Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Saturday, April 30, 2016

Liberalism, Conservatism and Education

There's a reason many on the far right call colleges and universities breeding grounds for liberalism -- the reason is it's true.  The more highly educated a person is, the more likely that person embraces liberalism.

And the inverse is also true:  The less education one has, the more likely one embraces far right ideology.

Pew: Growing shares of postgrads, college grads are consistently liberal

It's a well-worn (if not-entirely-agreed-upon) idea that college makes people more liberal. But a new report adds a twist to this: the most educated Americans have grown increasingly liberal over the last couple of decades.

 A report from the Pew Research Center finds a wide partisan gap between highly educated and non-highly-educated americans. Not only that, but the share of college grads and post-graduates who are "consistently liberal" (based on their answers to a series of policy questions) has grown sharply in the last 20 years.


"We've known for a while that people with more education tend to be more ideologically consistent than people with less education," he said. "In some sense it's not surprising to see that polarization and party sorting is happening most among people who are super highly educated." 

Another possibility, Gross says, might be the growing numbers of women getting college and advanced degrees. Women also in general tend to vote for Democrats more than men. So as the population of highly educated people grew more female, that may have swung it left. 

Insularity At work here is the Big Sort: the idea (popularized in the 2008 book by Bill Bishop) that Americans are increasingly living alongside like-minded people — essentially, that the walls of our respective ideological bubbles are getting thicker. Gross proposes that this may be happening especially among the post-grad set. 

 "Americans are increasingly clustering into cities and neighborhoods with people who are like them politically," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if part of what's going on has to be people with graduate degrees being drawn toward cities where lots of highly educated people work." In other words, as the highly educated Americans in particular seek out jobs that use their highly educated skill sets, it ends up sorting them into more homogeneous communities.

The Big Questions 
Conservatism Linked to Lack of Education 
by Nathan Hetflick Ph.D.
(I send you to college and now you support queers!)


In terms of demographics, Trump’s supporters are a bit older, less educated and earn less than the average Republican. Slightly over half are women. About half are between 45 and 64 years of age, with another 34 percent over 65 years old and less than 2 percent younger than 30. One half of his voters have a high school education or less, compared to 19 percent with a college or post-graduate degree. Slightly over a third of his supporters earn less than $50,000 per year, while 11 percent earn over $100,000 per year. Definitely not country club Republicans, but not terribly unusual either.

Who Are Donald Trump's Supporters, Really?


Dave Miller said...

As to your new header... No Republican has won the Presidency without getting at least 35% of the Latino vote.

Anyone looking for a GOP win must explain how their candidate, whoever it is, will get to that number, or they are just making unintelligent noise.

Who are the Trump voters?

Mostly white, older folks who are angry, stand against immigration [both legal and illegal] and who frequently use terms like vermin, commies, libtards and worse to describe people who might have a different view from theirs. And many claim to be Christians, doing their best to "love their neighbors" as Jesus did.

Kevin Robbins said...

The more highly educated a person is, the more likely that person embraces liberalism.

So the cure for liberalism is stupidity? Trump is a shoo-in for the Rock Ridge vote.

anymouse said...

That explains so much, actually.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Dave: "Mostly white, older folks who are angry, stand against immigration [both legal and illegal] and who frequently use terms like vermin, commies, libtards and worse to describe people who might have a different view from theirs."

Any group, including lefties, need to get outside their comfort zone and meet those who are not part of their tribe. There's nothing more educational than getting to know and understand people who are not exactly like you.

Shaw Kenawe said...

BlueBull, I hope it is clear that not all conservative thinkers are stupid. Of course they are not -- they just have different approaches to solving our problems.

But I have to admit, I don't have any understanding of people falling for Donald Trump's brand of politics. IMO he appeals to the worst in human nature, and even if you're part of the angry crowd because the government has ignored you, that doesn't mean a narcissistic, vulgar anti-woman, anti-Hispanic, anti-Muslim, anti-disabled, jerk will make your life better. Things can only get worse, as his bumbling, ill-thought-out foreign policy speech this week revealed.

Kevin: "So the cure for liberalism is stupidity?"

Trump. Q.E.D.

Ducky's here said...

Maybe a more interesting point from the chart is that the "mostly conservative" category has shrunk in all categories over time.

Ducky's here said...

" ... and less than 2 percent younger than 30. "

Looking good for the future, Teabags.

Jerry Critter said...

Liberalism is the future. Conservatism is the past. What direction are you moving?

Jerry Critter said...

The chart also explains why republicans want to get rid of the department of education and do not want to lower the cost of college education.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Ducky, when you read the usual far right blogs, they are completely oblivious to this. They speak to each other and reinforce the fantasy that they and their ideologies are what the American people agree on. Anything that refutes that is dismissed as "libtard" propaganda.

Rational Nation USA said...

Technically speaking Jerry wouldn't it be resctionary that is the past.

A true conservative merely wants to progress at slow steady pace.

Accepting rapid change is difficult for many.

Jerry Critter said...

RN - "A true conservative merely wants to progress at slow steady pace."

At "true conservative" perhaps, but I am talking about today's conservative who wants to turn back the clock. Progress is not in their vocabulary.

Jerry Critter said...

In fact, Hilary Clinton is closer to a true conservative than either Trump or Cruz.

Constitutional Ignavia said...

We'll be getting what we deserve, regardless of who wins in November. A leftist authoritarian or a narcissistic clown. In other words...exactly what we deserve.

America is not turning into a mobocracy so much as it's turning into a popculturacy.

Rational Nation USA said...

Jerry, the present day conservative (tea party and evangelical especially) is really a reactionary in many respects.

When it comes to fiscal and monetary issues they are as Keynesian as any liberal. They just spend our money in different ways.

Jerry Critter said...

RN - "They just spend our money in different ways."

Spending money is what government does. There are ways to spend it that benefit the economy and the people, and there are ways that benefit the economy and a few select special interests. I am on the side of the people.

Les Carpenter said...

I am on the side of the people.

No problem with that Jerry. I would say I am on the side of reason and common sense that benefits, to the greatest extent possible, all the people.

There are special interest groups both right and left, and, I have little use for either.