Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Myriad Differences Between Republicans and Democrats

John at Discriminations (see blogroll) has a post that's so spot on that I'm compelled to quote it here in its entirety--but don't let that stop you from visiting his site and reading his other work, many posts from which I've quoted and linked to previously.

Watching all the talking heads and pundits and pollsters and analysts and campaign operatives discuss the returns Tuesday night, I was struck by the fact that the most glaring difference between the political parties was never mentioned.

Practically all the discussion of Democratic returns focused exclusively on demographics: how did blacks, whites, old people, young people, Latino people, male people, female people, etc., etc., vote? I suppose that’s because the Democrats are ideologically homogeneous, with virtually no internal disagreement among themselves on major issues.

In stark contrast, most of the discussion of Republican votes noted the differences among conservatives, moderates, religious voters, voters primarily concerned with the economy or terrorism or Iraq.

A viewer who knew nothing of American politics but what he or she saw on TV analyzing these votes would think that the only things that matter to Democrats are one’s race, ethnicity, sex, age, etc., and that Republicans are concerned only with how conservative or moderate or concerned about terrorists or gay marriage one is.

Now that I think about it, that uninformed view is pretty close to the the truth.


Republicans are the party of real diversity and inclusion. Democrats are the party of balkanization.

Update, 2/12/08: This post helps explain why Republicans in general are happier than Democrats.

I’ll propose another explanation: I think it’s likely that happy people are more likely to be Republicans, while unhappy people are more likely to be Democrats, for unhappiness gives one an incentive to seek change, and happiness an incentive to resist it. But the causal link goes in the other direction as well, for Republicans stress freedom and individual responsibility, which lead people to feel in control and take action that changes their lives for the better, while Democrats assign blame to institutions, which makes people feel powerless and discourages them from undertaking ameliorative courses of action.

3 comments:

Dr Pezz said...

I saw on one of the cable news stations a report that Obama and Clinton have voted the same way on issues about 90% of the time and 94% of the time with their party. The Republicans were in the 80% range for both (except for Ron Paul). Seems like they both are pretty well lock-step.

Maybe the youth and minority voters have a greater impact on Democrat elections.

Darren said...

All the debate seems to be on the Republican side of things. We had pro-choice and pro-life presidential candidates, the Dems didn't. We had pro-gay marriage and anti-gay marriage candidates, the Dems didn't. We had people for pressing the war and for pulling out the troops, the Dems didn't. We had pro-amnesty and pro-law on the illegal immigration issue, the Dems didn't. We had a socialist and some conservatives, the Dems didn't.

allen said...

> Democrats are the party of balkanization.

Indeed. And they've done right well using that strategy although their best days are clearly behind them. If it weren't for the opportunity to promise Hispanics special laws for people who look and sound like them they'd pretty well over.

It remains to be seen whether the Republicans are adroit enough to head off the Democrat's appeal to affirmative action immigration.

I'm not hopeful.