Partyism in America is getting worse

In 1960, 5 percent of Republicans and 4 percent of Democrats said that they would feel “displeased” if their son or daughter married outside their political party. By 2010, those numbers had reached 49 percent and 33 percent. Republicans have been found to like Democrats less than they like people on welfare or gays and lesbians. Democrats dislike Republicans more than they dislike big business.

And this:

To test for political prejudice, Shanto Iyengar and Sean Westwood, political scientists at Stanford University, conducted a large-scale implicit association test with 2,000 adults. They found people’s political bias to be much larger than their racial bias. When Democrats see “joy,” it’s much easier for them to click on a corner that says “Democratic” and “good” than on one that says “Republican” and “good.”

To find out whether such attitudes predict behavior, Iyengar and Westwood undertook a follow-up study. They asked more than 1,000 people to look at the resumes of several high-school seniors and say which ones should be awarded a scholarship. Some of these resumes contained racial cues (“president of the African American Student Association”) while others had political ones (“president of the Young Republicans”).

Race mattered. African-American participants preferred the African-American candidates 73 percent to 27 percent. Whites showed a modest preference for African-American candidates, as well, though by a significantly smaller margin. But partisanship made a much bigger difference. Both Democrats and Republicans selected their in-party candidate about 80 percent of the time.

That is from Cass Sunstein.


I thought this thread was going to be about binge drinking on campus

you win this thread.

Will they finally reduce the drinking age to 18 as in every civilized country?

The funny thing is that each Presidential election only really matters to a few thousand apparatchiks whose future income stream will be greatly boosted by being able to later tell special interest employers "I served in the White House in 2017-2019" or whatever. And yet they manage to get the rest of us awfully worked up over it.

You'd think this tired argument would have died after the Iraq War - the 2000 election certainly mattered to the hundreds of thousands of troops who served in Iraq (although there are decent odds that 9-11 would have still happened regardless of who won)

9-11 likely would've still happened, but the Iraq War probably wouldn't have. We probably still would've invaded Afghanistan, it's interesting to wonder how the execution of that would've been different if Gore were in charge. Probably not that different but we'll never know. And our alternate universe selves don't know how it went under Bush.

One factor driving the Bush Administration into Iraq was the bellicosity of VP Cheney, which was something of a surprise after his well-balanced performance as Defense Secretary in the first Bush Administration. In contrast, there seems little uncertainty regarding Alternative Universe VP Joe Lieberman, who almost certainly would have wanted to attack various Muslim countries following 9/11. So, the question is: Would President Gore have listened to VP Lieberman the way President Bush listened to VP Cheney?

Beats me.

not sure why he invented a new word for partisanship

Isn't this a good thing? It is great to see people judging others by the (likely) content of the character, rather than the colour of their skin!

That's the conclusion you drew from: "African-American participants preferred the African-American candidates 73 percent to 27 percent"?

I've been told that racism must include a power component and therefore it is impossible for African-Americans to be racist. My rejection of the premise of this argument speaks to the headline of this post: I should feel very upset if my family gains an individual whose willingness to maintain priors extends to disregarding the dictionary when convenient.

Guess Who is Coming to Dinner, 2014 version.

I would watch this.

So go watch reruns of Family Ties -- Alex Keaton vs his parents

That was a comedy. The principals were supposed to be caricatures to a degree. It helps that caricature is about what the portside can manage (see J. Haidt).

The real problems arrive when these distinctions map to actual family issues - say, bastard children, pushy queer cousins, mental health tradesman cousins, social worker cousins, etc.

Hah. "Pushy queer cousins" FTW.

And yet, in our nation's capital, couples are able to rise above mere partisanship - Mary Joe Matalin and James Carville coming very much to mind. and

Almost as if the rubes are being played by those far too sophisticated to take 'partyism' seriously. Somewhat like those who are involved in scientific wrestling, and those who pay to watch it.

They're both professional campaign hacks; same job, different menu of clients. Very few people in that trade.

Also, their association was regarded as anomalous 22 years ago when it came to be public knowledge. Matalin's comments on the Republican staff aides employed on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and in party offices and consultancies were quite remarkable. She held them in contempt as human beings (Lee Atwater excepted) and thought them unworthy of her attention. Not sure why anyone wanted her around, particularly after her bollix of George Bush the Elder's re-election campaign.

