Why Are Republicans So Relentlessly Cruel to the Poor?


Republican Paul Ryan, like most other members of the United States Congress, is a millionaire.

Republicans like Paul Ryan — along with the millionaires and billionaires who comprise Donald Trump’s Cabinet and inner circle — literally want to take food, shelter and health care away from poor people.

Christa Patton is 68 years old. She is frail and no longer able to leave her home.

Patton would not be able to eat without the Meals on Wheels program.

“It is normal to feel aghast at and disgusted by the Republican Party’s war on the poor.”

Why do conservatives “feel such antipathy, disregard and hostility towards poor and other vulnerable Americans”?

Social psychologists have shown that, in effect, poor people are invisible to the rich and upper classes.

Conservatives are more likely to exhibit social dominance and bullying behavior. They are also more likely to defend social inequality as “fair and legitimate.”

Republicans often use language that robs poor people of their individuality, humanity and dignity, creating distance between “normal” Americans and the economically disadvantaged.

The concept of the self-made person whose success is a function of “rugged individualism” also works to legitimize the Republican war on the poor.

The brain structures of conservatives and liberals are quite different: Conservatives focus those feelings on their in-group such as immediate family and community.

Is there hope for the future? Yes, of course.

But it’s going to be a difficult struggle.

***SHARE if you agree that ALL Americans have rights – not just the RICH! Comment if you think conservatives must show more EMPATHY!

h/t Chauncey DeVega, Alternet / Salon


Shaw has written for USA Today, CNN, Capitol Weekly, Independent Voter Network News, and The Energy Collective. At age 19, she was appointed to the Community Health Commission for the City of Berkeley by Mayor Tom Bates and served on the Mayor's Health Task Force. She acts and models professionally and has performed at Carnegie Hall. Shaw is a native San Franciscan. She studied political economy, public policy, biology, and rhetoric at UC Berkeley, and graduated in 2016. Through reformed education and effective communication, she is interested in making complex concepts accessible to broader audiences in hope of creating a more aware and active world.


  1. Republicans are in a mind set, more or less like any religion is. There are rich and poor people alike, in this group of idiots.

  2. You can’t show what you don’t have.

    I think some of the religious right’s disdain for the poor is based on the idea of the prosperity gospel. God blesses those he favors with wealth and comfort so those who do not have wealth or comfort or even basic necessities are people god has deemed unworthy.

    Forget the camel through the eye of the needle stuff…


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