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June 03, 2005


Is it the place that makes the person, or the person that makes the place? Does somebody become Republican and move to a farm, or does somebody become a Democrat and then move to the city? Or are people in less urban areas just more likely to be Republican and likewise. Seriously. I'm curious, because this has all sorts of implications. For example, perhaps the liberal tendency to want to help others out is rooted in having regular contact with vast amounts of total strangers, or the Republican indifference to foreign opinion is rooted in a total ignorance of other countries (atleast that's what the Europeans think).

Be careful about generalizations, just because one Republican dislikes one good film doesn't mean they all have bad tastes.

Hi Half Sigma and William
I think there is a bit of both happening: people whose politics don't match their location tend to move, and people who grow up surrounded by people with a particular set of politics tend to adopt that politics. I would say that people who have more daily contact with other types of people are less likely to have negative stereotypes and be more open minded towards globalisation. There can be instances where the opposite is true: you have no bad feelings to a group but then you have many bad experiences with members of that group and you then stereotype them. But most stereotypes a born in complete ignorance of that culture. How many people who hate France have ever been there?

Republicans live in boring places because Republicans have children.

Mel's got it: Dems like excitement that isn't necessarily optimum for children. In addition, cities are more expensive and if you need more room for said children, you'll move along.

I live in a red state. The nearest town is blue because its economic life is dependent upon the large university whose tentacles are sunk deep into its innards. The advantage is that blue places sprout coffee places everywhere. If you go to Barnes and Noble to get a latte and pick up a red book (usually not on the front shelves), you'll get a lot of stony blue stares, but hey...live dangerously.

Except for this blue town, the congressional district is quite red. Blood red, in fact. Each election, the blues put forth someone they're sure is unbeatable, perfect progressive credentials. But they never win...

Because I'm intelligent, thoughtful and articulate my blue friends have no idea what I really think. They simply presume they know. And, of course, none of them reads blogs. Deo gratias.

I've gotta agree with Mel on this one. I live in the liberal mecca of the Amherst/Northampton region of MA, and somedays it seems the only persons 'having' children are the lesbians.

As far as the dearth of conservative 'culture', I blame it not so much on any deficiency in conservative artistic ambitions or talents, but rather on the disproportionality with which artistic types are heavy on right-brain functionality, e.g., where emotion-based perception and reasoning (vs. logical, linear reasoning) holds sway. It's why Hollywood (think of the emotional vulnerability and susceptibility required to become a convincing actor) and indie rockers, for example, are overwhelmingly leftist. Dumb as rocks and unable to articulate a basic, coherent position on a given political issue, but leftists nonetheless.

As the 'adversarial culture' of the avante-garde (to borrow a phrase from Lionel Trilling) became more and more mainstream, that is, as the counter-culture became the mainstream, we saw a correlative rise in politicized arts and artistic leftism in general. Ditto for academia.

Republicans have more sex.

Not only do Republicans have children, many of them own guns, and find it hard to put up with the garbage laws of places like New York, Rhode Island, Connecticutt, Massa,
Kalifornia, Maryland, and so forth. I get a kick out of the "Roe" fetishists fretting about a "patchwork quilt of laws" that comes up every few years, because guns and ways of using them that's perfectly legal in Arizona gets jail time in Maryland, 1 year mandatory prison in Massa, and so forth. So it ain't that our liberal pals are opposed to a 'patchwork quilt of laws', they like making other people put up with stuff like that, but they don't want it foisted on them, that's all.

Maybe Republicans find liberals boring and want some fresh air. Liberals have been saying the same thing since 1968. Yawn.

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