I think I finally had my tribalist moment. As much as I like Sarah Palin and her politics, I continue to be underwhelmed by her interviews. So why, when David Brooks called her a joke, did I want to punch him in the face? Why? She's not my sister. Her populism is great, but I want to feel confident about a politician. So why am I so defensive? I never got this way when Bush was mocked.
I've decided the answer is tribalism. I'm like a black guy who gets mad when some white person calls Obama a socialist. Ms. Palin reminds me of the women from my childhood. The mannerisms, the way of talking. She's not my next door neighbor, but she could be. I call it the Fargo effect.
And it's not exactly a white thing either. It's a regional thing. Chuck Schumer could never flip on my tribal switch with his way of talking. And looks probably have something to do with it as well. There might even be a gender aspect: attacks might bring out my protective side.
Really, I'm hoping that Palin has an impact on the political culture, and that she perhaps paves the way for other conservative populists--maybe even a few from my neck of the woods.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
|SDA 3.3: Tables |
GSS 1972-2008 Cumulative Dataset
|Oct 24, 2009 (Sat 05:07 AM PDT)|
White General Social Survey respondents were asked how warmly they felt toward 1) other whites and 2) blacks. The cross-tab above shows the results.
The finding that really jumps out at you is that if you answer warm about one race, you are very likely to answer warm about the other. There is a strong tendency among whites to either like everyone or to dislike everyone.
Let's call those who dislike both blacks and whites Misanthropists, and those who like both Philanthropists. We'll call those who are neutral towards everyone Neutralists. To keep things simple, we'll label a white person a SWPL (pronounced "swipple") if they give a warmer answer for blacks than for whites. Racialists will be those who give whites a higher score than blacks.
It is clear from the table that the majority of whites are Philanthropists--55 percent to be exact. (Taking the cell totals, I get: 1199/2162 = .55. I calculate subsequent percentages the same way). Seventeen percent are Neutralists, and only three percent are Misanthropists.
Four percent of whites are SWPLs, and 22 percent are Racialists.
It is interesting that the observed pattern contradicts the image of whites who like their race. We're told that Caucasians who are pro-white hate non-whites, but the vast majority of whites who feel warmly towards other whites feel the same way about blacks. Philanthropists are by far the largest category. And even if we look at Racialists, a majority of them like whites and are neutral toward blacks (271 out of 466). Only 11 percent of whites who feel warmly about others in their race say they have cool feelings about blacks.