Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Democrats and reading the other side

Back when I was a liberal, I was willing to read conservatives. You can see what it did to me. These days, I'm less interested in taking the other side seriously. All the action seems to be over here.

But let's see if there is a difference in willingness to read the other side. GSS respondents were asked if they read political websites they didn't agree with. Their answers are listed above by their 2000 vote for president (N = 302). You can see that Gore and Nader voters are a little bit less likely to say no.

Don't gape. It's my (belated) New Year's resolution to try to find stats that support the other side. It's only fair. You won't see me do it much for liberals because, really, I don't give a damn. But my decision to (try to) find favorable numbers for Latinos and assimilation is serious. I haven't found any yet (haven't looked much) but I will.


  1. Anonymous11:45 PM

    As a right winger, I don't read much avowedly leftist or liberal material. That said, I think you can do this and still be relatively informed for a couple of reasons.

    1- Though most liberals will, of course, deny it, schools/entertainment/MSM all tilt left, making it pretty much impossible to avoid a soft left indoctrination in the US w/o completely shutting yourself off from mainstream culture.

    2- There's just more intellectual variety on the right, which you hinted at. If you read everything from Pat Buchanan to National Review and The Weekly Standard to Reason and LewRockwell to the Steveosphere, you will get every possible angle on social issues, a variety of perspectives on many economic issues along with a number of terrifically contradictory worldviews. Conversely, leftist stuff ranges from standard issue liberal to commie, and the perspectives are often just questions of degree rather than fundamental policy.

    Of course, it could be that the Bush voters merely read their particular brand of right wing ideology, which would neutralize this. Also, my characterization of left wing media may be wrong, as I read it so rarely. I doubt it, though.

  2. Kudos for posting this!

  3. Anonymous3:38 PM

    Oh, the standard stereotype is that liberals are more open-minded. You can argue whether that's a good thing or not, of course; 'open-minded' and 'strong moral principles' don't exactly mesh, no?

  4. Anonymous4:24 AM

    to be honest this (fairly small difference) could actualy be expalined by a narrower conception of "disagree with" ie it may be a more moderate/ liberal Democrat rather than someone who gasp voted for bush-the equivilant on the right might actualy mean someone who voted for Gore...


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