The moral of the story is that you can't really get the tribalism out of people, but you can teach them to hate a *different* enemy tribe than the one they grew up hating.


The book keeps changing but there is always some book that reveals the truth.

Taken only slightly out of context, from Don Boudreaux:

... the stupid anthropomorphism of collectives: “Us” versus “Them.” Individuals are lost sight of; they become invisible. All that is seen are the mentally-constructed wholes (usually, but not always, represented by governments that do indeed claim to be the living embodiments of their peoples).

“They” are “Our” enemy, so any damage, even if it’s “collateral,” to any of “Them” is proper, even good – and sometimes downright glorious. ”We” treat “Them” as the Bad; “They” treat “Us” as the Bad. And because “We” must spare no effort to defeat “Them” the Bad, “We” turn on each other if and to the extent that any individuals amongst us dare to not join in “Our” crusade against “Them.”

Racist whites at it again--only preferring black students for scholarships at a small margin.

"When Democrats see “joy,” it’s much easier for them to click on a corner that says “Democratic” and “good” than on one that says “Republican” and “good.""

Is there even a *shred* of evidence that this kind of test is a good way to measure people's actual real-world attitudes and actions? All this proves is that, in a tightly controlled and highly artificial environment, you can get certain people to click on certain things somewhat faster. I suspect social scientists use it because it's easy, not because it's accurate, but I am open to being convinced otherwise (especially if the convincer shares my political preferences).

It has also recently been shown to predict marriage satisfaction over a period of 4 years:

There is surely a racial factor to this.

I doubt if a Democratic Jew minds if his/her child marries a Neocon Jew.
With Jews, Jewishness comes before politics.

I doubt if a Republican black(rare as they are) minds his son/daughter marrying a Dem black.

I think same goes for Asians and Hispans.

So, this is really a white gentile problem.
Unlike other groups, whites are not allowed to feel proud of white identity.

Both Dem Jews and Repub Jews support Zionism and are profoundly Jewish.

In contrast, Jewish control of media/academia has filled white minds with 'white guilt' and white self-loathing.

So, the main passion among whites is ideology than identity.

This is somewhat strange in the post-ideology world we live in. Cold War was a major ideological war. And the West won.

So, what is the ideological war today? It's about sallow slogans: 'diversity'. It's about fashions--'gay marriage'--versus traditions.

What the... This is the most obtuse reading of those results I can fathom.

Besides, they said the results held even after accounting for race. Jesus. What a reach.

Or troll?

Trolls have long arms.

Standard issue palaeo. Obsessed with blacks and Jews and despises both (especially Jews).

I had the same visceral reaction, but I find his point that whites are tribal about ideology more than race quite insightful. This would not have been true 100 years ago, but I believe it today. Whites are losing ground because they dont vote as a monolith and dont share core political values. I dont suggest their is a racial component to this, but rather that a political minority has high marginal gains from solidarity and coalitions. I suspect that if Democrats reliably retain Texas and/or Florida in future elections, they will lose the Midwest and parts of the Northeast. White solidarity can reliably win elections in the forseeable future.

Brilliant comment Andrea. Your analysis is spot on!!

Right, concocting petty Team Red v. Team Blue squabbles for white gentiles to get themselves worked up over is big business.

...and the award for Most Ironic Comment Of All Time goes to...

The thing is, there are cultural differences that get folded into partisan labels. Where are you from? Are you more inclined toward living an urban, suburban, or rural life? Are you religious? If so, what religion, and how serious are you about it? Do you want kids? All those things get folded into this Republican vs Democrat label, but to some extent they reflect these other questions. (Would you be upset if your daughter or son wanted to marry someone who had very different ideas about religion and lifestyle than you have?) And as Steve said, there's an industry that runs on building up those differences, and spending a lot of time cheering us for being better than them. That whole industry's output is pretty dumb, but then, tribalism makes people stupid, so it all works out fine.

The big red-blue difference is in family formation: in the last four Presidential elections there have spectacularly high correlations between how states vote and their average years white women between 18-44 are married.

The marriage gap is what really drives the red-blue divide, but you almost never hear about it. Instead, you hear about the much less significant gender gap in elections constantly.

If you read the Catholic press, you'd hear about it.

