Wednesday, November 08, 2006

NaBloPoMo 7

NaBloPoMo 7

Not to burst anybody's bubble, but now that they've won back Congress, it might be a good thing for the Democrats to remember than not all of those races were won by landslides. There's a lot of work to be done. Although part of me does tend to think that the average liberal is better informed than the average conservative these days, dismissing conservatives as idiots will do no one any good. We have to take them seriously. I don't know what the solution is. But there are an awful lot of people in this country who don't think anything like what I do. Too many not to take them seriously. I do have one other observation, though. I have a lot more in common with people my own age and a bit older -- basically, other Boomers -- than I do with younger people. In general. These common values cross party lines. I can talk wbout politics with intelligent Republicans in their 50s and we will agree on an awful lot when it comes to civil rights, government intervention in people's private lives, the importance of the Constitution, etc., than with younger people. I don't think it's entirely an age thing, though. I think it's an educational divide. Education in this country is vastly different than it was in my day. These thoughts are rather ill-formed, but they're a start.


Ahistoricality said...

Agree on most of it. Though a little triumphal insurance, in the form of criminal investigations which actually get rid of some of the most egregious members of the administration and Republican caucus, wouldn't be a bad item to have on the agenda, either.

Marc said...

Although part of me does tend to think that the average liberal is better informed than the average conservative these days, dismissing conservatives as idiots will do no one any good. We have to take them seriously.

My, that's very generous of you! Thanks ;)

But I have to tell you, your perception is informed by your environment a bit, don't you think? After all, both the halls of academia and the social circles in which you travel are probably full of well-credentialed, mostly liberal, folks, yes?

On the other hand, as an engineer, I'm surrounded by professionals/engineers, most of whom would be considered "conservative" and most of whom are also well-credentialed and politically well-informed. Now, the office staff and accounting dep't., that's another matter. (Let's just say, they get a lot of their news via People Mag and Inside Edition). And demographically, the professionals lean much more GenX while the accounting/office bunch are more Boomer.

Also, re: your point about "intelligent conversations", I talk to older fellas at the gym who aren't as informed on some issues as the college kid in the weight room. So it's not an age thing, but it may be an education thing.

My point, I guess, is we should all be wary of making generalizations based on personal or anecdotal evidence.

The under-educated can be found in both political parties, which is different then finding them espousing either a liberal or conservative ideology, btw. It would seem to me that being ideological almost necessitates having some sort of "higher" education, doesn't it? Anyway, good conversation, as usual, ADM.

Another Damned Medievalist said...

Thanks, Marc -- I've got more to say about this. I'm glad you got that I was using anecdotal evidence. It's just that overall, the people I know who are what I'd call 'thinking conservatives' tend to have developed their political identities before the Reagan era. Also, I think that, considering the fact that there are an awful lot of conservatives out there, and they seem to be spread over a broader range of economic and social classes, the high number of Fox news watchers/talk radio listeners probably does bring down the average on people who are really well-informed. I think the numbers of people still willing to identify themselves as liberals, rather than as Democrats, is somewhat smaller, ; moreover, the news organs they tend to choose are often more accurate. This part isn't anecdotal -- In about 2003? one of the big neutral think tanks -- Pew, maybe? did a study that showed that people who got their news from print sources generally were better informed about the realities of connections between Iraq, WMD, bin Laden, Al Qaeda, and 9/11 than those who got their news exclusively from TV and radio. That was true whether they read USA Today, the WA Post, or the NY Times. After that, the people who got their news from NPR had the most accurate view, and Fox the least.

Although you're right about my environment -- and I teach on the most liberal campus I've ever taught at, in terms of faculty and staff -- the majority of my social and family circle is very much working-class and mostly not college-educated.

Rebecca said...

I think the solution is going to be for the Dems to woo Republicans who are fiscally conservative but socially liberal. I think Dems can now make a good case for fiscal caution, and that that will bring in the now alienated moderate Republicans.

Anonymous said...

You can't be fiscally conservative and run two wars on borrowed money. What will give in this confrontation?