Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Programming the Party Into Identity

It becomes a steady idea that I repeat, but we manipulate enough voters to give specific people power to siphon off a bit more resources from the federal trough. The brilliance of the banks buying the Democrats in the '90s was buying the party completely committed to politics as life that had cover from the media. As much as people make fun of the GOP, the liberals, progressives and pragmatists of the left are naked about wanting power, forget principles. All vectors are about securing more votes and power. To get that commitment, it takes programming people to see themselves as party members first, thinking humans second (or at all). The commitment today has been driven deep into the core of our identity.

A poll by The Hill in early 2013 right after the 2012 election revealed some of the stupidity of political identification. A majority of voters supported using budget cuts and not adding taxes to solve the deficit problem. The poll specifics showed how Democrats were the party to support an idea not normally associated with the Democrats, with Republican voters answering along ideological norms. When the poll asked which party they trusted more on budget issues, the need to identify with the clan showed up, as well as the need to run away from the GOP. Neither article is truthful on the way the poll was done. A simple analysis from The Hill discussed the brand issue especially after the "bruising general election". A bruising general where they retained their majority in the House and were a few hundred thousand votes from victory if in key states for the presidency.

The other view is that the media has made the GOP a toxic name and hurt the GOP. This makes sense when one considers the attention given to a lane closure on a bridge in New Jersey by Gov. Chris Christie versus the avoidance of a myriad of scandalous acts by the Obama administration. The number two Democrat in California's state assembly Leland Yee was connected to the Triads, foreign gun and arms running, corruption and other acts that '80s action film villains would pause at doing, yet he received a cursory glance from the media's spotlight. That constant slant does help the electorate move left, hurting the appeal of even basic ideas like how to fix a spending problem.

The Hill's poll guts show they did not ask some important follow up questions to figure out if these people even understood what they were doing? The Hill did not ask the respondents who stated support for the Democrats budget handling right after answering the opposite a question or so earlier why. Why did they change? Was it knee jerk instinct? If the respondent had been told which idea belonged to which party, would the results have been the same? That is what The Hill wants readers to think, but the poll did not do that. It still might have shown the same odd switch in back to back questions. We do not know. We are only told that voters like a GOP idea but not the ideas of the GOP.

Even without specifics, the poll does reveal the ignorance of voters to say they support an idea yet not realize that their answer on which party they trust more on the very same concept contradicts their first two answers. Politics has become tribal, and not just do to immigration and multiculturalism. In 1960, 5% of Americans would have been upset for a child to marry a member of the other party. In 2010, it was 40%. The rise has been steady with a recent uptick. How much difference between the two parties is there? This is one of the basic choices in life: marriage. America has moved so far into open minded territory that we have near universal approval of interracial marriage and rapidly growing approval of gay marriage, but nearly half of us do not want their kids to marry one of "them". It is a sick result of destroying communal bonds in private life. You might bowl alone, but at a Tea Party rally or Occupy Wall Street protest, you can be amongst friends, you can belong, you can feel part of something.


Jokah Macpherson said...

In fairness, the interracial marriage poll in the link frames it as a question about the general concept of interracial marriage (for which most people know the "correct" answer) versus specifically asking about a situation in which your child is the one marrying like in the political party poll. Not saying that most people wouldn't pick the correct answer anyway but I suspect the actual event causes more hesitance than holding the right political opinions.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Agreed. Wait did I link to the IR marriage poll? IR marriage is like abortion and gay kids. It's fine and cool until it hits home.

peterike said...

Us vs. Them, Who/Whom, slice it how you like, but the long long hate cycle has had its effects. Since the 70s the media (not just news, also entertainment) has been a solid wall of hatred for Republicans. It's now multi-generational.

Really, it's startling that the Republicans have any seats anywhere, given the climate against them. It isn't easy to change a culture, but then you don't have to change it all, just enough of it to secure power.

The Progressives still have a way to go to secure bullet-proof electoral success. I believe they will no longer lose at the Presidential level, but there are still too many weak spots at the state level. Well, demographics will change that. Propaganda will change that. The whole Gays n' Vaginas campaign of the last few years is having an enormous effect on the younger generation I think.

Identifying as a Republican is truly a way to socially ostracize yourself in many communities. The opposite is likely not true anywhere. Conservatives really are far more tolerant than Liberals. And it doesn't take a big leap of imagination to believe that one day people will be locked up for being Republicans or Conservatives or whatever. Why shouldn't it happen here? It's happened everywhere else.

nikcrit said...

"The Progressives still have a way to go to secure bullet-proof electoral success. I believe they will no longer lose at the Presidential level, but there are still too many weak spots at the state level. Well, demographics will change that. Propaganda will change that."

That's way too extreme and apocalyptic a view; moreso, just the time to reverse the eight-year presidential cycle that's prevailed for a generation: the GOP will win the next presidential election, I predict ----- especially if HRC is the Dem nominee, which appears to be the conventional logic as of 4/14.