. People choose a candidate based on how they feel about them. Obama won an election (both primary and general) by creating a feeling that he would be different. Trump's winning the republican primary by creating a feeling among disenchanted voters that he's going to come in and make it right, no matter what his background or prior policy preferences were.

    Clinton has done a decent job creating an emotional connection with certain demographics.Women over 40, African Americans, Hispanics. She fails at it markedly among millennials and to some extent among men.

    Not speaking truth to power, but rather telling the truth to the mob, or at least answering a question deliberately asked about what the defenses of clinton are.
u/thatguygreg · 51 pointsr/news

> single mother

> caring for disabled parents

> Trump voter

Can we update What's the Matter with Kansas for the new level of cognitive BS these people put themselves through?

u/AncientMarinade · 44 pointsr/Economics

I would highly recommend [what's the matter with Kansas] ( by Thomas Frank. It is an engaging, informative look at the context around why an entire state of low-income voters voted for policies that were drafted to harm them.

u/Chip085 · 35 pointsr/politics

There is literally a book (and documentary based on the book) about this. Called What's the Matter With Kansas

u/ciarao55 · 33 pointsr/worldnews

I think part of the problem is really that people are looking at only granular parts of problems today and don't have enough historical context. Its useless to follow every story about everyone and every little thing. There are lots of ups and downs in politics and there's no reason to be so reactionary to every single new and probably manufactured "scandal".... that's what's exhausting. I like to keep updated on a few big issues, I follow the careers of a few people I find inspiring (and follow a few that do things that worry me), and spend the rest of the time reading up on topics in book form... they have the advantage of being written over time, and with more vigorous standards for accuracy. The news, while still important where immediate info is necessary, is essentially click bait now. You don't need to get caught in the rip tides that pull you everywhere constantly, just understand the general trajectory of the important things.

edit: to those curious about some book recommendations: I'm by no means an expert in anything really, and the books you read should really be about the topics you personally are interested in, so don't take my word as gospel (or any author's). I like American history, ancient history, international relations, and though I think they're more boring I force myself to read about the health care system and the American education system because I feel they're important. I'm also looking to read some books on the military industrial complex and cyber security/ big data because I don't really know anything about them other than the stuff I see in passing on the news or here on Reddit. So if anyone knows a good overview of those issues, feel free to let me know.

  • For a good start on human history and the beginnings of modern economics/ intl relations (basically why the West has historically dominated), try Guns, Germs, and Steel I believe there's also a documentary if the book is too dense for your taste (it is pretty dense).

  • Perhaps if you're interested in why people get so damn heated talking politics, The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation

  • If you wonder why people vote against their own social and economic interest: What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America Full disclosure: I liked this book, but I lean left. I'm not sure if it matters, the point of the book is just to track how the Republican party went from being the party of elites, to the party of blue collar workers.

  • If the Supreme Court interests you at all, I liked Jeffrey Toobin's, The Nine

  • The achievement gap? Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria

  • Health care? There's a lot, but this one is an easy read and it compares the systems of Britain, Japan, Germany, and I believe Cuba (which is very good for their GDP!) and the US's. The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T.R. Reid

    This is just some stuff I've listed off the top of my head. Another thing that I find helpful to better understanding intl relations are books about the major genocides of the past few decades, which are hard to get through (because of the brutal content) but... What is the What (Sudan), First they killed my father (Cambodian genocide), Girl at War (more of a autobiography, but still chilling) there's a couple of others I've read that I can't remember now.

    Anyway, just go to Good Reads and look at Contemporary Politics. Perhaps Great Courses has a political philosophy course too that you can draw from if you wanna go even farther back into the origins of society's structure and political thought.

    Also podcasts! I've just discovered these but there's a lot of audio content (FREE!) that you can listen to on your commute and whatnot. I like Abe Lincoln's Top Hat right now.

    Edit edit: wow thanks for the gold!!
u/Im_in_timeout · 28 pointsr/politics

I'm sure /u/Dr_Poz was referencing this insightful book from 2005:
What's the Matter with Kansas?

u/troglodave · 27 pointsr/politics

You are correct on the title, "What's the Matter With Kansas", but it goes onto much greater depth than the single issue voting. It really delves into and explains why the social conservatives are being played to go against the fiscal conservative values they once held and who is profiting from them.

At the time it was written, 10 years ago, Thomas Frank made the prediction that this was the direction American "Conservatism" would head, and he has been dead on the money! An excellent read for those completely baffled by the ignorance of the average American voter.

u/ElectronGuru · 26 pointsr/oregon

Don’t need future scientists, current scientist already figured out

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

u/lemon_meringue · 24 pointsr/politics

I had family actually move out of Kansas two years ago because of what Brownback did to that state via an infusion of faulty, disproven, horseshit Koch ideology. They have destroyed that state and it will take generations to bring it back from what they did to it with their bullshit economic experiment.

