• Self-interest and the voters
    November 29,2012
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    In reference to Rebecca Mattis’s and Larry Booker’s Nov. 13 letters, I believe they missed the point I was making. I did not say Obama was elected by 47 percent since obviously he won in excess of 50 percent. I did not say this was about minority ascendancy, fear and finance.

    My point was that self-interest overrode economic issues, and although we could argue the 47 percentage or some other percentage, Romney’s point (perhaps less artfully stated) centered on the problem of overcoming the entrenched voters motivated by self-interest. The president and his campaign managers knew this was the only way to victory since he could not run on his record.

    Take Social Security recipients as an example. Yes, Social Security recipients paid into Social Security (15 percent of each monthly payment is a return of their contribution while 85 percent is covered by taxes from current wage earners). And, yes, they pay taxes and, yes, economics was an important issue for them, but the overriding motivation for many was their concern that benefits would be reduced thanks to fear-mongering by the Obama campaign. Result: Many voted from a self-interest standpoint and overrode the economic issues.

    Hispanic voters were concerned about jobs and the economy, but the Democratic campaign centered on convincing them only Obama would allow them to remain in this country regardless of how they got here or their legal status. That became more important to them, and so self-interest overrode economic issues.

    I believe that the 47 percent comment was symbolically intended to denote the difficulty in overcoming entrenched self-interest despite more pressing issues facing the country. The Democrats knew this, and you will see this as a continuing political strategy in the future.

    Finally, the idea the Democrats had clean hands vs. Karl Rove is, in the words of Mr. Booker, “unparallel ludicrous drivel.” I need only cite the ad shoving granny over the cliff as one example of over-the-top Democratic shenanigans.

    GILBERT NADEAU

    Castleton
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