I've talked to a lot of Jews and it seems as if they care much more about partisanship and ideology than White gentiles. Mostly it's typical Democrat crazies, but I've met the Republican types too. They seem to have some kind of built-in capacity for ideological ideological obsession, maybe it's the high IQ or an adaption to all that religious indoctrination they've endured over the ages.

Sure, but you'll notice that AIPAC and most other Jewish lobbies somehow manage to stay together despite the partisan divides.

The secret of how Jews manage to so seldom go to war with each other despite their tendency toward ideological fanaticism is the awareness that Jewish internal animus can always be diverted by confrontations with the gentiles. Tom Wolfe's wonderful character Kramer, the Assistant D.A. in "Bonfire of the Vanities," explains: "To his parents, New York City -- New York? hell, the whole U.S., the whole world! -- was a drama called The Jews Confront the Goyim ..."

Israel, for example, could fight a truly vicious civil war in the Lebanon and Syria manner, but the government of Israel takes care that the Israeli public always has lots of external enemies to hate.

Just a suggestion, Steve, when you find yourself uttering sentences like "The secret of how Jews manage to so seldom go to war with each other despite their tendency toward ideological fanaticism", is that you insert the names of ordinary people in the sentence and see if its something other than comical, as in

"The secret of how Dr. Mendel and Dr. Semel manage to so seldom go to war with each other despite their tendency toward ideological fanaticism is the awareness that Jewish internal animus can always be diverted by confrontations with the gentiles " Or "To Mendel and Semel, Syracuse? hell, the whole U.S., the whole world! — was a drama called The Jews Confront the Goyim …” (By which you mean Dr. Semel's partner Dr. McGurrin, perhaps?). It might also occur to you that Lawrence Kramer's parents and their worldview came out of Tom Wolfe's imagination. (Dr. Mendel, Dr. Semel, and Dr. McGurrin actually exist, though).

"It might also occur to you that Lawrence Kramer’s parents and their worldview came out of Tom Wolfe’s imagination."

Sure, because Tom Wolfe just deals in pure fantasy, never did any reporting, and never paid any attention to anybody around him, such as his in-laws.

I also pay attention to the people around me, Steve.

ZOMG! (The Z is for Zionist.)

This is completely wrong. Strong divisions exist between pro and anti Israel factions and these divisions mirror the right/left split in America. Not that you let facts get in the way of your obsessions about Jews.

Strong splits also exist in many other countries in the Middle East, and most of them periodically fight civil wars over them. Israel, in contrast, always seems to find an outside target for its hostile energies, which strikes me as smart.

I dunno, Israel seems like a pretty well-run industrial democracy. Those sometimes have civil wars and coups and such, but it's not all that common. In the time Israel has existed, how many European democracies have had actual civil wars? (But if you expand the category to include countries like Turkey, Chile, and Thailand, you can see military coups--I'm not really sure how Israel compares with these countries.)

Hi IQ people tend to be the worst partisans. People of moderate or low IQ don't mind so much when their political assumptions are challenged, but for hi IQ people, being right is frequently part of their identity. Even if they are rationally ignorant about politics and spend a minimum of time thinking about policy, they still assume the group they chose must be the right one.

Well said, Dan

She's gone to plaid.

I can see how you might think the Jews are keeping the White man down, but I would suggest taking a little personal responsibility. White people need to study more, save a little for the future, invest more wisely, and especially stop having so many damned kids out of wedlock. The latter problem is particularly serious. I"m scratching my head for solutions, but the only concrete plan I can come up with is midnight miniature golf.

Samuel Gompers came up with a plan for how the American working class could earn more money using his knowledge of the theory of supply and demand: restrict immigration.

It worked.

White people could do all those things and the main political problem would not go away. It's a political problem that requires a political solution. The White American man has to wake up.

It never ceases to amaze me how much bitching online comes from the most privileged half of the most privileged race in the wealthiest country that's ever existed. Mostly people on the right side of the IQ bell curve.

privilege, n.
1. A peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor; a right or
immunity not enjoyed by others or by all; special
enjoyment of a good, or exemption from an evil or burden;
a prerogative; advantage; franchise.