And people WARNED them about this bullshit for YEARS, but it never mattered because they are arrogant cocks who think they are smarter than everyone else.

u/jimbo831 · 24 pointsr/Trumpgret

>My continuing complaint with the trump-a-nistas is quite simple... "Why do you continually vote against your own interests?"

Wedge social and cultural issues. People should definitely read What's the Matter With Kansas.

u/Grounded-coffee · 15 pointsr/SubredditDrama

If this sort of thing interests you, you may also enjoy this book. It's a bit older (IIRC it came out during the Bush administration) but it looks at the same issue through a bit of a different lens.

u/envyxd · 14 pointsr/technology

What's the matter with Kansas is a great book about that whole issue. Conservatives (Republicans) appeal to dumb people in these types of states on a lot of issues including jobs, giving them false promises and then turning an about-face when the time comes that they're in office.

Republican policies have long benefited the rich, and not the average worker.

u/adlerchen · 11 pointsr/politics

It's actually more heart breaking when you know that basically the entire midwest once once considered the home of radical left politics in the US. As Thomas Frank notes in What's The Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America:

>I do not want to minimize the change that this represents. Certain parts of the Midwest were once so reliably leftist that the historian Walter Prescott Webb, in his classic 1931 history of the region, pointed to its persistent radicalism as one of the “Mysteries of the Great Plains.” Today the mystery is only heightened; it seems inconceivable that the Midwest was ever thought of as a “radical” place, as anything but the land of the bland, the easy snoozing flyover. Readers in the thirties, on the other hand, would have known instantly what Webb was talking about, since so many of the great political upheavals of their part of the twentieth century were launched from the territory west of the Ohio River. The region as they knew it was what gave the country Socialists like Eugene Debs, fiery progressives like Robert La Follette, and practical unionists like Walter Reuther; it spawned the anarchist IWW and the coldly calculating UAW; and it was periodically convulsed in gargantuan and often bloody industrial disputes. They might even have known that there were once Socialist newspapers in Kansas and Socialist voters in Oklahoma and Socialist mayors in Milwaukee, and that there were radical farmers across the region forever enlisting in militant agrarian organizations with names like the Farmers’ Alliance, or the Farmer-Labor Party, or the Non-Partisan League, or the Farm Holiday Association. And they would surely have been aware that Social Security, the basic element of the liberal welfare state, was largely a product of the midwestern mind.

>Almost all of these associations have evaporated today. That the region’s character has been altered so thoroughly—that so much of the Midwest now regards the welfare state as an alien imposition; that we have trouble even believing there was a time when progressives were described with adjectives like fiery, rather than snooty or bossy or wimpy—has to stand as one of the great reversals of American history.

u/19Kilo · 11 pointsr/politics
u/schubox63 · 10 pointsr/politics

I grew up in Kansas. It’s stupid. There’s literally been books written about it

u/omicron7e · 9 pointsr/Iowa

What's the Matter with Kansas? is a good read. Despite being more than a decade old, most of the points put forth in it are relevant today.

It's a good title, and lately I've seen "What's the Matter with Iowa?" and "What's the Matter with Trumpland?"

u/BunsTown · 9 pointsr/news

Welcome to the mind of a Trump voter. Where Putin and Duterte are heroes.

>Trump is simply the logical response to the Democratic Party going too far left on the political spectrum and ignoring the needs of the working class.

Trump makes all of his products in other countries. No way in hell that guy gives a shit about the middle class. He's just courting the undereducated people who will vote against their own interests. It's a GOP trade secret. Sorry dude. You are getting played again. A billionaire from new york city has no interest in helping your shitty cities. Every city that guy goes to, he dumps on.

I would recommend a book called "Whats the matter with Kansas".

u/dividezero · 9 pointsr/TrollXChromosomes

What's the Matter with Kansas. Not sure if that's still a popular book but it still holds up. I's like a textbook for why people vote against their own interests.

u/res0nat0r · 8 pointsr/politics

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

Replace the title with any GOP controlled state.

u/graps · 7 pointsr/news

Everytime something shitty happens in Kansas(pretty often these days) I recommend this book

It's an excellent run down on politicians and single issue voters were played over and over again making Kansas what it is today. If you want to know why people routinely can be counted on to vote against their own interests it's a good read

u/redroguetech · 7 pointsr/nottheonion

What's the Matter with Kansas. Good book.

(Relevant, because Kansas used to be at the forefront of progressivism.)

u/jub-jub-bird · 6 pointsr/PoliticalDiscussion

> A Democrat will blugeon the customer over the head with moral outrage and smug superiority because their "customer" is too much of a "dumb redneck" to see the amazing wonders of the same old product they've been offering.

