How Innovating the Air Conditioner Changed Voting Patterns

How Innovating the Air Conditioner Changed Voting Patterns

Photo Source: Energy Challenge

Photo Source: Energy Challenge

Many times, there are unseen consequences to everyday situations, and the invention of the air conditioner is no exception. The air conditioner was originally invented as a dehumidifier for the printing press, but this has actually had an impact on changing voting patterns. The air conditioner revolutionized how people live, and it was entirely on accident. While inventing the air conditioner to dehumidify a printing press, they realized that the exhaust is cool air. Upon discovering this, they began mass-producing them to cool the air in people’s houses. Because of this, people were able to actually live comfortably in states that are hotter, like in the south and Arizona. This has led to older voters moving to these areas and swinging the votes state-by-state toward the Republican candidates. Older people are the ones that will end up moving to hotter areas to get away from the cold they may have been dealing with their entire lives, and once they retire then they move to these areas. Older people tend to vote more than young people, and when they vote, they vote more in line with conservative positions. Writer Max Rosenthal actually attributes the invention of the air conditioner with the election of Ronald Reagan. He says that the influx of conservatives to the south helped gain electoral votes for Ronald Reagan in his 1980 election that he wouldn't have previously had. Ronald Reagan is the role model of the Republican Party,

 

The invention of air conditioning also made movie theaters become more desirable and more popular over time. Before the invention of the air conditioner, nobody wanted to see a movie in the summer. After it was invented, that was one of the few bearable places to be on a hot day. This created the summer blockbuster and is why the most popular movies of the year now get released during the summer months.

The voting patterns that are attributed to the air conditioner are huge milestones for the Republican party, and it is the main factor and push that the Republican party needed to win past elections, as well as the current one. If something as simple as the air conditioner can be attributed to helping elect arguably one of the most important presidents of the Republican party and for conservatism as a whole, then it can easily help elect other Republican presidents in the future. In this story, there are seen and unseen consequences. The seen consequences are the allowance of people to live in hot climates, but the unseen consequences are the voting patterns that emerged. Things like this are what shift elections in a drastic way, something as simple, yet so complex, and this would be just the thing to shift this election in the Republicans’ favor as well.  

Follow this author on Twitter: @shannadnelson

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