Guide to 21st century privilege:
In a democracy, the right to bitch is the right that comes before all others. Note right above that our friendly Jew commentor suggested taking a little personal responsibility. Now witless jerk msgkings is going with "man up and quit bitching—take it with a smile!" Now note that there's only one group of people anyone is allowed to say these things to. Privileged race indeed.

Some version of this comment applies to every political issue in the US. We live in the first world, and so our problems are overwhelmingly first-world problems. And yet, I don't really see that as an argument for giving up on making things better, on solving our first-world problems despite an occasional snarky comment from someone else (also always worried about first-world problems in practice) that we ought to shut up and be grateful that we're not living in Haiti or Gaza or Syria or some such place.

@ladderff, I will defend to the death your right to bitch.

@albatross, I love your first two sentences. After that...

I'm sorry, but is it too much to ask to maintain some perspective on our situation? A national discourse of competing victimologies I find depressing in the extreme. And when white guys join the parade of whining, I despair.

Of course we can and should talk about making things better than they are, but the tone from across the political spectrum nowadays goes from zero to whiny in under 3.4 seconds.

Is it part of that "White privilege" that our race is fated to be a minority in the land our ancestors built?

Brian Donohue, please define "whining."


Surely you have no trouble identifying whining when it comes from members of some other group, right? Or do you not see any whining out there?

Let's take your comment. It's not whining exactly, but you are laying claim to something your ancestors did. This sounds to me like an entitlement mentality, a birthright claim.

I suspect that the hard work of your ancestors put you in a position to develop your abilities and avail yourself of opportunities, maybe moreso than the ancestors of 'other' groups. Good for your ancestors, and you. Don't get me wrong. I like white people, and I'm not gonna harangue you about white privilege. I'm a proud white person myself.

Since I don't have a lot of stomach for My Life and Hard Times (h/t James Thurber, white guy) stories from other groups situated in the richest country in the world in the 21st century, I have even less stomach for these stories from whitey. Sorry.

It’s not whining exactly, but you are laying claim to something your ancestors did. This sounds to me like an entitlement mentality, a birthright claim.

And why not? Do you think George Washington would be happy with the way America is headed? How about Abe Lincoln?

People, cultures, nations and races have always struggled over economic and political power. White people are unique that we are the only people who have surrendered it without a fight. You're going to despair a lot if you want a society where people will never ask "how does this policy affect me" or "how does this policy affect members of my group?" If you have a thing like affirmative action, people are going to ask those questions, and so of course Whites are going to "whine" if they are discriminated against. It's a natural feeling. But liberalism is an attempt to pathologize human nature.

I doubt if a Democratic Jew minds if his/her child marries a Neocon Jew. With Jews, Jewishness comes before politics

The 72% intermarriage rate for the non-Orthodox does not support that point.

I don't think this stacks up with actual trends.

Forty-two percent of Americans, on average, identified as political independents in 2013, the highest Gallup has measured since it began conducting interviews by telephone 25 years ago. Meanwhile, Republican identification fell to 25%, the lowest over that time span. At 31%, Democratic identification is unchanged from the last four years but down from 36% in 2008. The results are based on more than 18,000 interviews with Americans from 13 separate Gallup multiple-day polls conducted in 2013.

I was wondering about this - and if these results are more an artifact of remaining party members being the True Believers

"Independents" are a myth. People are voting straight party line far more often than they used to. Who you support for President will tell me who you support for Congress, Mayor, State Senate, etc. If 42% of people were actually independents, we would see FAR bigger swings in annual elections than we actually do.

People just like calling themselves "independent" because they hate politicians, not because they aren't ideological.

While I agree that party-line votes should make us suspicious of people declaring their "independent" status, there are stories we can tell that square with party-line votes and being independent. If someone votes straight Democratic one election, straight Republican the next, and so forth, then perhaps what they're doing is trying to balance out the party they perceive as being in power.

(Alternately, and I think perhaps more commonly, a large number of current Independents might be saying, "I hate the current Republican party but do not feel comfortable declaring loyalty to the Democratic party. I will vote Democratic party line until and unless the Republicans change themselves." Some of them may of course be deluding themselves).