This could be the cover blurb for "What's the Matter with Kansas?"

u/SporkOfThor · 6 pointsr/politics

This guy nails it. "A brilliant analysis-and funny to boot-What's the Matter with Kansas? is a vivid portrait of an upside-down world where blue-collar patriots recite the Pledge while they strangle their life chances; where small farmers cast their votes for a Wall Street order that will eventually push them off their land; and where a group of frat boys, lawyers, and CEOs has managed to convince the country that it speaks on behalf of the People."

u/Kazmarov · 5 pointsr/circlebroke2

If you look at the states with the lowest per capita income, a large chunk of which are the former Confederacy, it's a split. Mississippi has a large black population voting overwhelmingly Democratic, and a white population voting overwhelmingly Republican (now that the parties have finally switched polarities). The split is cultural/racial, despite the fact that the black and white working class in the state have far more things in common than differences.

My dad recommends What's the Matter with Kansas? as a way to show the split between the economic status of conservative voters and those that benefit from conservative policies.

u/ovoutland · 5 pointsr/politics


>The largely blue collar citizens of Kansas can be counted upon to be a "red" state in any election, voting solidly Republican and possessing a deep animosity toward the left. This, according to author Thomas Frank, is a pretty self-defeating phenomenon, given that the policies of the Republican Party benefit the wealthy and powerful at the great expense of the average worker. According to Frank, the conservative establishment has tricked Kansans, playing up the emotional touchstones of conservatism and perpetuating a sense of a vast liberal empire out to crush traditional values while barely ever discussing the Republicans' actual economic policies and what they mean to the working class. Thus the pro-life Kansas factory worker who listens to Rush Limbaugh will repeatedly vote for the party that is less likely to protect his safety, less likely to protect his job, and less likely to benefit him economically.

u/SingleMaltWhiskonsin · 4 pointsr/wisconsin

> You were the one citing the 4 of 5 statistic. I assumed you had the data.

FTA, means From The Article. Just quoting from the article. You mentioned an assumption.

> I know several others in similar situations. I don't have data, but that's because I have life experience.

That isn't how any science works. Not even the social sciences which aren't pure or even necessarily just applied sciences, but humanities with scientific principles.

> I lived in a small town for over 20 years.

See, here is where we really need to define what is truly rural and what is urban. There are also costs associated in small towns growing so if you come to a small town, and say you build new, those houses unlike the original ones, will have impact fees built into the cost. What you might not realize is that housing over the last few decades has gotten significantly more expensive, often because of sprawl or lack of efficiency.

Any its not the point of you car breaking down. What if you have an ongoing problem, what if the mechanic is busy? The point being you can be seriously inconvenience, and since you offered it as advice of how to live cheaply why should we assume some has a brand spanking new car. It likely might be a car that needs maintenance.

> I lived in a town of 10,000 people. You don't need to leave, especially with internet access.

Well I've know plenty of people in towns of 10,000 people and they often were bored out of their minds, so they would drive to the next closest larger city for things to do.

> Yeah, but the initial water quality is what we were getting at I thought.

No, that's the thing, modern treatment plants can take literally crappy water and turn it into something pristine. I know because I have toured the facilities and know people in the field. I also have a property with a well and have been blessed with good water, yet neighbors down the road have had problems. You need to test regularly, there is just more responsibility to have to worry about.

But see you're talking about a city of 10,000, so you may not really be living all that rural. Depends on how far out you live.

> Fracking issues? Really? Please cite one of these occurrences in Wisconsin.

Does it really matter that it is Wisconsin? You held up your statement like it was a universal truth. Wisconsin honestly has been lucky but note, its not just the fracking itself, but the materials, like sand and water which can drop the water table.

Well have always had this consideration especially if local agriculture sucks the water table down and people have to re-drill to get it.

> I lived in a rural setting for 20 years. I know the situation. I don't have to "trust you" on what I lived.

There is only one fact in that sentence, and even that's sort of debatable. It sounds like you lived in a small town in a rural area that had some of the amenities that larger cities might have especially due to recent advances in technology. Trust is not an issue. Numbers, data, research is what we should seek, and we don't trust those, we verify those. Trust involves faith.

But personal anecdotes are not applicable to general situations. So if that is going to be presented as evidence it may be dismissed by everyone as such. Doesn't mean its not true, just that we have no way of knowing, nor should we trust it, for the reasons stated above.

> Many rural areas are near small towns. A rural county usually has 'the town' that serves that purpose and is only 10-15 minutes away.

That's still travel. Again we're sort picking apart just some simple examples, there could be more, still beside the point. Gas will be more because anything that isn't in immediate proximity will need to either be shipped, or you will need to travel for it. If you hang out online for entertainment and order from Amazon, then the discount rural life might be just fine, if you have good Internet access. Again, if.

> A riding mower? If you're going to have a yard that big, you should probably afford it before you buy it. That's like saying that someone's swimming pool costs are too high.

No, its not. People choose to have a pool. No only chooses the size of their yard, it is part of the parcel they buy. Or were you only talking renting?

> I was saying that people who live in rural areas make less money, many times minimum.

Well then that complicates things further. You make less money in a rural setting, and you supposedly pay less, according to you because you don't have the overhead of the city. But on the flip side the reason people are paid more in the city is because of supply and demand which is why the housing may be more, you may have some more taxes, but all services are far more economical to provide per person or per capita because of economies of scale.

