Polling Shows: Republican Voters Are Suckers of the Powerful

Eric Zuesse

A Gallup poll was issued on September 18th headlined “In U.S., Half Still Say Gov’t Regulates Business Too Much,” and it reported that starting in late 2006, and extending through late 2011, the percentage of Republican voters who said there is “too much government regulation of business and industry” soared from 40% in late 2006, to 84% in late 2011, while the similar percentages respectively for Democratic voters were 36% in late 2006 and 22% in late 2011. 

During that same five-year period, the under-regulation of Wall Street (which had been due to the 1999 Democratic President Bill Clinton approving the Republican Congress’s legislation to end the FDR-era Glass-Steagall Act and also to ban regulation of financial derivatives) ended up producing the 2008 crash, in which the under-regulation of America’s financial system generated an explosion of financial frauds, which collapsed not only millions of mortgages, but trillions of dollars in derivatives and ultimately the stock market, so that both real estate plunged, and stocks plunged, and (because the Glass-Steagall Act had ended) Wall Street was now able to call upon U.S. taxpayers to bail them out on their unsold inventory of their corruptly formed mortgages and derivatives (things that Glass-Steagall had banned from government-protection). Under Glass-Steagall, there had been a firewall between the insured  part of the nation’s banking system (which allowed federally insured savings to go into only super-safe investments) versus the uninsured part (the Wall Street casino of stocks and other risky investments), so that Wall Street investors, after the Great Depression, had been experiencing the downsides of their investments on their own, with no back-up from the general public. The U.S. economy after Glass-Steagall boomed and became the world’s leader. There were recessions then, but no crash — no financial collapse that posed a threat to the nation’s economy. There was no call for a Wall Street bailout, because insured banks didn’t include casino-type bets (stock and derivative “investments”).

Though under-regulation had caused the 2008 crash, Republican voters were clamoring against  regulation, even more so during the final paroxysm of that corrupt Clinton-Republican (anti-FDR ‘Democrat’, closeted-Republican President, and Republican Congress) economy, and its Bush-Republican aftermath (the trillions of dollars in soaring federal debt to bail out Wall Street and to transfer Wall Street’s now “toxic assets” onto future generations of U.S. taxpayers, who would now be owning Wall Street’s losing bets).

If you want to know why future U.S. taxpayers will be on the line to pay today’s $18 trillion federal debt — 100% of today’s GDP, something that’s unprecedented since WW II — even though virtually all of the bailouts went to Wall Street and none to Main Street (which actually needed it), and even though private debt in the U.S. is likewise soaring (so that it’s no mere trade-off of private debt for public debt), and while almost all of the economic gains under Obama have gone to only the top 1%; that’s the reason. You’ll also note that under Clinton the Reagan-initiated soaring of the federal debt was stopped. Until Clinton’s final two years, he held off the Republicans, but he eagerly joined them at the end, so that in his final two years he joined with the Republican Congress to destroy FDR’s post-Great-Depression protections of the U.S. economy.

Meanwhile, Democratic voters were clamoring to restore regulation. But under the new Obama-Republican government, George W. Bush’s Wall Street bailout was continued, and unnecessarily complex new federal regulations were imposed in the Dodd-Frank Act, so as to satisfy Wall Street, which wanted regulations complex enough for them to be able to sabotage — which they have successfully been doing.

Instead of banksters going to prison, they still keep their heisted wealth and finance the political campaigns of Presidents and congressmen. Suckers buy what they sell.

Is this a government of too much regulation (as especially Republican believe), or too little? Certainly, now, it’s the wrong type  of regulation, because it’s designed to be complex enough to sabotage; but, is that complexity actually “more regulation,” or is it instead “atrocious regulation”? How stupid does one need to be to mistake bad regulation as being all regulation?

The concepts of more and less are simple-minded enough to be understood even by fools, such as Republican voters undoubtedly are, but good and bad are meaningful and complex distinctions, and the newer form of regulations is designed to be bad. It is designed by big business, for big business (for the controlling stockholders of it, anyway), but the public (employees, consumers, and taxpayers) are the losers from it. We get toxic products from it, We get a worsened economy from it. 

Not many Republican voters are controlling stockholders in mega-corporations — they only vote as if they were. One thus sees them today favoring Donald Trump because he’s a billionaire, and favoring Carly Fiorina because she’s even more pro-aristocracy than he is. In Republican primary campaigns, it’s “Drill, baby, drill,” and “tort ‘reform’,” anti-regulatory bumper-sticker thinking — exactly what the powerful want.

This occurs at a time when Volkswagen might go bankrupt by its having illegally and fraudulently violated clean-air regulations. Republicans just want regulations to end.

Republicans don’t want even the regulatory protections that currently exist. Let them be mangled and poisoned by unregulated products, but non-Republicans aren’t that much fools and so don’t at all deserve to be subjected to such elite crimes.

Here is how Gallup put it in their analysis of this poll:

In 2009, the first year of Obama’s presidency, the percentage saying the government regulates business too much spiked seven points to 45%. This development came in spite of the fact that only about a year prior, the U.S. financial system suffered a major panic attributed to excessive loans by major lending companies, along with a lack of meaningful oversight by governmental entities responsible for regulating major financial companies. It should be noted, however, that this view is not universally accepted. …

As Gallup showed last year, the exponential-like increase in Republicans saying government regulates business too much — climbing from 40% in 2006 to a peak of 84% in 2011 — is clearly a major factor in the overall rise in this response rate. This year, about eight in 10 Republicans are in the “too much” camp, far exceeding the percentage of independents (46%) or Democrats (26%) who are similarly aligned.

But a more recent, albeit subtler, shift in overall public opinion also appears evident in this year’s survey. The share of Americans saying government regulates business too little is at a near low, and has fallen six points since 2010. 

Gallup’s findings show that the delusionality of Republican voters has brought down the overall electorates’ support for government regulation, just at the same time when the fruits of that deregulation have been destroying the American economy, the economic prospects for America’s future.

However, Democratic voters are only less-delusional than Republicans, they’re not non-delusional. For example, President Obama’s approval-rating among Democrats is — even today near the end of perhaps the worst Presidency in U.S. history, maybe even worse a Presidency than George W. Bush’s — 86.7%, which is just as crazy as was Republicans’ similar support for Bush’s. (And a 20 June 2014 Gallup poll showed that 88% of Republicans approved of George W. Bush. At that time, 90% of Democrats approved of Obama.) Both are scandals.

Whereas Republican voters are suckers of the powerful, Democratic voters are suckers only of Democrats who are powerful. This is why Republicans don’t want the powerful (Wall Street, billionaires, etc.) to be regulated at all, but Democrats are against regulation only if Democratic Presidents are the ones doing the deregulation, and so they approve of President Clinton who destroyed FDR’s regulations, and of President Obama who has an even worse record of enforcing the laws against financial frauds than Bush did.

Suckers who vote are destroying America; that’s for sure. The recent Gallup poll shows that Republican voters are even more suckers than Democratic voters are. But suckers come in all varieties — the evidence on that is also clear.

Fools shouldn’t be condemned. But when they vote on the basis of their suckerdom, that’s harming the entire nation. And that should be condemned, because everyone (except the aristocracy, who do the fooling) is harmed by it.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • diogenes

    “Republican voters are suckers of the powerful” — and Democratic voters are suckers of the powerful who pretend to be their friends and then betray them over and over the same way — good cop, bad cop. So who’s stupider? And some people aren’t suckers at all. We’re called non-partisan thinking adult citizens.

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