Politics Magazine

We Are Not As Rightwing As We Think We Are

Posted on the 22 November 2013 by Calvinthedog

From here.

The typical conservative legislator overestimates his or her district’s conservatism by a whopping 20 percentage points. Indeed, he or she believes the district is even more conservative than the most right-leaning district in the entire country.

Liberals also think their constituents’ views are more conservative than they really are, but are typically only off by about five percentage points.

This applies only to politicians, but I wonder if it applies to the rest of us too. With conservatives, surely it is self-fulfilling prophecy: they want to believe that most people think just like they do. What’s with the liberals: fear and loathing (mostly fear)?

For the politicians, it may have to do with the corporate media (overwhelmingly conservative), the famed DC Bubble whereby DC creates its own alternate reality and walls itself off from the rest of the country, which may as well be terra incognita to the DC crowd. And don’t forget the proliferation of rightwing think tanks, or stink tanks (most think tanks are now rightwing thanks to a huge offensive by conservative Big Money that started in the mid-70′s.

I admit that it effects me too, even here in California. Outsiders do not realize how conservative White Californians are outside the Blue Coast. Indeed, even on the Blue Coast, you find way more White conservatives than one might expect. I have come to assume that White Californian – conservative and hence I am terrified to ever bring up politics with any White Californian.

Californian non-Whites are generally either too stupid or too ignorant to even understand politics, much less have any opinion on it. I do not mind my Hispanic neighbors in this city, but I never bring up politics with any Hispanic. If you do, you get a look that says you are speaking Greek. Literally the only political issue that Hispanics care about is their illegal alien brethren. Nothing else even dents their brain. As one might expect, most Hispanics around here do not even vote.

You might be surprised that the local Blacks, despite a presumably lower IQ, are much more likely to vote and are much more knowledgeable about politics than are local Hispanics. The local Blacks intuitively feel that Republicans are simply their enemies, and they are right on that one.

There are some local Arabs at the corner store who are bright but understand basically nothing whatsoever about US politics. Apparently they vote Democratic simply because they think Democrats are less Arab-phobic or Islamophobic than Republicans. They often ask me questions about the economy or national politics, and when I explain it, they act like they are hearing it for the first time.

Really, almost no one around here has any political consciousness whatsoever other than the conservatives, who are a lot more common than you might think.

Maybe it is true, the unthinkable: That as a nation, we are much more liberal than we think we are?

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