So what you have to do is calculate the CoL rural and compare to CoL urban factoring in all aspects and then compare. You might, I'm not saying you won't. I'm saying its not a guarantee that you will unless you do all the math.

> It might be anecdotal, but it doesn't make it untrue. A strong farming community can support itself.

Never said it did. The problem with anecdotal evidence is that it has a very small sample size so we have no way of knowing the truth until it is no longer anecdotal. I'm saying that you have to look far more into the situation with all the data, and that still doesn't refute the OP which appears to be based on research or non-anecdotal evidence.

But, a strong farm community is harder to find. Why? Because the individual farmers that supported each other are growing scarce being replaced with industrial farming.

> Because cities tend to have liberals who want to spend that money rather than return it to the people who earned it and it's impractical to have a public bus in a town of 500.

Okay, now you are just being silly. If you check Wisconsin history, farmers used to be progressive because they were in battle with the train owners who liked to gouge them for their shipment costs. Its recent manufactured fokelore that Urban=liberal and rural=conservative.

You might actually want to read this one book, What's The Matter with Kansas which shows how of some of what you are referring to came to be.

> It also doesn't mean those problems don't exist in urban areas too.

It seems to be grasping at straws. All areas may have problems. Like I said over concentration has problem, under concentration also has problems. The OP was talking about a problem of rural poverty that any sociologist could tell you is a problem, but you, if I understand correctly, seem to be denying its existence by personal experiences.

> I disagree. I seem to recall hearing constantly during the farm bill debate about why the food stamps were included, and that was the reason I mentioned.

So you heard something once recently and that makes it a fact? You realize that is what is wrong with the current media and public, we don't challenge these ridiculous notions out of hand. Plenty of politicians on either side of the aisle support farm subsidies if it affect them or their people.

The OP topic was "The silent problem - rural poverty is rampant." Unless you have some information to say why the post is completely wrong that doesn't involve your singular personal experience coupled with a few people you know, then we'll have to go with the post having merit and needing further discussion and investigation.

> Have you lived in a rural setting? For how long if so? I get the feeling I'm trying to explain what a burger tastes like to a man with no taste buds.

Actually I know what a good grass fed burger tastes like, but we don't find them as often. Do you know why?

Actually I own a rural property that has been in the family for a couple generations. Its not farmed but it is in a rural setting. And all the problems that I cited, you know the personal anecdotes, those are all things that we contend with when were are there. Do you know why we don't live there full time? Because the city, a reasonable sized city offered many, many more choices especially employment. And grass fed burgers should I desire them.

> I disagree. Plus, if you think rural areas need the help, isn't this a good thing for them?

No. Not at all. Because the money isn't going to local areas that are desperate for tax money to maintain services like schools, another thing that doesn't scale well in the rural setting, no they stay just far enough out. It's a very deliberate tax dodge and its not simply retiring boomers, as many of them may not be well off. These are people who did not make money off the land as farmers but did so elsewhere and now flee from the city with their earnings and create paradise in the middle of nowhere.

> Not really. You can build/buy a 2006 2 million dollar house for $300,000. I know of a sale like that that just happened near my hometown.

This actually is getting to be beside the point, it was a simple observation that raises questions.

To be honest, I think it is more people who like the idea of having wealth that no one can see.

> That's a reasonable retirement mortgage if you invested wisely and are putting the sale of another house toward the purchase.

And if you didn't lose your pension, 401k, job, have a major healthcare problem or any number of circumstances. But that was just an observation. And now we're debating over budget mansions?

I'd go back and read the article itself and see if there wasn't a larger point you missed, no offense. It was never to argue against a rural way of life nor disrespect those who live in a rural setting. Quite the contrary. In fact, since it says it is the title and you said it yourself. You lived in a rural setting and even you don't it to be a problem.

So that means The Silent Poverty rampent in rural areas actually is a mystery especially if neighbors like you are unaware.

u/mrmanager237 · 4 pointsr/neoliberal

How did we NOT tell he's a succ?

>the U.S. needs more input from sociology and less from economics


>The Democrats have been the party of the social safety net, and have long wondered why so many working-class Americans don’t seem to appreciate those benefits.

E C O N O M I C A N X I E T Y: jobs edition

u/MisanthropicScott · 4 pointsr/Liberal

> "all Bernie supporters are young college idiots who know nothing and just want free shit"

Just for the record, not that it will convince your father of anything, I'm 52 (probably older than he is), have read a lot and support Bernie. Though, Bernie is far more centrist than I am. I'm fiscally left of and more socially liberal than any of Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, or the Dalai Lama.

So, not all of us radical left-wingers (and yes I know I'm radical) are young or ignorant of what's going on in the world.

And, I'm retired rather young, not taking government money, not asking for government money, not even asking for lower taxes. I don't mind paying higher taxes than those who earn less than me. I just hate that the uber-wealthy making tons more than me pay less (in percentage) than I do.

