• Lisa Ericson

How Financial Views affect Political Opinion

Guest Post by Emily Rosen

If you are of voting age in the United States of America, the following article may provide great insight and force you to question your political views. With the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election arriving this fall, I believe it is an imperative time to discuss common stereotypes regarding political opinion. Not only that, but it is also valuable to dissect how individuals’ and society’s financial views affect one’s political beliefs. One common theme that distinguishes the Republican and Democratic Party from each other are the groups of people that are attracted to each party. In modern American politics, the rich are known to be Conservatives, while the poor are Liberals. Data displays that the financially well-off usually lean more toward the Republican Party, as presumed by the stereotype; however, there are underlying reasons why this is so. Individuals that fit into the financially insecure category tend to stray away from Conservatives, but this does not make it okay to assume that they are liberals. It is found that those who are financially insecure are not as involved in the political process. In a similar fashion on the opposite end of the spectrum, there is a direct level of correlation between those who are financially secure and hold a high level of political engagement. With all of this being said, we must rid ourselves of voting stereotypes in our heads and understand how financial views affect our ideology.

It is time to deeply examine political opinions to gain some food for thought to expand one’s horizon. People who are financially well-off are more consistent with their ideology, meaning that they will not switch parties at various times. In fact, there are many insights that differ between the financially secure and insecure that define their true beliefs. For example, Americans who face the greatest financial insecurity depend on government intervention and benefits. Additionally, this group of individuals tends to believe that businesses earn too much profit.

One controversial topic in America is the discussion of immigration. Forty-four percent of the financially insecure believe that immigrants disrupt the job and housing market, as well as medical services. Twenty-seven percent of the financially secure agree with the previous point. It is imperative to notice that individuals who side with the Republican or Democratic Parties can share similar views; what differs is the measure of intensity that the parties believe in each respective topic.

Although observing statistics can provide a deeper understanding of how America generalizes the two most well-known political parties, it is imperative to also look at current events and see how well political figures are handling them. The Coronavirus outbreak is obviously the main topic of discussion during these trying times. Candidates in various states are facing difficulties while trying to achieve the ten thousand signatures needed to appear on the primary ballot this upcoming fall. Since stay-at-home orders have been administered and social distancing is encouraged, it has been a tedious task to safely approach people for a signature. States understand the pressure that is being felt by the candidates. With that being said, New York and New Jersey lawmakers are pushing for lowering the number of necessary signatures. Not only that, but Utah is now being lenient enough where the signatures do not have to be physically witnessed. On a much more national scale, this pandemic is forcing 2020 candidates to cancel rallies and suspend town hall meetings, which are effective tools to gain support from a large pool of voters. President Donald Trump urges America to open as soon as it is medically safe to do so. There is concern deciding the right time, but President Trump would like to see 750,000 COVID-19 tests available weekly in the U.S. This period is critical for the president to prove that he can responsibly handle a global epidemic like this. Uncertainty is high in America, and the presidential election is looming. It is important that eligible voters pay close attention to how potential candidates are dealing with the COVID-19 epidemic.

This virus will ultimately influence society’s view of politics. With a downturn in the economy, financial situations for many Americans are in a very fragile place. Nobody knows for certain how and when life will return back to normal. People are unemployed and families are suffering, because of it. With that being said, an individual's current financial status has the potential to encourage them to lean toward a different political party due to the benefits that the government can provide them with. Political views aside, America needs to come together as a nation and follow the social distancing protocol. Morale is low, but with the virus reaching its peak, the sunlight at the end of the tunnel is coming.


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