This has been a question that haunts me for years since I was very very young.
"Why on earth would a working-class person ever vote for a conservative candidate?" At a first glance it seems counter-intuitive for working-class people to vote against their economic interests.
I grew up in a working-class neighborhood to a working-class family. My family was not very "political" and there were not many political discussions when I was growing up. Things would usually just flare up during the election season and then go back to normal after the election season was over.
Growing up working-class, and with very little, it was a bit surprising to me seeing my parents supporting 2 different and opposing ideologies. My dad was always supporting the right wing party. He was (and still is) a life-long conservative. My mom was always at the opposite side of the spectrum, left-wing and socialist.
As a young kid it used to strike me as very odd that my dad would support the conservatives as this was clearly against his economic interests. It took me a while to understand that he didn't vote for them because he believed and supported their "programs". If anything, he most likely had no clue about what their programs were and what was their financial and social agenda. He was (and still is...) voting for them because of the "values" they represent.
In Greece the "values" of the right-wing parties revolve around "country, religion and family". This seems to be a "universal" message for the conservatives around the globe. It's not much different in the US, or even Canada.
On the other hand, the left/socialist parties do not have a "universal" clear message and set of values, easily understood by the working-class masses. They do propose great programs from time ti time to protect the elderly, the youth and the people in need, they try to expand universal health care etc. However, this doesn't seem to resonate with most people and thus the left never creates a lasting connection with most of its voters.
I was thinking about all this again lately when I've been trying to understand how on earth Trump managed to dupe so many million people to vote for him. This shouldn't be a surprise though. It happens throughout the world. Right wing parties put "values" before "programs" and they "hide" their real agendas behind those universal "traditional values".
This is why Trump's message is so successful amongst working-class US citizens. It's pretty dumb yet pretty clear: He basically said: "I'll protect you from gay, Spanish-speaking flag burners - but along the way I'll cut taxes on the rich, cut benefits for the poor, and allow industries to pollute your drinking water and the environment, but never mind that!"
This message seems to resonate with a huge number of the working-class people in the US. The "values" represented in this message are easy to grasp. "Never mind the taxes and the environment bullshit talk. We don't understand this. But those gay Spanish-speaking assholes are ruining our country".
Pretty strong message!