I don't know why your father wants his own tax dollars to subsidize the Koch brothers. But, if anyone is ignorant, it is those who are not super-wealthy and support lower taxes for the wealthy. Why on earth would someone vote so strongly against their own self-interest??!!?

Please ask your father nicely to commit to spending just 20 minutes listening to an actual self-proclaimed plutocrat, a genuine billionaire, explaining why he supports liberal policies.

Beware Plutocrats, the Pitchforks are Coming

Then, if he's actually willing to read, point him at a couple of excellent books. This first is just a collection of essays, so doesn't require the same attention span as the second I will recommend.

What's the Matter with Kansas?

This next book is by a former managing director of Goldman Sachs (a rather high title if you've never worked on Wall Street, I have). This one explains how Wall Street privatized profit and socialized risk to bring down the global economy.

It Takes a Pillage

u/category5 · 3 pointsr/politics

"What's The Matter With Kansas" is actually the title of a pretty interesting book.

u/signmyup · 3 pointsr/politics

As relevant 10 years ago as it is today, but i think people are beginning to catch on.

u/particle409 · 3 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

"What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America" is a great book on this subject. It talks a lot about how rural conservatives have been convinced into voting for harmful measures against small town America.

u/vincentvertuccio · 3 pointsr/BlueMidterm2018
u/GirlNumber20 · 3 pointsr/politics

Yeah, it's that whole "What's The Matter With Kansas?" phenomenon.

u/Sanderswersky · 3 pointsr/SandersForPresident

What's the Matter With Kansas by Thomas Frank. 2005.

u/ImpressiveFood · 3 pointsr/AskThe_Donald

Look, I don't even know where to begin. That was a lot of assumptions. I'm sorry you have this view of the left. I don't believe at all that leftists dislike rural people, nor dislike them simply because they are rural. The hatred that many on the left is not directed at rural people, but conservative ideology.

The left does see conservative ideology as a major barrier to making the world better, for both economic reasons and reasons of social justice. But the left doesn't see the rural, white working class as the cause of this ideology. The ideology is perpetuated by the wealthy and powerful. But for me personally, I don't blame anyone personally for believing in this ideology. I don't think conservatives or even the wealthy are bad, evil people, I simply think they are wrong.

Liberals are more likely to pity rural folk, if anything (which granted is condescending), because we feel that they've been duped by the wealthy into supporting politics that simply make the wealthy wealthier, allowing them to exploit the working class further and destroy the environment for their own profit.

I know I can't convince you of anything here or even force you to see another perspective on your politics.

But I would like you start making an attempt to learn more about liberals, and get to know some personally. Liberals are people, and I feel like you've forgotten that. You've really managed to demonize them, because you sincerely believe that they have demonized you and the people you care about, but I don't believe that's largely true. You can cherry pick examples of anything. I'd really appreciate it if you would make an effort to talk to more liberals. Maybe asks some questions on /r/askaliberal, or expand your media diet. Especially try to talk to some in person.

This is a classic book which claims that conservatives, in the 90s, came to see politics as no longer a matter of rich vs. poor, but a matter of NASCAR vs Starbucks, as a cultural matter rather than an economic matter, which works out really well for the rich.




u/VanceAstrooooooovic · 3 pointsr/Trumpgret
u/ALoudMouthBaby · 3 pointsr/circlebroke

Do you have any data to support these assertions? Im curious, but hard numbers really are important here.


This seems as relevant as ever. Im adding it to my "to read" list, sadly itll be a while till I get to it though.

u/tdk2fe · 3 pointsr/obama

I'm about to read What's the Matter with Kansas? It's supposed to answer this very question.

u/abudabu · 3 pointsr/progressive

He's famous for writing "What's the matter with Kansas?"

u/philig · 2 pointsr/worldnews

Tip for the future. When linking amazon products click on the small share button on the right of the page. It gives you a link like so

u/hubilation · 2 pointsr/politics

Read What's the Matter With Kansas? and you'll see exactly why.

u/248758497 · 2 pointsr/politics

Poorest states are the reddest states. Also see 'what's the matter with kansas.' Your assertion is so profoundly incorrect that it hurts to even read. Republicans overwhelmingly make up the nation's poor. That's why their party has such a need to appeal to religious fundies and why they constantly try to dictate morals. You don't need to stick with being anti-abortion, anti-gay, pro Xtian extremist when you're catering to rich people.

"most of them" ? Nope, very few. And even the politicians are simply the ones who shout loudest. Piyush and Marco weren't rich.

u/newredditsucks · 2 pointsr/environment

The weirdest thing is that area definitely votes in a climate-change-denialist fashion, but the farmers there that I have met are intensely pragmatic folks and absolutely not stupid. They do change crops and how they manage animals based on conditions. Resource management based on existing and historical conditions and trends is very much how they run their businesses.

I spend some time every year just down the road from Hill City.

For a deeper discussion of these issues, though not necessarily climate-specific, check out What's The Matter With Kansas

u/gotham77 · 2 pointsr/news

It was a joke. It already exists.

