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Monday, October 25, 2004

Interesting Comparison

Richard Rushfield writes in Slate about wearing a Kerry Edwards t-shirt in Bush country and wearing a Bush-Cheney country Kerry territory and the different reactions he gets. (via Michael Totten guest posting on Instapundit. He posts his own observations on this as well.) I want to thank my Liberal readers for engaging in polite discussions on this blog, even though they often strenuously disagree with me.


Blogger Andrew said...

I tore this apart over in the comments at Karol's blog the other day.

Even if his thesis wasn't a given (of course an ABB electorate would be more charged!), his experiment was unrepresentative. The locations he chose, all in Southern California, aren't comparable to each other for broader demographic reasons. Old people in Newport Beach and whiny starving artists in Silver Lake behave differently. You'd expect the prior to be more civil--not because of their politics, but because of their maturity. And that's what he shows. Rushfield failed to make party affiliation of candidate support a clean variable in his analysis. But it was cheap, and was probably conducted as part of a weekend drive out to Vegas, so you can't blame him for trying. :)

10/25/2004 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

Its hard to find whiny starving artists who support Bush.

I'll freely admit that a fairer comparison would have been going to TX or something for the Bush country comparison. Although the Republican in CA do seem to be a pretty conservative bunch.

Note that he did make a point of going to two upper class and two lower class neighborhoods for each as well. Certainly not a scientific sample, but interesting.

10/25/2004 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

I'm personally inclined to think that all this "hostility" people are talking about is pretty overblown. I live in MS; this is the beating heart of Bush country. Last week before the football game here, there were many stickered, buttoned, hatted and t-shirted supporters of both Bush and Kerry in the Grove. As near as I could tell, the discussions between them were all good humored. There was teasing, of course, but no more or meaner than the teasing on any other subject (and much less so than on the subject of football). And this in an environment where everybody's drunk.

Lots of people express contempt for "Supporters of X" in the abstract. But I think in concrete terms most Americans are decent and judge each other on personality, not political affiliation.

10/26/2004 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

I agree with you Brian in that it is certainly a minority that would be antagonistic on either side.

I do feel though that Democrats are a bit more agititated this year than Republicans. I expect this is due to the closely contested and much disputed 2000 race, and the fact that Democrats have lost control of the Senate.

I don't believe that as a class Democrats are worse people than Republicans or more prone to thuggish behavior. I do think that Democrats are a bit more angry than Republicans this election cycle and the Democrats have embraced the loony wing of their party a bit more closely than Republicans have embraced the loony wing of theirs, perhaps giving loony Democrats a bit more comfort in engaging in extreme behavior than the loony Republicans.

10/26/2004 06:04:00 PM  

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