2009-05-31 Why do people persist in voting Republican/woozle

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[edit] Analysis

This post is mainly about an article written by Jonathan Haidt, but adding two things:

  • Focus on the two paragraphs beginning with "A Durkheimian ethos...", implying that they are of particular interest
  • The parting "You might even conclude, as I suspect Haidt does, that Republican voters tend to be more nuanced and sophisticated than Democratic voters."

If we're talking about the validity of Barone's post, then, we're mainly talking about the validity of Haidt's article (with emphasis on those two paragraphs) plus Barone's additional parting shot.

Here is the analysis of the Haidt piece; it's a logical and scientific mess.

Barone's interpretation of it:

You might even conclude, as I suspect Haidt does, that Republican voters tend to be more nuanced and sophisticated than Democratic voters.

....yyyyeahhh, right.

What Haidt has shown is that Republican voters will buy anything if it's packaged right, and that he is willing to sacrifice the integrity of his own research (by front-loading his starting premises) to make his results appealing to them. He argues strenuously for the right of conservatives to choose one's medicine based on what color it is, and that it is the doctor's fault for not making the right medicine the right color because chromatic consistency is necessary for their group identity and all their cute little institutions will fall apart if they start looking inside things to see what they are made of instead of just reading the name on the cereal box. If it's called "Sugar-Coated American Family Jesus Puffs", it can't be bad, right?

Keeping the kids away from the heavy machinery is still the ticket here, I think.

[edit] Discussion

A long debate ensued with User:Midian; it is now in the /2009 archive. Use the discussion page for starting any new discussion.

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