Unless you were going along with the joke, in which case my bad.

u/RAndrewOhge · 2 pointsr/conspiracy

Google Has Become a Major Threat to Democracy in America - Michael Krieger - Aug 30, 2017

About 10 years ago, Tim Wu, the Columbia Law professor who coined the term network neutrality, made this prescient comment: “To love Google, you have to be a little bit of a monarchist, you have to have faith in the way people traditionally felt about the king.”

Wu was right. And now, Google has established a pattern of lobbying and threatening to acquire power.

It has reached a dangerous point common to many monarchs: The moment where it no longer wants to allow dissent.

When Google was founded in 1998, it famously committed itself to the motto: “Don’t be evil.”

It appears that Google may have lost sight of what being evil means, in the way that most monarchs do:

Once you reach a pinnacle of power, you start to believe that any threats to your authority are themselves villainous and that you are entitled to shut down dissent.

As Lord Acton famously said, “Despotic power is always accompanied by corruption of morality.”

Those with too much power cannot help but be evil.

Google, the company dedicated to free expression, has chosen to silence opposition, apparently without any sense of irony.

In recent years, Google has become greedy about owning not just search capacities, video and maps, but also the shape of public discourse.

As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, Google has recruited and cultivated law professors who support its views.

And as the New York Times recently reported, it has become invested in building curriculum for our public schools, and has created political strategy to get schools to adopt its products.

It is time to call out Google for what it is: a monopolist in search, video, maps and browser, and a thin-skinned tyrant when it comes to ideas.

Google is forming into a government of itself, and it seems incapable of even seeing its own overreach.

We, as citizens, must respond in two ways.

First, support the brave researchers and journalists who stand up to overreaching power; and second, support traditional anti-monopoly laws that will allow us to have great, innovative companies — but not allow them to govern us.

From Zephyr Teachout’s powerful article: Google Is Coming After Critics in Academia and Journalism. It’s Time to Stop Them. []

The mask has finally come off Google’s face, and what lurks underneath looks pretty evil.

2017 has represented a coming out party of sorts for Google and the control-freaks who run it.

The company’s response to the James Damore controversy made it crystal clear that executives at Google are far more interested in shoving their particular worldview down the throats of the public, versus encouraging vibrant and lively debate.

This is not a good look for the dominant search engine.

The creeping evilness of Google has been obvious for quite some time, but this troubling reality has only recently started getting the attention it deserves.

The worst authoritarian impulses exhibited at the company appear to emanate from Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt, whose actions consistently seem to come from a very dark and unconscious place.

Today’s piece focuses on the breaking news that an important initiative known as Open Markets, housed within the think tank New America Foundation, has been booted from the think tank after major donor Google complained about its anti-monopoly stance.

Open Markets was led by a man named Barry Lynn, who all of you should become familiar with.

The Huffington Post profiled him last year. Here’s some of what we learned []:

There’s a solid economic rationale behind Washington’s new big thing. Monopolies and oligopolies are distorting the markets for everything from pet food to cable service.]

There’s a reason why cable companies have such persistently lousy customer-service ratings. []

They know you have few (if any) alternatives.

Today, two-thirds of the 900 industries tracked by The Economist feature heavier concentration at the top than they did in 1997. []

The global economy is in the middle of a merger wave big enough to make 2015 the biggest year in history for corporate consolidation. []

Most political junkies have never heard of the man chiefly responsible for the current Beltway antitrust revival: Barry C. Lynn.

A former business journalist, Lynn has spent more than a decade carving out his own fiefdom at a calm, centrist Washington think tank called the New America Foundation.

In the process, he has changed the way D.C. elites think about corporate power.

“Barry is the hub,” says Zephyr Teachout, a fiery progressive who recently clinched the Democratic nomination for a competitive House seat in New York. []

“He is at the center of a growing new ― I hesitate to call it a movement ― but a group of people who recognize that we have a problem with monopolies not only in our economy, but in our democracy.”

Many Southerners who relocate to the nation’s capital try to temper their accents for the elite crowd that dominates the District’s social scene.

Lynn, a South Florida native, never shed his drawl.

He pronounces “sonofabitch” as a single word, which he uses to describe both corrupt politicians and big corporations.

He is a blunt man in a town that rewards caginess and flexibility.

But like King, Lynn’s critique of monopolies does not reflect a disdain for business itself.

Lynn left Global Business for The New America Foundation in 2001 and began work on his first book, End of the Line: The Rise and Coming Fall of the Global Corporation, which argues that globalization and merger mania had injected a new fragility into international politics. []

Disruptive events ― earthquakes, coups, famines, or at worst, war ― could now wreak havoc on U.S. products that had once been safely manufactured domestically.

Production of anything from light bulbs to computers all could shut down without warning.

It was a frightening vision with implications for economic policy and national security alike.

