By Bret Adams

No Athens News reader appreciates Editor Corinne Colbert’s work and her recent efforts to solicit readership engagement more than the undersigned. However, when Editor Colbert is dead bang wrong, we need to engage in this healthy debate. In response to ‘Voting against their interests’: A trope that must die, it is necessary for me to argue fundamental truths that perhaps Editor Colbert cannot acknowledge.

In contravention to the editorial, voters are indeed rational actors. And voters in rural uneducated counties, in almost automatic fashion, vote against their interests. Let’s address this reality in the basest of terms. Do any of you reading this response believe that the former president would let a voter in Athens, Perry, or Meigs county hang out in the lobby of his hotel?

Do any of you reading this response believe that the former guy gives a rat’s ass about a single person in Athens, Perry, or Meigs county? But why do these persons cast their vote for a person who holds them individually in disdain? And because I am not running for public office and because I believe most of your readers can handle the truth, the answer is that those voters do not research the candidate, comprehend fully the issues, and are influenced by their peers and the inexplicable misinformation available on social media. Hard stop. No one wants to say this out loud, but you know, Editor Colbert, we all discuss this truth in the coffee shop or at happy hour.

Let me be clear, my reality is not personally an elitist position. My trailer growing up in Hocking County did not have skirting as we couldn’t afford it with 6 kids and both parents without high school educations. I didn’t attend Harvard or Yale; I attended Ohio University and was instilled with a belief system that makes me a Democrat because I feel I am unselfish and do care about others. In fact, the reality is that I do vote against my own interests as I want to see those voters in Athens, Perry, or Meigs county to receive the tools to make them better educated and informed to vote to advance their own interests! Republican economic policies help me personally better than any democratic policy, but I choose to care about others. I’m not living a trope; I am living a caring and compassionate reality.

Now how does one explain the educated and researched vote for someone like the former guy? Simple Republicanism. These voters are of course rational in advancing their own interests because frankly they don’t give a rat’s ass about those persons living in Athens, Perry, or Meigs county. I don’t understand that belief system, but I am going to work against it at every opportunity.

Editor Colbert did not provide a solution for the reason persons vote against their own interests. I strive to provide some answers but to be clear it is not to start with by calling a Trump voter a moron. I cannot deny my personal belief that you are either selfish or a moron to make that vote but you can’t start the dialogue with insults. But again, I am not a Democratic operative who has to convert these voters. But shouldn’t we start with shouting from the heavens that the democratic policies are in their best interests to solicit the vote that would be in their own best interests? The Republican elite manipulate those voters in Athens, Perry, and Meigs counties with misinformation to advance their own personal interests. It is time that the Democrats use the Republican playbook.

Frankly, I am not averse to the term “manipulation” to help those persons to see that they themselves have been manipulated as a tool to advance the Republican agenda. The national and state Republican agenda do nothing to help the readers of the Athens News, yet these rural counties across the country voted for the former guy. And it is simply because the Democratic party has been a horrendous messenger.

Instead of attacking the former guy who is going to be indicted and remembered as the worse president in history, let’s be a better messenger as to why people need to vote their own personal interests. We can disagree on the hot button issues of abortion, or religious freedom but shouldn’t we want to be together on economics that work for everyone and the environment? It’s messaging, folks, and right now my party sucks at it, but the bottom line is it is PL to vote against your interests when helping others — but don’t vote against your interests because you are being manipulated by a party that at the end of the day doesn’t care about the bottom half who put them in power.

Bret Adams lives in Dublin, Ohio.

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