I wonder how much of calling yourself independent is about dissenting from the culture of a party vs the policies. If I find myself more comfortable with the culture of Republicans but the policies of Democrats, I might call myself independent. Alternatively, if I like the policies of Republicans, but don't much care for the kind of people I see as Republican party faithful, I might call myself an independent.

most people don't vote

This could be a cause of the increased discrimination. If fewer people are identifying with a party, then the ones who remain might more strongly associate with that group.

The subject of the thread is partisanship among party members not all Americans. The trend of increasing independents would support a hypothesis that the effect is caused by a shift toward greater partisanship of the average party member due to moderates leaving.

Too late x2

But well said

I misread. David and you are probably correct. The remaining party members (identifiers) bleed their colors more than ever it seems.

A thought to square those two trends. People know that identifying themselves with a political party will make them toxic to the group that identifies with the opposing party. 42% of the country might be less actually independent and just more socially/business savvy. If your social or business circle includes people from both sides of the aisle, "independent" is the way to keep from getting hounded by any of them. Hyperpartisanship thus decreases professed partisanship.

Libertarians just piss off everyone and have no business or social circle. :P

As registered Independent since 1982, and a firm believer in more modern monetary theories, I do indeed vote more conservatively as I get closer to home.

One quick question Mr. Nose - what are those more modern monetary theories which you believe?

On the national level we have monetary sovereignty, so it is easier to vote for war or social relief. But our states and more local gov'ts cannot create money, and thus more revenue constrained. So for instance Medicaid expansion which I support is happening in AZ because it is supported centrally.

The only way to win this game is to not play it. Think of what an incredible waste of effort, passion and thought that modern politics is. The inefficiencies are just mind-boggling, people aren't marrying the loves of their life because their potential spouse voted for a douche instead of a turd. I've seen folks who could have a second degree with the time they spent getting "informed" watching Fox News or MSNBC. Hilary Clinton or Rick Perry isn't worth losing a valuable potential employee, friend or lover over. Look at all the time intelligent people spend in these comments alone on political debates where they have approximately 0% chance of changing anyone's mind, let alone actually affecting the future trajectory of policy.

Thinking in the mindset of perpetual conflict is almost assuredly bad for your happiness. It's like people with anger problems who can't stop giving into their rage even though it's ruining their lives. Whenever you think about any major political issue assess what chance any action on your part has of affecting anything (hint: it's probably zero). In contrast being outwardly political is almost assuredly going to cost you personally and psychically. Ignore most of the "news" out there, stop getting into "red vs blue" political debates, avoid even talking about political issues with people unless you know them to be like minded, don't vote, , and for god's sake don't get involved in any political campaign or "activism".


I think you lost Art Deco as a friend.

So what you are saying is he is wrong?

I am conflicted. I agree with Doug that 24 hour news and political debates are a source of much anxiety and anger that most people just don't need in there lives (myself included).

But that is the nature of a fight. It's unpleasant and destructive. And this is a fight, to a lot of people, myself included. This country gave my family a great opportunity, I owe it to defend it, for others seeking the same opportunities and freedoms.

There is something that feels very wrong about letting it get "fundamentally transformed" by both the left and right because I don't want the stress of verbally defending it.

Is there much evidence that getting caught up in partisan battles is a good way to defend the country? A huge amount of the rhetorical disagreement between the parties translates to a negligible difference in actual policies. A lot of anger is generated and a lot of angry words exchanged, and then the white house changes hands and all but indistinguishable policies continue.

Albatross, you make a good point that only compounds how conflicted I am about engaging in policy discussions.

Doug advocates complete disengagement for selfish reasons. That doesn't sit well with me.

Discussing these issues with highly educated people, over and over again, that can't see the contradictions in their positions also doesn't sit well with me.

Try applying the same logic to a serious fan of the local football team. He could have had another degree or paid off his mortgage if he'd used all that time studying / making money instead of watching and thinking about and talking about football.

This may just be my own bias, but I see partisan politics as having a lot of similarities with being fan of the local football team. It's a good thing that few peoples' firmly-held beliefs on whether Iraq has WMDs or global warming is caused by CO2 emissions are driven by which team they cheer for during football season.

Right. The amount of money that highly competitive rich conservatives give to their favorite college football team can add up into the eight figures for individuals (e.g., Boone Pickens and Oklahoma St.) One reason why Jews tend to be so dominant in fields like foreign policy is that rich Jews who want to express their team loyalties tend to give money to AIPAC and the like rather than waste it on college football. Israel is their college football team. If some public-spirited billionaire wanted America to have a more balanced foreign policy more in the interests of the American nation, they should give Brandeis $500 million to have a top ten college football team.