It was also ideologically inconvenient for the techno-utopian zeitgeist of its day. Lynn’s book landed on shelves about the same time as Thomas Friedman’s better-known tome, The World Is Flat, which declared globalization a triumph of innovation and hard work for anyone willing to do the hard work of innovating. []

Today, Lynn’s predictions of market disruption and political unrest appear to have been ahead of their time.

Early globalization champions, including Martin Wolf and Lawrence Summers, are rethinking their judgments of a decade ago. []

But Lynn turned several influential heads when his book was published. Thomas Frank, bestselling author of What’s The Matter With Kansas?, became a Lynn enthusiast. []

So did food writer Michael Pollan.

“He was writing about an issue that nobody was paying attention to, and he was doing it with a very strong sense of history,” Pollan says.

“Barry understood antitrust going back to the trust-busters a century ago, and how our understanding of the issue shrank during the Reagan administration … The food movement is not very sophisticated on those issues.”

Lynn’s history nerd-dom is eccentric in a town that hyperventilates over every hour of the cable news cycle.

Ask about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, and Lynn will oblige you a polite sentence or two.

Ask him about former Supreme Court Justices Louis Brandeis or William Howard Taft, and you’ll need to reschedule your dinner plans.

“He once asked me to read about Roman law for a piece on common carriage,” says Lina Khan, referencing a plank of net neutrality policy not typically associated with the Code of Justinian.

After he published his second book in 2010, Lynn began bringing on his own staff within New America. Khan was one of his first hires.

Teachout, a Fordham University Law School professor, was another.

Teachout eventually ran for office and published a book of her own on the history of corruption in America. []

Another of Lynn’s associates, Christopher Leonard, published a book on meat industry monopolies around the same time.

These works shared a common theme: Monopolistic businesses create social problems beyond consumer price-gouging, from buying off politicians to degrading the quality of our food...


u/ryanx27 · 2 pointsr/

You need to read "What's The Matter With Kansas?".

EDIT: Oops, someone already linked to it. Check it out anyway, its a great read!

u/everybodyshomie · 2 pointsr/politics

Also, What’s the Matter With Kansas is a pretty good one.

u/iamthekure · 2 pointsr/news

We had to read this in school to cover this same issue...

u/magnumdb · 2 pointsr/SandersForPresident

Not so much. They've been voting against their own interests forever. This was to be expected to happen again. Why do they vote against their own interests? Read this book:

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

u/boner79 · 2 pointsr/politics

No shit?

We're well past the point if deconstructing this. A book was published in this subject back in 2005 and it wasn't the first one.

u/climb-it-ographer · 2 pointsr/politics

There's a great book on specifically what happened in Kansas, but somehow I doubt it gets many conservative readers-- What's The Matter With Kansas?

u/hollywoodhank · 2 pointsr/politics
u/innocentbystander · 2 pointsr/politics

There's a book you might want to read, called What's the Matter With Kansas? which is dedicated specifically to that question.

The short answer is republican propaganda A)leads lower-class voters to not realize how far down the totem pole they are, while B)causing them to focus all their energies on external threats to undefinable things like "family values."

Put that together, and you get people who will happily vote for someone who's going to destroy their local economy, just so long as he promises to keep the gays from marrying. Because they've been conditioned to think the latter is the more pressing problem, not the former.

u/firo_sephfiro · 2 pointsr/worldnews

It's weird you're asking for academic sources for someone's armchair analysis and opinion that politics are best handled moderately. It's not really a thesis. If you mean you'd like academic sources about how certain sides get popular votes because of backlash from the other party, and how party alignment can lead to incredible bias, well that's kind of common sense. But here are some interesting academic articles and books about the subject.

u/Tbbhxf · 2 pointsr/politics


Deer Hunting With Jesus and What’s The Matter With Kansas are good reads. They explore the reasons people give for voting against their best interests.

u/civildisobedient · 1 pointr/technology
u/ronin1066 · 1 pointr/politics

It's been going on a while, here's a little gem from 2005

u/furiousxgeorge · 1 pointr/PoliticalDiscussion

>Except no one is attacking your vote based on your race... they're making the obvious conclusion that voting third party doesn't contribute to anything.

Who is attacking black voters for being the wrong race? Link me to where this is happening.

>What you are doing is saying that black people as a group (and other minorities) aren't intelligent enough to know what's best for them

This is a popular book that Democrats loved. It's about how a demographic group makes counterproductive choices. (or, in your phrasing, is too dumb as a group to know voting Democratic is best for them) This isn't some unique thing aimed at African Americans. All groups do this shit.

u/TheCastro · 1 pointr/news

White people vote for shit that goes against their interests all of the time, a book was written about it. What's the matter with Kansas talks about how conservatives won Kansas, but most of their policies hurt the people in the state.

u/iwantttopettthekitty · 1 pointr/politics
u/avian_gator · 1 pointr/AskSocialScience

This covers the act of voting itself fairly well.

In terms of whether or not people act in rational self interest with their electoral choices, it depends.

