Live as a conservative?

  • Charlie Daniels Band—Essential Super Hits of Charlie Daniels Band
  • Clint Black—Greatest Hits II
  • Craig Morgan—Craig Morgan
  • Daryl Worley—Have You Forgotten?
  • Kid Rock—Devil Without a Cause
  • Lee Greenwood—American Patriot
  • Michael W. Smith—Healing Rain
  • Toby Keith—Unleashed

Movies:

  • INDEPENDENCE DAY
  • RED DAWN
  • DIRTY HARRY
  • THE PATRIOT
  • PATTON
  • STAND AND DELIVER
  • FORREST GUMP
  • BRAZIL
  • LORD OF THE RINGS
  • LORD OF THE RINGS:  THE TWIN TOWERS
  • LORD OF THE RINGS:  THE RETURN OF THE KING
  • The link is from Jason Kottke.

    Comments

    And are libertarians people with the meritocratic intuitions of the right but the cultural preferences of the left?

    This frames it improperly, I think. The idea of "meritocratic" ordering, I'd bet, comes historically from the left. Having introduced the idea, the left remains committed to a meritocracy; at issue is the definition of merit, and a question of the social services floor on which which everyone stand.

    Seriously, look at our last President (Clinton, a poor boy made good) and theirs (GWB): how much effort do you really want to put into pretending that the Right is the side committed to a meritocracy?

    Brazil? Terry Gilliam's Brazil is a conservative movie? While there are so many
    good jokes about Forrest Gump being a conservative movie, how can anyone see
    Brazil as one? Other than identifying with the military state I suppose.
    Terrorist air conditioner repairmen?

    I own a record store, and I can tell you that there is little correlation between political views and cultural tastes.

    Liberals' use of culture as a political engine is counterproductive and misleading. There is a good book on this subject, called "The Rebel Sell," which criticizes liberals for suggesting their political values are best expressed through consumer choices. When this viewpoint is applied to designer labels and famous logos, we would call this "consumerism."

    Meanwhile, my conservative friends listen to great music, enjoy great movies and wear cool clothes. They are too busy accomplishing their political goals to bother worrying about "cultural signifiers."

    Liberals need to separate politics from culture. If they want to persuade people and change the world, they should learn to think and write clearly, and speak without condescension. T-shirts, rock shows and snobby books do not change anything.

    A good exercise for liberals would be to look at the next "liberal-looking" person they see at some art opening, and just imagine that they are conservative (because there is a strong possibility that they are). Does this change how you would discuss politics with this person? Instead of making smug pronouncements, assuming similar political views, you might actually have a productive conversation and learn something new. Maybe even change a mind.

    And are libertarians people with the meritocratic intuitions of the right but the cultural preferences of the left?

    That describes me any my libertarian friends to a tee. Although we disagree with the politics of most of those in Manhattan and Ann Arbor, MI, those are the types of places we like to travel to or live in. But is there anywhere in the US where the Libertarianism is dominant? What would such a place look like culturally. Is the rural/small town west an example of this?

    Somecallmetim, I think your sample size might not be statistically significant.

    Steve, I'd say the SouthWest is pretty libertarian. Independence, gun rights, property rights, frontier spirit and mentality all dominate. Its a lot less socially conservative than the South (although there are a lot of hispanic catholics).

    I don't know of anywhere (with the possible exception of ex-communist countries) where the mindset fully dominates both policy and culture, but in the US I'd say the SouthWest comes closest.

    Most people get their political views from their parents and enviroment during childhood and never really examine them. Since this is the same way people aquire religion and cultural tastes, you would expect correlation. Politicians and their operatives know this and use it. The interesting question, is for the minority who do examine their political beleifs after reaching the age of reason, does the correlation exist. This would be very hard to answer since everybody claims their political beliefs are a product of rational thought and an industry of talking head supply reasonable arguments for what ever position held, how could you identify the group to study.

    don,

    As per catholics, are you responding to my experiment, wherein I think liberals should experience the life of a regular person in the South or to my assertion that the Southwest is libertarian except for the Catholics? I know that many Catholics are liberal (though you'll have a hard time convincing either side that anti-abortion is liberal), but I still assert that to know what its like to be a Southern social conservative one must see how the family eats dinner (whether its the same way that you do or different) and that many of the Catholics in the Southwest are the more socially conservative folk there.

    As to the ranch life, I lived in new Mexico for several years and I knew many a cattle rancher that raised his own cattle and slaughtered them himself. The suggestion was neither supposed to be demeaning for either side nor was it all conjecture. I was raised by socialist parents and I know the viewpoint of the left and I lived for several years among the right - both socially conservative and libertarians and I make the suggestions honestly.

    Is it just me or does this author paint with a VERY broad brush? Granted, I'm not exactly a "conservative" in the modern sense, But I think that Moe really strikes out on this one. I know there might be given correlations in things like taste in Music and movies, but please, let's do more than just scratch the surface.

    Though I'm odd let's take a look at me:
    I'm a Libertarian, an economics student, a fan of all kinds of Music (Lots of Melodic Death Metal, Progressive Metal, 90s Rock, Modern progressive Rock, Jazz, Classical, Folk Music, Southern Rock, Metalcore, Artcore, This list is VERY incomplete...)

    Given my eclectic tastes I'm sure that I fall somewhere in the corellation.

