Re "Politics of age skew spending debates," News Analysis, Jan. 3
Surprise! Mitt Romney probably drew much support from his infamous 47%. As the Times reported, 56% of the over-65 demographic voted for Romney. Why would a group dependent on Social Security and Medicare vote for a team eager to curtail those programs?
Ignorance, in part. (A poll of Ohio Republicans by Public Policy Polling found that 1 in 7 of them credited Romney with Osama bin Laden's killing.) But I think there's an even more powerful force: tradition.
Whites voted Republican in nearly the same ratio as seniors both in 2012 and 2008. The senior vote looks to be impacted by a committed white Republican constituency getting older but still committed — even if it means voting against its own welfare.
Terry De Wolfe
Political parties, to be sustainable, must stand for something more than just ideology. They must also represent the legitimate aspirations and needs of their constituents.
As this article makes clear, that is the great challenge facing the Republican Party. It is no longer tenable to rail against "big government" and federal spending when your prime voting constituency comprises folks who live on Social Security and depend on Medicare.
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