I encounter that a lot here, in Alabama. They’re Republicans because of social pressure.
And at the other end, I’ve been talking to people in bars about politics and they will lean over and whisper real low, conspiratorially, “Actually, I’m a Democrat. I can’t tell anyone around here, though.”
Like many Canadians, I live near the US border and travel down there a lot to get mail and such. All the northern US border towns have various cross-border shopping services like mail drops and general stores. All the northern border towns in the west are also hardcore Trump strongholds. It’s like driving into a different world when you cross that dotted line.
Interacting with the folks who work in those border towns is always really interesting. They see us Canadians all day every day and I know they have to be thinking about it. All they’ve ever been told all their lives is that Canada is a communist shithole and that they live in the most prosperous and free place on earth because Republican. Yet day after day, here are the cheerful, happy Canadians showing up in our brand new trucks with our free healthcare, picking up mail and wishing them well. You can tell it makes an impression on them.
I think a key component of the GOP’s base is people who have never been anywhere else so they don’t realize how nice other places are. They imagine Europe as some sort of backward hippie hellscape and Canadians as miserable chattel, taxed out of our minds. I used to see this all the time in conversations with Americans about healthcare. They don’t think public medicine could possibly be good because they’ve never seen it. The idea that you can see a doctor without paying for it is completely inconceivable to them. It’s a sort of Stockholm Syndrome for shitty services.
I’m sure it does, but at the same time, people are fantastic at compartmentalizing facts in their faces and their own worldview. I’d hope it would make them want that for themselves, but depending on the root of their ideology it could just want them to have that for themselves, and not for “those people” (insert whoever they fear/hate for that).
Maybe that’s true to an extent, but again, people can and do compartmentalize. I’ve known plenty of people who have traveled pretty extensively (certainly, more than me, as I’ve only been outside the country once), and are no less blinkered and bigoted, sadly. I mean, just look at the last president. He’s been all over the world, and he’s no less intolerant and hateful.