In the discussion thread: A great example of the difference between Democrats and Republicans [View all]
Response to mikki35 (Reply #29)
Sun Sep 23, 2012, 01:02 AM
tblue37 (11,698 posts)
37. They are probably low-information voters who have always *identified* as
Last edited Sun Sep 23, 2012, 02:38 AM USA/ET - Edit history (2)
Republicans, for whatever reason, and are not informed enough, introspective enough, or self-aware enough to reconsider their party identification.
Most Americans, especially Republicans but not just Republicans, treat party identification the way they treat loyalty to their local sports teams: they cheer "their" side and despise "their" opponents with as much (as little) logic or reason.
Let me offer an example of what I mean as it plays out in another field:
Here at the University of Kansas, I have long been repulsed by newspaper articles published every time the newest incarnation of the (now defunct) "Border War" between KU and Missouri would come around. In fact, I was thrilled when Missouri decided to leave the Big 12 so I wouldn't have to read such articles any more.
Every year, the articles would quote people in town and on campus, including not just students and people around town, but also prominent businessmen, coaches, and professors. They would all be going on about how much they "hate" the University of Missouri and the students, faculty, coaches, and players of the school. And Missouri's people would return the favor. For example, their coach would always fully gas up the team's bus before leaving Missouri to play at KU because, as he explained, he hated Kansas so much that he didn't want any Kansas gas station to make a penny from his team, and he didn't want the state of Kansas to earn a penny of tax money from them.
The hatred between the two schools (and their home cities and states) would also erupt into vandalism and physical violence sometimes, and though Missouri tended to go that way a bit more often than Kansas did, both were certainly capable of such behavior.
The excuse both sides offered for the hatreds displayed over this absurd "Border War" was that it originated in the border war between the anti-slavery Kansas militias (Jayhawkers) and the Missouri militias, especially Quantrill's notorious marauders.
But no one in either state or school was there during the original border war preceding the Civil War, and many of the people (most, undoubtedly) in either city or school are transplants from other states and countries, so they have no reason to bear a grudge for something that in no way touched them or anyone close to them.
But the mindless hatred was gleefully stoked every year with such articles, with speeches by coaches and even some professors and administrators, and also by well-known boosters. Here at KU new freshmen were deliberately indoctrinated into that hatred as part of their introduction to the school's "traditions." I am quite certain that something similar went on at the University of Missouri.
My beloved extended family on my father's side are mostly (maybe even all) fervent Republicans.
My fatherís parents came to America from Sicily in the early 20th century. Dadís family are Republicans, and quite vocal about it. I am an extremely liberal Democrat. (In fact, I am only a Dem because they are the only viable alternative to the Republicans. Frankly, the Democratic Party is far too conservative for me!) I never talk politics with them, because I do not want to get into heated arguments that will not change their minds, but will certainly drive a wedge between me and some of the most wonderful people I know.
I adore these members of my family, and I know them to be as good as people can possibly be. They truly are good, gentle people, and I love them dearly. But they are also Repubicans, and because of their party identification, they also watch a lot of FOX, because it supports Republicans, and thus they get their misinformation powerfully reinforced and their frustrations stoked by doing so.
The human mind is not really built for rational analysis, and especially not built for performing logical, dispassionate macroanalysis of that which does not directly, immediately impact the individual. On the other hand, it is built for tribal identification and loyalty and for powerful reactions to perceived threats.
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They are probably low-information voters who have always *identified* as
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