Saturday, June 27, 2009

What's your political typology?

"Beyond Red & Blue": the Pew Center analyzed U.S. political typology. Take this 2005 quiz. See where you stand.

PARTY ID: 84% Democrat; 16% Independent/No Preference, 0% Republican (99% Dem/Lean Dem)

BASIC DESCRIPTION: Least financially secure of all the groups, these voters are very anti-business, and strong supporters of government efforts to help the needy. Minorities account for a significant proportion of this group; nearly a third (32%) are black, roughly the same proportion as among Conservative Democrats. Levels of disapproval of George W. Bush job performance (91%) and candidate choice in 2004 (82% for Kerry) are comparable to those among Liberals.

DEFINING VALUES: Most likely to be skeptical of an individual's ability to succeed without impediments and most anti-business. Strong belief that government should do more to help the poor, yet most are disenchanted with government. Strongly supportive of organized labor (71% have a favorable view of labor unions).

Key Beliefs: General Population [percentage polled] vs. Disadvantaged Democrats:
Hard work and determination are no guarantee of success for most people: 28% vs. 79%.
Poor people have hard lives because government benefits don't go far enough to help them live decently: 52% vs. 80%.
Most elected officials don't care what people like me think: 63% vs. 87%.
Business corporations make too much profit: 54% vs. 76%.
We should pay less attention to problems overseas and concentrate on problems here at home: 49% vs. 72%.

WHO THEY ARE: Low average incomes (32% below $20,000 in household income); most (77%) often can't make ends meet. Six-in-ten are female. Three-in-ten (32%) are black and 14% are Hispanic. Not very well educated, 67% have at most a high-school degree. Nearly half (47%) are parents of children living at home.

LIFESTYLE NOTES: Nearly a quarter (23%) report someone in their household is a member of a labor union, and 58% report that they or someone in the home has been unemployed in the past year­ both far larger proportions than in any other group. Only 27% have a gun in the home.

2004 ELECTION: 2% Bush, 82% Kerry

MEDIA USE: Largest viewership of CNN as main news source among all groups (31%). Only group in which a majority (53%) reads newspapers.
You can read all the typologies at "Typology Groups". It'd be intriguing to compare results four years later under a regime change and a faltering economy. Certainly "disenchanted" fits me, although I hope the condescending sneer of "not very well educated" no longer applies!

I follow the news (not CNN but newspapers!) and vote and fret. So, I'm not under "Disaffecteds"-- although as tallied above I share their frustration. Many of us retain "embittered" cynicism regarding the environment, economic prospects, wealth distribution, and population growth. Despite "20 years of schoolin' and they put you on the day shift," as his Bobness warbled in "Subterranean Homesick Blues," I've kept a mindset of my upbringing among the (gun-less) working class, risible as my wife regards my own smooth monkish hands that have known neither plow nor shovel.

At least since that Weedwhacker I got for my 16th birthday, no joke; my graduation present from college was a small color t.v.

P.S. After I wrote this, Anthony McIntyre over at "The Pensive Quill" blog posted his piece "Fraudsters & Their Ads," castigating the Irish government's Orwellian crackdown on "benefit fraud" (we'd say "welfare cheats"). The juxtaposition of blaming the few poor who abuse the system while the many rich scamper free meshes well with the suspicions defined as populist, yet resentful, "Defining Values" quoted above.

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