|People generally perceive what they want to perceive, or as an old saying explains, perception 90% of reality.|
In America, related to national issues, that is largely based on the political spin issued by media.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in a secretly recorded speech to wealthy supporters, discounted his efforts toward 47% of the American voters, which has been offered up as a reason for his defeat.
Reality or perception?
It's made a little more clear by David Hedges, publisher of Spencer Newspapers:
The surprising 47 percent
Before the presidential election
Mitt Romney was caught on tape
talking about the 47 percent of the
country interested only in what
they can get from the government.
Those folks, he said, would never
vote for him.
Even after the election, Romney
blamed his loss on those who
stood to receive "big gifts" from
the government. Commentator Bill
O'Reilly blamed Romney's loss on
voters who wanted "free stuff." No
doubt these greedy folk make up
the aforementioned 47 percent.
It may soothe those still licking
their wounds to blame the outcome
on someone else's shortcomings,
while basking in the righteousness
of the defeated and knowledge that
they voted for the right man for
all the right reasons. This includes
protecting millionaires who have
enjoyed a tax cut for over a decade.
There was no selfishness in that
decision, unless, of course, you
happen to be a millionaire, like
O'Reilly and Romney.
The problem is, the facts don't
bear out the alleged leanings of the
so-called 47 percent. And West Virginia
is a perfect example.
Who are these folks who get stuff
from the government?
The largest group would be senior
citizens who receive Social Security and Medicare benefits.
West Virginia battles Florida for
the oldest state in the nation, so we
have plenty of these freeloaders.
Then there are veterans. West
Virginia is known for sending its
sons, and daughters, off to war. We
are one of 11 states with more than
10.5 percent of our population made
up of veterans. And just because
they served their country, they apparently
think we owe them something
What about the disabled? We
have plenty of those, too. In one
survey I found, West Virginia and
Kentucky had the highest percentage
of their population, 4.2 percent,
receiving SSI disability payments.
Food stamps is another big program.
More than 14 percent of the
country was receiving food stamps
in February 2011. Mississippi was
at the top of the list, at 20.7 percent,
followed by Oregon, Tennessee,
New Mexico, Michigan, Louisiana,
Kentucky and, in eighth place, West
Virginia, with 18.7 percent receiving
food stamps. Maine and South
Carolina rounded out the top 10.
Because West Virginia's population
is so dependent on these
programs, President Obama surely
carried the state without a problem, right?
Wrong. The president got just
over 35 percent of the vote in West
Virginia, compared to Romney's
62 percent. In Kentucky, which had
similar numbers to West Virginia,
it was the same. In fact, Romney
carried a majority of the states on
the top 10 list for food stamps.
States are not much different than
people. We are now divided into
red states, which lean Republican in
national elections, and blue states,
which favor Democrats.
There are 16 states that pay more
in federal income taxes than they
receive back from the federal government.
Romney's theory is put to
the test by the fact that each of the
states, except Texas, is "blue."
Of the 33 states, including West
Virginia, that get back more from
the federal government than we pay
in, all but six are "red" states.
Ohio stands alone as the state
that gets back about as much as it
puts into the federal treasury.
Another interesting tidbit about the presidential race, this one provided
by FOX Business, offered an
analysis of the voting patterns and
educational level of voters.
The 10 most educated states,
based on percentage of residents
over 25 with a four-year college
degree, was led by Massachusetts
at 39.1 percent and included Maryland,
Colorado, Connecticut, Vermont,
New Jersey, Virginia, New
Hampshire, New York and Minnesota.
All 10 voted for Obama.
West Virginia, at 18.5 percent,
topped the least educated states,
which also included Mississippi,
Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana,
Alabama, Nevada, Indiana, Tennessee
and Oklahoma. Nine of the
10, with number seven Nevada the
exception, voted for Romney.
So while it may sound good to
say folks who stood to gain financially
voted for Obama, it just
didn't add up that way. In fact, it
was the opposite. The poor and
uneducated tended to vote for
Romney, while those better off and
better educated voted to re-elect the
But the ultimate twist of fate was
the final outcome. Romney ended
up with, you guessed it - 47 percent
(actually 47.6) of the vote. Apparently
he had even that backwards.