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

What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Hear... by Thomas Frank
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Jan 19, 2012

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Read from January 19 to 26, 2012

Although my political views are left of center, I approached this book with great curiosity and an open mind. I was hoping to understand what makes a group of people vote against their own political and economic interests. However, I didn't come away from this book really learning the answer to that question. Mr. Frank, a native Kansan, wrote a very interesting book about his very colorful home state. He talked about conservative voters voting their values.... I understand that. I feel I vote using MY values as my guide also. It seemed that what it all came down to is that conservative voters are often hoodwinked by crafty politicians into voting for one thing (their values.... like outlawing abortion, for example) but then actually getting something entirely different once the politician is in office. Perhaps I have a more cynical view than that of Mr. Frank but this is what the bottom line seemed to be.

Although I liked this book and found it to be endlessly interesting, I don't feel like a coherent answer to my question was provided.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Nick (new)

Nick Duretta Hi Darlene. I'd read this when I belonged to a book club a couple years back, and I had much the same opinion of it as you. I think what makes conservatives in very rural states like Kansas vote against their own interests is, largely, due to politicians using the "values" theme to stir up fears against the "other" who is challenging those "values." When people are afraid, they're motivated, and when they're motivated, they vote, even if they don't analyze the issues very closely. A scared mind becomes a very closed mind. I don't recall how much Frank got into this concept, but that's my two-cents opinion.


message 2: by Gerry (new)

Gerry Burnie Speaking of "What's the Matter With Kansas;" one of the wrongs might be Speaker Mike O'Neal who asked the Kansas GOP to pray for Obama's death: See: http://m.examiner.com/democrat-in-nation...


Darlene Nick wrote: "Hi Darlene. I'd read this when I belonged to a book club a couple years back, and I had much the same opinion of it as you. I think what makes conservatives in very rural states like Kansas vote ag..."

Hi Nick! You know I value your intelligence and your opinion and I absolutely agree with what you said.I guess I'm still confused because to me it's illogical to continue to vote for people who NEVER keep their promises to you... who always assure you that they believe what you do and yet when they are in office, they completely ignore what they purportedly assured you they believed in also. I guess it just reminds me of that quote... 'the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting different results'. You're right... fear is a big motivator in human behavior.It all just seems illogical to me and no matter how hard I try to understand, I just don't. And perhaps I just answered my own question... if it's illogical, I will probably not ever understand.Thanks for your opinion!


Darlene Gerry wrote: "Speaking of "What's the Matter With Kansas;" one of the wrongs might be Speaker Mike O'Neal who asked the Kansas GOP to pray for Obama's death: See: http://m.examiner.com/democrat-in-nation..."

Hi Gerry! Thanks for the link! This is the kind of thing that really bothers me. Yes, everyone has the right to think and say what they want... but what about personal responsibility? Just because you CAN say something, doesn't mean you SHOULD... and people in public offices should be more aware of that than others!


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