The other day the Los Angeles Times ran an op-ed about political blogs, looking at who reads them, how effective they are, and what their potential is to generate political change. There were no earth-shattering revelations in this piece, but one thing did catch my eye:
To determine just how polarized blog readers are, we constructed a measure of political ideology by drawing on blog readers' attitudes toward stem cell research, abortion, the Iraq war, the minimum wage and capital gains tax cuts. Using this measure, we then arrayed respondents from left to right. Here's what we found.
Readers of liberal blogs were clustered at the far left...
What does "the far left" mean? Here's the attitudes of Americans as a whole on these issues:
Do you favor or oppose the U.S. war in Iraq?
30 68 2
If you had to choose, would you rather see the next president keep the same number of troops in Iraq that are currently stationed there, or would you rather see the next president remove most U.S. troops in Iraq within a few months of taking office?
33 64 3
There is a type of medical research that involves using special cells, called embryonic stem cells, that might be used in the future to treat or cure many diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes, and spinal cord injury. It involves using human embryos discarded from fertility clinics that no longer need them. Some people say that using human embryos for research is wrong. Do you favor or oppose using discarded embryos to conduct stem cell research to try to find cures for the diseases I mentioned?
73 19 8
Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases, or illegal in all cases?
19 38 24 13 6
Do you favor or oppose an increase in the minimum wage?
80 18 2
We reflect the majority opinion of this country on pretty much every issue, yet the media continues to pretend that we're the far left, the lunatic fringe. They're still unwilling to admit the obvious...we are the mainstream.