Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's a culture war: Discovering that income simply does not influence voting among immigrants (at least among non-whites) led me to wonder how much it influences native-born Americans. Put simply, it doesn't matter for them either. Looking at 2000 voting pattern, income had no predictive power once race was controlled. I hunted around for what is predictive--sex, education, marital status, number of children--and everything was weak except for race and a number of indicators of religious orientation: being Christian, religious, or fundamentalist. The simplest way for me to create polar opposites is to use black versus white along with fundamentalist versus no religion:

Percent who voted for Clinton in 1996

Fundamentalist whites 11.6
Blacks with no religion 96.6

Let me say it again: income predicts nothing. Pat Buchanan is right: it's a culture war. It ain't the rich against the poor. Immigrants pick up on this and regardless of income, if they're non-white or irreligious, they generally join up with the--what does O'Reilly call them--secular progressives. Those who loathe what white fundamentalists cherish: traditional Christianity, old-time values, and freedom.


SFG said...

Freedom? How are fundamentalists for freedom? Freedom to watch porn? Freedom to have abortions? Freedom to practice religions other than Christianity? Seems to me conservatives are anti-freedom, and that the best argument for conservatism is that people have too much freedom.

SFG said...

I mean, it's not about freedom, it's about obedience to God, no?

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