When the US government was founded, only land owners were registered to vote. They understood, those with some "skin in the game" should be selecting the people to represent everyone. The carpetbaggers came to town after the civil war and gave freed slaves 40 acres and a mule, with the express understanding they would turn around and vote for their "new friends."
When you have nothing to lose, there is no harm in voting for someone you know is less capable, as long as they promise to take more from others and pass it around.
It's human nature to want more for doing less. The US was founded on principles that were bigger than human wants and desires.
Where did it all go wrong?