1. Lack of education means a lot of people can’t actually determine what economic policies are good for them or bad for them.
2. People who can’t discern the effects policy decisions will have on them latch onto any explanation that sounds adequate by people they trust and believe.
3. Politicians who wish to manipulate the uneducated and ignorant tell these people what they want to hear rather than present sound policy decisions because these people do not understand policies.
4. Once people have heard a politician tell them what they want to hear they will associate the policy decisions these politicians advocate for as being good for them.
5. When no one understands the effects certain policy decisions will have you can pretty much argue any policy decision as being good for anybody as long as you sound convincing. For example: “We should lower taxes to create jobs. With lower taxes more companies will have more money to create jobs.” People want to hear how they will get more jobs. Lowering taxes does mean companies will have more money so they could hire more people this ought to work.” Then people assume the job tbey get will be a good job so they don’t worry about social programs since they won’t need them once they have a job which lower taxes will get them.
If you’re saying education, you’re missing a step.
Southerners could have improved their school systems long ago.
White Southerners, and rural people in general, are voting for their interests. They’re just voting for their interests relatively instead of absolutely.
To feel like you’re doing better, you need to be doing better than someone else. It’s more important to put a floor under you and have people in a status you can never descend to—a status they can never climb from—because then you have security.