I know. Duh, right? However, I've always been one (and I don't think I'm alone) who has believed that with the right amount of facts and logical arguments, someone who holds a view different from mine can be persuaded. But is this really true? Maybe individually, but, as a number of Pew polls have been showing over the past few years, self-described Republicans are on such a different world than self-described Democrats and independents. Given this, it is no wonder we get the likes of the Michelle Bachmans and Louis Gohmerts of the world elected by them.
Maybe, the answer to What's the Matter with Kansas? is the Kansans themselves.
Follow me below the squiggle for the numbers.
I'm pulling everything from Pew polls. Pew, in my book, is the best polling organization out there.
All three groups (Dems, Reps and Inds) believe that inequality has been growing. But, then, should government do a lot about it?
2. Poverty (from the same poll):
Does government assistance do more good than harm because people can't get themselves out of poverty on their own?
Ok, so are the poor poor because of circumstances outside their control?
Oh, so maybe it's lack of effort?
That's right, in Republicanland the poor are poor because they just won't get off their asses and get to work! So why should we spend our hard earned taxes on these freeloaders?
Hmm...looks like all three groups agree that everything should be done to make sure everyone has the opportunity to succeed, but have we gone too far in pushing equal rights?
Oh, I see. So I guess that opportunity thing is only for Republicans. Otherwise, it's all too much.
So, there's broad agreement that something should be done to provide a legal process for the undocumented workers and that there should be better border security. So, what's the hold up? Oh yeah, SOME people think we have to build the useless wall across the border first:
Undocumented immigrant should only be allowed to apply for legal status AFTER effective border control is established:
What about that global warming thing. President Obama said last night there is no doubt it is happening. Is there solid evidence that the earth is warming?
Oh, so half of the Repbulicans say no. Hmmm. So, if we ask if humans are responsible, it's not going to be pretty:
Oh. So that explains:
More important priority for nation's energy supply:
Alternative energy sources:
Expanding oil, coal and natural gas exploration:
Gee. Maybe that's tied to the belief in evolution?
% believing humans have evolved:
Oh. This smells like a Gays, Guns and God issue. Hmmm.
% Favoring gay marriage:
While everyone thinks the gun shows and private gun sales should have better background checks, differences appear on other issues:
Support banning assault weapons:
Support creating a federal database for all gun sales:
But hey, teachers should have guns in the classroom!
A majority of the public (54%) views the Republican Party as friendly to religion, while 24% say the GOP is neutral to religion and 13% say it is unfriendly toward religion. Roughly four-in-ten (39%) rate the Obama administration as friendly, with 32% saying it is neutral and 23% saying the administration is unfriendly to religion. The Democratic Party is seen as friendly to religion by 35% of the public; it is seen as neutral by 36% and as unfriendly by 21% of the public.And that explains this:
Republicans are evenly divided over whether the ruling should be overturned: 46% say it should, while 48% say it should not. By wide margins, Democrats (74% to 20%) and independents (64% to 28%) oppose overturning Roe v. Wade.Because of this:
Among white evangelical Protestants (a traditionally Republican group), support for the GOP has grown from 65% in 2008 to 70% today. The GOP has also posted gains among Mormons, with 80% now saying they identify with or lean toward the Republican Party. Republican gains are also apparent among white mainline Protestants (who were evenly divided between the parties in 2008 but who now favor the GOP by a 12-point margin) and white non-Hispanic Catholics (among whom an eight-point Democratic advantage in 2008 has become a seven-point Republican advantage at the end of 2011). Even Jewish voters, who have traditionally been and remain one of the strongest Democratic constituencies, have moved noticeably in the Republican direction; Jewish voters favored the Democrats by a 52-point margin in 2008 but now prefer the Democratic Party by a significantly smaller 36-point margin. There has been less change in the partisanship of black Protestants and the religiously unaffiliated, two other strongly Democratic groups.
So, Republicanland is much different from the land that the rest of us inhabit. And maybe trying to convince people about hanging their views is a fool's errand.
One study of the political views of twins found that 56% of political ideology was genetic. They also found:
Funk and her colleagues also found that about half (48%) of the difference in authoritarian beliefs is inherited. To measure authoritarianism, they asked respondents to record their reactions to 15 statements on a seven-point scale that ranged from “Very negative” (coded as 1) to “Very positive” (7). Some examples: “Our country needs a powerful leader, in order to destroy the radical and immoral currents prevailing in society today,” and “Our country needs free thinkers, who will have the courage to stand up against traditional ways, even if this upsets many people.”Another study suggests that boys growing up with sisters are more likely to be Republicans:
They tested the heritability of egalitarianism. Twins were asked how much they agreed or disagreed with five statements, including “If wealth were more equal in this country we would have many fewer problems,” and “We have gone too far in pushing equality in this country.” Again they found that half of the variance appeared to be explained by genetic factors.
Young men who were raised with sisters also are more likely to express socially conservative views on attitudes about gender roles, claim authors Andrew Healy and Neil Malhotra.Which maybe explains the whole "war on women" thing--they're just trying to get back at their big sisters....
“Having sisters makes males more politically conservative in terms of their gender role attitudes and their partisanship,” they wrote. “Particularly for gender role attitudes, we find that these political socialization effects persist until respondents are well into adulthood.”
Pete Seeger said that this land was made for you and me. We believe this and are generally backed by the independents.
The problem is that Republicans don't believe in this basic human concept. They want it to be their way and screw everyone else--even if science and the majority will is against what they want. They are viewed as extremists, even by their own party:
At a time when the Republican Party’s image is at a historic low, 62% of the public says the GOP is out of touch with the American people, 56% think it is not open to change and 52% say the party is too extreme....The national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Feb. 13-18 among 1,504 adults, comes at a time when Republican leaders are debating the party’s future in the wake of Barack Obama’s reelection. The Republican Party’s image has been hit hard over the past decade. In January, just 33% said they viewed the party favorably, among the lowest marks of the last 20 years. The GOP’s favorable rating has not been above 50% since shortly after George W. Bush’s reelection in 2004.So, if they're out of touch and unwilling to change, but see themselves as having strong principles (backed up by their religious views and maybe genetics), then maybe the goal of Democrats is to marginalize them as much as possible rather than reaching out to them.
For example, 36% of Republicans say the GOP is out of touch with the American people. Just 23% of Democrats say their party is out of touch. And while 30% of Republicans say their party is not open to change, just 10% of Democrats make the same criticism of their party. However, Republicans overwhelmingly credit their party for having strong principles; 85% say the GOP has strong principles while 13% say it does not. And 80% of Republicans say their party is looking out for the country’s long-term future.
After all, Democrats have a history of making the land to be for everybody but Republicans won't.