Monday, October 29, 2007

The Best Fit Ever

Krugman on his blog uses Larry Bartel's data, from the latter's *What's The Matter With What's The Matter With Kansas* to puncture the myth that the rich are more likely to vote Republican.

In my forthcoming *What's The Matter With What's The Matter With What's The Matter WIth Kansas* I find a perfect negative correlation between intelligence and a tendency to vote Republican. My inverse measure of intelligence? - the tendency to vote Republican!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Second attempt. This damn blogger thing ate my comment last night and I was too p.o.'d to go back to the point. The issue, however, is too important to leave hanging.

The relationship between intellect and political choice is over-whelmingly complex. While there is obvious face validity to your contention that voting Republican is in and of itself an indication of limited intellect, one must take into consideration the bi-modal nature of the Republican voter distribution in regards to wealth.

On the one hand there are the exceptionally wealthy whose Republican inclinations can be seen as intelligently self-serving. If the poor and working class voted on that basis the Congress and the presidency wouold never fall into Republican hands and the DLC would be a speck of dung on the Democratic Party barn.
That leads to your conclusion that there is an inverse correlation between intellect and Republican Party choice. However, this conclusion is confounded by the fact that poverty and intellect can as well be seen to be inversely correlated. The confounding aspect of this phenomenon is in one's desire to establishing which characteristic, poverty or wealth, is the operative factor.

This brings us to the interactive effect of emotion on one's voting choices and ideological identification. How does poverty interact with fear, hate and bigotry? While there is the old cliche noting that familiarity breeds contempt, I believe that this is a canard. Poverty breeds ignorance and ignorance is at the core of fear and bigotry. Hate may then be seen as an unintended consequence of poverty being an outcome of fear and bigotry. These issues do not put the poor in a good light, but their daily lives are difficult and require some source of personal agrandizement. Thank you, fear and bigotry.

But then what of the poliltical behavior of the rich? As noted above, they seem to vote intelligently if one regards self interest above all else as an indicator of intellect. It ccn be understood that there is a temporal aspect to that conclusion. Self serving behavior is often as it seems in the short term. Long term effects, however, of said behavior are often unpredictable. Note the recent allegiance of many of the wealthy to the Democratic Party operatives now positioning themselves to take over the reigns of government. Could the most intelligent of the wealthy have foreseen the incredible ineptness of their political choices? Probably not, as foresight is an aspect of intellect that is often obscured by greed, the alternative description of self serving.

So you see that the issue of intellect and its inverse relationship to Republicanism is not clear cut. One thing is clear, however. If you vote your personal self interest you're at least well served iin the short term. If you vote your fears and prejudices you're an ass and will be lead down the garden path to your own undoing. Hopefully the dumbies that vote such important issues as family values(code for I hate those mother fers) patriotism
(code for Let's kill the mother fers) you'll get representation that is equivalent to your own inclinations.