    I'd just assume eat a good steak as a good chicken breast.

    Forgive me, but I think that the entire premise of his book is a bit ridiculous.

    matt,

    1. Many of their ancestors *did* live their before government brought any of those things. Impossible for you maybe, but not impossible for them. Although government has always done that kind of work it did not get around to doing it in the Southwest until relatively late in the country's history.

    2. If government only did that kind of investment, along with protecting rights, it would be about 20% of the size that it today (including paying congress, upkeep of courts and maintaining the military). What libertarians want to get rid of are the wasteful and monstrous social programs, not the same things that government was doing when it was founded.

    liberty: "If government only did that kind of investment, along with protecting rights, it would be about 20% of the size that it today (including paying congress, upkeep of courts and maintaining the military)."
    I don't think your numbers check out unless you plan big cuts in the military. There is a good web site that allows you to calculate the cost of government using your own priorities.
    http://www.budgetsim.org/nbs/

    "Brazil," cowritten by the conservative Tom Stoppard, is basically what "1984" would have looked like if it had been written by Evelyn Waugh rather than George Orwell.

    ---A good exercise for liberals would be to look at the next "liberal-looking" person they see at some art opening, and just imagine that they are conservative (because there is a strong possibility that they are). Does this change how you would discuss politics with this person? Instead of making smug pronouncements, assuming similar political views, you might actually have a productive conversation and learn something new. Maybe even change a mind.

    I dunno..I usually AM the liberal looking person at the art opening who is a conservative, and they make smug pronouncements right up until I tell then I disagree. The next sentence, if there is one, is usually of the form "do you Actually believe George W. Bush isn't a moron?" or "how can you possibly think feminism is bad?" But I can't tell you the number of times that the person turns and walks away; it's numerous.

    I don't think it's ever changed someone's mind, other than in their willingness to ask me out on a date.

    Jon, there's no such thing as "melodic" death metal.
    (Although I did like Kreator.)

    Rock On!

    matt,

    once again, many would be happy to see whether business can provide it all from now on; and more than ever business is reaching rural areas without help of government (think satellite tv). And secondly, even allowing for that kind of government help which has existed since the beginning, libertarians can maintain that they want to cut to cut government by 60% -- all of the NEW government programs/spheres (eg since 1930) and return to the OLD government functions (which may include some dams/highways).

    "my wish list of research projects for other people includes a serious study of how well political views predict cultural tastes."

    One place to start would be the General Social Survey, which contains a wealth of items intended to elicit political views (running the gamut from relatively abstract hypotheticals designed to get at "principles" to views of specific issues and candidates), and which also includes a battery of items on cultural preferences and behaviors (albeit at irregular intervals).

    Ten minutes goofing around with the 2002 data yields:
    A B C D E F G
    Extremely Liberal 42.6 21.3 38.3 53.2 22.2 55.6 22.2
    Liberal 55.2 25.9 35.0 54.5 14.9 42.6 17.0
    Slightly Liberal 51.9 20.3 33.5 58.2 22.2 48.9 26.7
    Moderate 38.2 14.5 26.2 37.6 22.7 42.7 15.5
    Slightly Conservative 41.3 14.1 27.2 45.1 20.0 57.8 26.7
    Conservative 38.5 16.8 27.9 35.1 19.5 58.5 19.5
    Extremely Conservative 39.0 10.0 24.4 34.1 33.3 33.3 0.0

    A = Visited Museum or Gallery in Last Year (% yes) (n = 1319)
    B = Attended Classical Music or Opera in Last Year (% yes) (n = 1318)
    C = Attended Live Drama in Last Year (% yes) (n = 1318)
    D = Went to Live Performance of Pop Music in Last Year (% yes) (n = 1319)
    E = Went to Religious Website in Last Month (% => once) (n = 306)
    F = Went to Science Website in Last Month (% => once) (n = 306)
    F = Went to Pornographic Website in Last Month (% => once) (n = 306)

    Data are weighted to be nationally representatiev.
    "Don't Know" responses excluded.

    Of course, there are limits, and one can reasonably doubt that the "extreme conservatives" and "extreme liberals" are going to the same type of art galleries and museums, but that's what you get with survey research.

    Anyway, a little bit of judicious factor analysis would undoubtedly let you (or other people) chop up the political spectrum along as many dimensions as wanted/warranted.

    yes, walk a mile in the shoes.
    It's more fun to speculate about the book, I realize, and it's hard to read before Tuesday but if you do read it (buy it if you like, get it from the library, whatever), I think you'll find it's not the standard "their side is stupid" polemic that is so common on both best seller lists and remainder bins.
    It's not academic, it's a personal journey. Entertaining would be nice.
    As to whether I think I'm DeTocqueville or Spurlock, well, I think I'm Moe. Pretty sure of it. But between the two, please see the title of the book and please note the complete absence of DeTocqueville in any discussion.

    I fail to see how Brazil or the LOTRs trilogy is conservative in any way, period, fini, etcetera, ad nausea. I am about liberal as one can be and I LOVE watching Independence Day.. I dont see how that supports the patriarchy-monkey heart beating at the core of most conservatives. Its so much about how the patriarchy fails and is utterly impotent in the face of a far superior force, something that doesnt play well with people who prefer to consume media that reinforces their working cognitive dissonance.

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