Surely even you can you see the irony of making this statement whilst being a dependent of Ron Unz.

is that rich Jews who want to express their team loyalties tend to give money to AIPAC and the like rather than waste it on college football.

No, they give it to public television.

Is there evidence rich Jews don't put money into their school programs? Jews may not attend big football schools (south midwest) at the same rate they do other colleges, which probably would explain a lot of it.

Jews, if you're listening, please speak out. I feel like a jerk talking about you when you're probably right there, reading this.

Aye. Large state universities in the South have the highest propensity to invest in football, followed by some in the Midwest. The Southern Jewish population is inconsequential outside of Miami and Atlanta. Of the top 25 schools in College Football, only two are located in areas with comparatively high concentrations of Jews.

College basketball has had a fair number of Jewish boosters -- for example, Sam Gilbert, the money man behind John Wooden's 10 NCAA championships at UCLA -- but college basketball is cheaper than college football for buying a national title contender so it wastes less of the boosters' bucks that could be spent on less zero sum donations. If you look at the money that billionaires Boone Pickens (Ok St.), Phil Knight (U. of Oregon), and John Arrillaga (Stanford) have put into building top ten programs in football, it's just staggering.

Most of the money goes in edifice construction, but then there are special funds. For example, how much is keeping Heisman QB Jameis Winston out of jail for his full three years at Florida St. going to cost the alumni?

"Jews may not attend big football schools (south midwest) at the same rate they do other colleges, which probably would explain a lot of it."

Or the other way around: that some smart rich guys think that buying a top ten college football team is a stupid way for rich Red State gentiles to waste their money on pretend wars on the football field when you can give it to Israel or invest in the American foreign policy molding apparatus and have your own real war.

Or the other way around: that some smart rich guys think that buying a top ten college football team is a stupid way for rich Red State gentiles to waste their money on pretend wars
on the football field when you can give it to Israel or invest in the American foreign policy molding apparatus and have your own real war.

1. The budget of the Jewish National Fund in 2011 was about $65 million. That of the Jewish Agency for Israel was about $12 million. In sum, that's about $78 million. The budget that year of the athletic department at the University of North Carolina was $71 million; that of Florida State University was $87 million. So, all that Jew money sets up one state university athletic department.

2. As for having your own war, here:

The money quote from Dr. Kramer: "In the book, Mearsheimer and Walt admit that Israel was pushing for Iran over Iraq."

You figure they might just have suggested to their American 5th column to get on the same page?

You've got your story and you're sticking to it.

How 'bout them Aggies?

They are everywhere...

Ladies and gentlemen, the Yeshiva University Maccabees: No football team, though.

I'm deeply skeptical of this idea. I think Israel gets supported by a lot of Jews in the US for pretty deep ethnic/religious identity reasons--it's not just that they're looking for a team to cheer for.

As a parallel, I gather that the IRA managed to raise a fair bit of money and support in the US at a time when lots of American Irish Catholics were also fanatically supporting Notre Dame's football program. Religious and ethnic identity has a strong hold on most peoples' hearts--something paleocons generally recognize.

And influencing politics, and especially the world of ideas, just doesn't require all that much money. You can have a big impact on the world of ideas by running a smallish publication that gives a dozen high-quality ideological writers a full-time job. You can get the undivided attention of a presidential candidate by having a million dollars available for political donations, PACs, etc. And so on.

"As a parallel, I gather that the IRA managed to raise a fair bit of money and support in the US at a time when lots of American Irish Catholics were also fanatically supporting Notre Dame’s football program."

That's a perfect example of my point: in the 1970s some Catholics were passing the hat in Southie bars on a Saturday night to raise money for the IRA; other Catholics, often of the highest social classes, were openly holding gala fundraising banquets for the U. of Notre Dame (and it's football facilities).

The former had little effect on American foreign policy, while the Fighting Irish football team had a glorious 1970s.

Awesome comment Doug. Could not agree more.

You my not care about politics but politics cares about you.

What about the fact that independents are the largest "political party" in America?