This book is an interesting read on the subject of irrational voting behavior.

u/Whitey_Bulger · 1 pointr/politics

Here's the most famous book on that subject, from more than a decade ago.

u/lipplog · 1 pointr/esist

No prob. And I agree with you on your "What's the matter with Kansas" point. Only money has nothing to do with it.

u/WittyUsername1337 · 1 pointr/kansas

There is a whole book on this.

"What's the matter with Kansas?"

u/SuperJew113 · 1 pointr/politics

These are 3 examples of significant literary works on American politics written in recent times. And although I only own one, I'm probably going to buy "It's even worse than it looks" I'm pretty sure they attest the asymmetrical polarization of American politics today, that allows extremists to thrive, whereas they couldn't have in previous decades.

The problem with Fox News, is for a major news organization, even they have a mixed record on reporting actual "facts". Edit: To be fair, CNN and MSNBC also sometimes misinform their viewers as well, but not nearly as bad as Fox does.

A study was done that found that people who don't watch news at all, were better informed on factually correct information, than people who religiously watched Fox News. One of our biggest media outlets in the nation, is routinely misinforming it's viewers on matters of national significance.

Most the Right Wing media sources, play on stereotypes and emotionally driven headlines rather than factually reporting the news.

This is why now, in a country that has always honored Freedom of Speech, is now taking issue with "Fake News" making it's way into peoples facebook streams. Because a lot of media sites are now regularly failing to report factually correct information, and it's causing the electorate to vote for candidates who are consistently factually incorrect in what they say. And a major country like the United States, who leaders consistently believe in and base policy off of factually incorrect information, I don't see how that can possibly be good for my country, or the world for that matter.

It is no mere coincidence that for a Conservative party, globally speaking, only in America is the Republicans the only major Conservative party in a Western Democracy, that outright denies the realities of Climate Change.

u/TheLongshanks · 1 pointr/politics

Read “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” and it’ll start to make more sense. Like the imaginary scene the author narrates at one point, they’re an angry mob outside of the rich gated suburb RINOs shouting at them “we’re so furious we’re going to cut your taxes!”

u/hemlockecho · 1 pointr/2012Elections

God, Guns, and Gays.

The documentary was based on a excellent book by Thomas Frank that I recommend as well.

u/fongaboo · 1 pointr/inthenews

Thomas Frank wrote about this ten years ago. For 30+ years, the Republican establishment riled up their voter base by inciting their fears over social and morality issues. But amazingly, the track record shows that on average they don't actually do anything for these issues once in office, instead by and large defending corporate insider interests. At which point it's very easy to contrive their lack of follow-through on the left, and then continue the cycle of RedSox/Yankees politics into the next election cycle. A great example is immigration. 'Closing the border' and deporting illegals is an oft-used talking point on the right. But at the end of the day, they don't really want to lose that cheap labor base or its overall effect on the price of labor. This strategy has been a revolving door of status-quo-maintenance that's worked quite well for a few decades now.

However, now the Frankenstein they've created has become unmoored from the table and is smashing everything inside their proverbial mansion. This guy says he wants to ship all the illegals back and build a wall. And he actually means it. So now they are shitting their pants.

However now the Frankenstein monster will venture out and wreak havoc on the whole city.



u/Complexifier · 1 pointr/politics

Your typical (dumbass) Shillary supporter isn't constantly asking why Sanders has a "poor white Republican-voting southerns" problem. If you did, the answer would be the same. See: What's the Matter with Kansas

u/trek-skeptic · 0 pointsr/politics

the GOP in it's current form only as a means for the rich and powerful who was to continue to usurp more power for themselves to embolden politicians who capitalize on religious zealotry, racism, homophobia, and so on.

This is the short of it. While this is the long version

u/F90 · 0 pointsr/politics

> I agree in principle but the question how is this accomplished?

First we need to understand how and why these poor folks keep voting for the right. I highly recommend [this] ( read.

u/WorriedFan · 0 pointsr/circlebroke

Yeah Mexicans and Islam goes first, as for economic data, people always bitch about the economy so it is not really valuable at all.

Trump appeals to the uneducated white poor. But it is naive that these people even understand economic issues. They are angry, but not angry at Wall St. they are angry about people in their faces, the social issues. Wall St. is smart enough to lay low.

This is how the Trump voter works, Trump will start parroting traditional Republican views on Taxes for the rich and these people will support him regardless and with glee, because the SJW filth hate Trump.

u/RMFN · 0 pointsr/PoliticalDiscussion

Have you read what's the matter with Kansas? Because Thomas Frank comes up with almost the exact opposite conclusion that you have.

In my opinion uneducated people are more easily swayed by propaganda and the use of emotional appeal. This is a detriment to what democracy is. People who cannot think for themselves cannot be said to be able to make a sound decision concerning their leadership.

u/ImInterested · -6 pointsr/TrueReddit

My perception is that there a strong conservative fundamentalist crowd in Kansas.

I assume your familiar with What's the Matter with Kansas

In the States and Federal Tax Dollars game I live in a light colored state and Kansas is the darkest color. My tax dollars go to Kansas while my taxes keep going up.