From Juan Cole, via my old buddy The Liberal Avenger1:
Posted on 07/06/2012 by Juan
Only about one third of Americans have passports, and if it weren’t for the post- September 11 requirement that one travel to Canada and Mexico on a passport, it would no doubt be an even smaller proportion. (Hence the high number of passports in states with large Latino populations). But take Latinos out of the equation, and which states are cosmopolitan is pretty clear. Lack of experience with the world seems to track pretty closely with strong opinions about how to deal with the rest of the world. It also tracks with socially reactionary views.
I remember 2004, and how we were told by our good friends on the left that the Europeans really, really, really preferred John François Kerry to George Bush in our presidential election. It seems that the distinguished Gentleman from Massachusetts carried Paris and Bonn and Berlin, and earned all of their zero electoral votes.
The lesson that the esteemed Dr Cole wishes for his readers to take away from his article is that, “Well, those people who are opposed to the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, why, they are just uneducated rubes, who don’t really understand how the world works.” It is the rather typical argument of dismissiveness raised so often by our friends on the left, the argument that their opponents are just so unsophisticated and uneducated and unintelligent that they really do not need to have their arguments countered, but just dismissed. One of Dr Cole’s own readers noted the author’s unproven assumptions, though he fell right in line with the argument, noting “the relation of education and income to travel,” and complained only that Dr Cole’s argument was both unproven by his methodology and was, in effect, arguing only to the like-minded. Telling the rubes that they is stupid and unedumacated doesn’t normally get them to listen to you.
Unfortunately for Dr Cole’s position, the uneducated hillbilly from West Virginia has just as much of a vote as Dr Cole. In a democratic representative republic, that means something.
More unfortunately for Dr Cole’s position is the rather embarrassing fact — embarrassing, at least, to the Democrats who like to claim that they are the smarter party — it has been a fairly consistent trend for many years: the less educated you are, the more probable it is you will vote Democratic,2 while if you have attended or been graduated from college,3 and if you are a more productive person, as measured by the income you earn, the more probable it is that you will vote Republican.4 Dr Cole wants to persuade his readers that the smarter people vote Democratic; the facts say otherwise.5 The untraveled, uneducated hillbilly Dr Cole so haughtily dismisses is more likely to vote Democratic than the more educated, more productive person.
- LA’s website vanished years ago; he forwarded this via Facebook. Since he kept his anonymity on the old Liberal Avenger website, I won’t link to his real name here. ↩
- It is your Editor’s unproven and probably unprovable assumption that this is what cost Al Gore the 2000 election. Because the Democrats count so heavily on the least educated and least intelligent voters, they are counting on voters who are slightly more likely to make a mistake in casting their ballots. The infamous “butterfly ballot” in Palm Beach County was a bit confusing, and if your base is the less intelligent, it is more probable that your voters will be confused by it, and make an error. Republicans, being more intelligent and educated, were probably less confused by the ballot, and thus made fewer errors in voting. Your Editor believes, again, unprovably, that slightly more people went to the polls in Florida intending to vote for Al Gore than George Bush, but, due to the lack of education and intelligence among Democratic voters, a slightly greater percentage of voters intending to vote for Vice President Gore failed to actually vote for him than was the case with voters who intended to vote for Governor Bush. ↩
- In 2000, George Bush had a majority of the votes among voters who had been graduated from high school, who had some college, and who had a bachelor’s degree; Al Gore had a majority among those who did not complete high school and those who had post-graduate degrees. The same pattern held in 2004, between President Bush and Senator John Kerry. In 2008, though Senator Barack Obama carried all educational levels, Senator John McCain did best in the same three educational level groups as did George Bush in 2000 and 2004. ↩
- In 2000, Al Gore carried all income levels below $50,000, while George Bush carried all income groups above $50,000. In 2004, George Bush won strong majorities in every income category over $50,000, while John Kerry carried those who earned less. In 2008, Senator McCain ran even with Senator Obama among those who earned $50,000 to $100,000 and again with those who earned more than $100,000, but Senator Obama had a huge advantage, 60% to 38%, among the less productive people, those earning less than $50,000. ↩
- This statement follows the widely-held assumption that education at least somewhat follows intelligence, and the well-established fact that income, overall, follows education. ↩