Who on earth cares if the Hatfields and the McCoys hate each other? A growing plurality of Americans have figured out that the D's and R's probably don't have thumbs. I say let them naturally select themselves out of existence.

And neither party has done anything to help expand immigration and move towards open borders

Agreed. The 42% that have opted out have caught on to the Red vs Blue WWE act. More now understand that divide and conquer are ruling principles of the traditional two-party system. The poeple left behind who self describe as R and D are lower IQ and/or information starved TV watchers. They do exactly as they are supposed to do and hate the "other" group while ignoring the true enemies of humanity and self-determination.

Nah, independents tend to be lower IQ lower info voters, not the occasional Mickey Kaus.

First off, most independents don't vote. 2nd there is a big stratification issue not captured by looking at the means of all non-voters or "independents".

This was touched on above, but the gist of the con argument is that while people call themselves independents, they're not really so. They have ulterior motives for calling themselves independents.

If we truly had 42% independents, we would see greater changes in, say, control of the house, or red/blue state divide. The fact that we can predict with reasonable certainty which states will vote for which presidential candidate based merely on their location seems to put a lie to 42% independent population.

As pointed out above, they don't vote because there's no one to vote for.

And how many Independent congresscritters are there, with this massive "independent" vote? One? Two?

I think creative ambiguity is a better explanation for the number of "independents" than actual dissatisfaction with the two parties.

" African-American participants preferred the African-American candidates 73 percent to 27 percent. Whites showed a modest preference for African-American candidates, as well,..."

More evidence for white racism and black anti-racism?

Fortunately, parents of mating age children do not decide who their children mates with, unless the parents and the children accept assigned marriages.

The better question to have asked would have been to the children as to whether they would or would not consider the political affiliation of a date as an excluding factor.

We are all pink where it counts!

Excellent point at a time when a song praising a young man's disregard for his soon to be father-in-law's unwillingness to grant his blessing to the union is topping the Billboard charts. Perhaps disapproval comes more easily when it has few consequences.

There are ways of tying the money up so that the Democrat son-in-law doesn't benefit directly.

Why you got to be so rude?

I'm gonna marry her anyway.

He wouldn't get much anyway, confiscatory democratic redistributionist tax laws bein what they are.,36935/

We're becoming like the Sunnis and Shi'ites.

correction...Democrats and Republicans are more like Sunnis and Shiites.

Many of "we" are not so much into the two-parties that are obviously controlled by the same interests.

I always say it 1/4 jokingly but this is one I am SURE is not my fault.

"That is from Cass Sunstein."

Come now, let's not blame the man for everything.

A very good reason for disregarding the whole thing.

Our future, where non-Whites will work for the interests of non-Whites, and so will Whites.

Already the present, and the recent past.

Technically, Democrats do not have souls. True fact.

Everybody hates Democrats. Same way everybody hates cancer.

It was easier for me when I found out the Yankee my sister was marrying was at least a Republican.

I find it extremely hilarious -- in a deeply sad way -- that you would draw a equivalence between Democrat hatred of big business with Republican "hatred" of gays.

Democrats actively, publicly, relentlessly hate big business. They give endless speeches about the evils of big business from their very highest ranking politicians. Their big money-raising line is usually something about cracking down on big business. They slam their opponents by claiming that they cozy up to big business. Holy hell, do they hate big business.

Meanwhile, you will find absolutely zero hatred of gays coming from Republican politicians. None. Nada. Zip.

But to you, the idea that "Democrats hate X even more than they hate big business, and Republicans hate X even more than they hate gays!!!" is quote-worthy.


Did Cowen use the word "hate?" Did the man he quoted use the word "hate?"

But Dems take their money don't they? Just like anti-gay marriage Republican members of Congress have homosexual affairs with the pages or get caught soliciting male cops.

According to their rhetoric, the Democrats hate big business and the Republicans hate big government. But for some inexplicable reason, this rhetoric never seems to actually effect their decisions in office very much. Big business does fine under Democratic regimes, with plenty of subsidies and tax breaks and such. Under Republican regimes, similarly, big government marches on, getting bigger every year alongside our deficit.

Why, it's almost as though these parties' rhetoric has very little to do with their actions or real beliefs.

this rhetoric never seems to actually effect their decisions in office very much

Yes, there is a really big difference between what a politician says they'll do, and what they'll actually do. And that's probably a very good thing.

