WWW Opinion Times

Friday, November 19, 2004

On the Left's Claim of Red State Ignorance. . .

With so many in the liberal media lately attempting to prove the election results are due to the stupidity of Republicans and Bush supporters, Cathy Young of the Boston Globe found that Republicans are generally more informed about the issues than Democrats.
"[In a recent study] Republicans have on average scored higher than Democrats on knowledge of political issues than Democrats -- though voters across the board tend to be woefully ill-informed. [The study] speculates that in the more recent polls, ignorant Bush supporters were likely to pick answers flattering to Bush, while ignorant Kerry voters did the opposite."

Thanks to Hoosier Review for tracking down this article.

One side of the aisle can make any sort of claim about the lack of reasonableness or ignorance of the other. I am not personally convinced either side of the aisle is "smarter" than the other. In addition, I am very suspicious of the value of high IQ scores when it comes to moral or critical judgment about the pressing issues of our time.

We must understand the methods of analysis and persuasion currently being used by either side at any given time to understand the efficacy of their agenda. Evaluated in this manner, it seems the liberal side of the aisle is much more prone to ad hominem, non sequitur and other forms of logical fallacy which has led to electoral and legislative defeat. Logical fallacy leads to emotional outburst rather than substantive deliberation. Voters may not understand but can detect analytical incoherence, and it shows eventually in the polls. Democrat politics since the 1980's have relied upon emotional debate to make its case. It worked well in the Congress then, but accumulated superficiality of argument led to their demise in 1994.

Not all Democrats nowdays are slaves to incongruity, but their leadership are currently made up of those who are--with few exceptions. At a time when the "Rockefeller Republican" lived in the empty space of inane, self-interested argument, Willaim Buckley in the press and Barry Goldwater at the head of the ticket changed the tone of the issue debate and brought back an intellectual unity which had been non-existent in the Party since FDR. This eventually led to Reagan and then to the Republican takeover in 1994. The Democrats acted like the Republicans of the turn of the century who controlled it all and sat fat and happy on the top; then whined and cried when they lost it all.

I am curious if today's Republican Party will react the same way now that we have reached our current high watermark?