There is one party I prefer for their rhetoric, and another I prefer for their actual passed policies.

(I think your point above about culture was also spot-on)

IN 1960 parents-in-law did not have to worry that their Democratic children-in-law would happily and legally head off to a nasty and untalked-about but legal "clinic" to "abort" (nice word for do whatever you want to the parvulos - the little ones) their potentially slightly defective and therefore naturally futureless grandchildren. Agree or not with the motive someone might have to insert such a statement (from inn to grandkids) onto a downstairs white plasticy bulletin board in the virtual basement in a social sciences building on the lovely GMU campus (floors well buffed by faithful & underpaid janitors, by the way!), filled here and there with rusting modern sculpture, weird realistic statues unconstitutionally but bravely honoring religious figures named Mencius, and with a lovely little lake sadly surrounded by overpopulated Canadian geese suburbs, and with a sad little stretch of semi-failed fountains landlocked in a fat brick walkway behind (or in front of) a statute of the universally unknown but local namesake author of the Bill of Rights (George himself), where no romantic comedy or hilarious high-IQ sitcom has ever been filmed but where thousands of ordinary Virginians and their cohorts have met and fallen in love (literally, thousands, possibly more, like in tens of thousands - perfectly multiplied in affectionate duplicates, God bless their hearts) -as I said, agree or not with the motive, the statement itself seems accurate.

Robin's-egg-Blue Virginia skies absent from above descriptions only because Finneganswake was a night-time comedy.

What I still do not understand is why so many people in both parties or of several tendencies ("liberal" "conservative" "libertarian") argue as if other are not just mistaken, but evil. The comments in this blog are not as bad as many, but still pretty representative of this.

If you believe an individual's preference to support "fundamentally transforming" the USA (dems) or support a global police state (reps) or support the crony-capitalist relationship (both) as simply a mistake, then you are right to view such folks as mistaken.

I do believe actively supporting those things is supporting evil. Whether destroying the legal framework that underpins a nation that PROTECTS so many of its citizens from government abuse, or pissing away blood and treasure to kill a bunch of sheepherders in the Middle East, or simple theft through devaluation - all of those things are evil at a fairly obvious level.

The way these people sleep at night is "well its better than the alternative". F- that. Some things in life should not be based on best alternative.

Abortion is a favorite example. It's better to abort a fetus because its better than... [the life it would have] [the life the mother would have] [diluting society with unwanted children]. Tell me if that fetus is a child. I don't actually care. But tell me if it is or not. And then tell me why it is different then a new-born baby.

By focusing on all these alternative straw men, proponents of abortion never have to face up to the fact that there is a very good chance that they're promoting the murder of another human. Because it doesn't look like us just yet. Again, I don't have a dog in this fight. I don't have an answer, or even a position, other than to say that I don't know. But simply the *potential* murdering of children given our lack of understanding should be enough to give everyone pause. In my experience, it barely causes a blink. That is evil.

I don't think a 2 month old fetus is a child in terms of development. I think a 5 month old is.

Of course, the issue is more complex than that. I think our society is best off with as few abortions as possible.
Proponents of abortion also tend to be big proponents of greater availability of contraception. When contraception is widely and cheaply available, the number of abortions plummets.

Whether or not a fetus is a human or not is irrelevant to public policy. Either medical decision making rests with the individual, or it rests with the cult of the omnipotent state. If the latter a large portion of society will thus need to actively subvert the state on an ongoing basis in order to survive. One need not contemplate excessively to see that widespread abortion restrictions can not be effective policy, just as it is obvious to the casual observer the drug war is wrong.

"Again, I don’t have a dog in this fight. I don’t have an answer, or even a position.."

Hmmm, it sure reads like you have a position...

Bravo gab, here it is again, in case you get my personal position confused with my societal position:

But simply the *potential* murdering of children, given our lack of understanding, should be enough to give everyone pause. In my experience, it barely causes a blink. That is evil.

As political considerations come more pertinent the formation and movement of capital, the more that individuals will identify with the political tribes that best exemplify their preferred method for the movement and formation of capital.

Reduced to a Yogi Berra-ism, "The more that politics matters; the more that politics matters."

"...become more pertinent TO the formation and movement of capital..."

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