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This summer, the DailyKos/SEIU/PPP polls started including a question about educational attainment. So how does education relate to political views? With a whole summer of data at hand (10,000 respondents, 6/14/12-8/23/12 - the September polls are not included, as they are Likely Voter polls, not Registered Voter polls), we can aggregate the data and narrow down the variables to try to get a handle on this question.

First we'll remove race as a variable, and only look at respondents who are white (I would have also looked at data for racial minorities but these data are compromised). Second, only respondents older than 30 will be included (they've more than likely completed their education). All demographic subgroups shown in this post will have N>100 and an incorrect geography response rate of <10%.

There is a strong and obvious relationship between educational attainment and voter preference. Maybe that's why Republicans hate education so much. (And may I just insert a gentle reminder here that educational attainment is not the same thing as intelligence.)

But perhaps the data are skewed by unequal representation in additional demographic categories? What about income, gender, and region? More below...

What about income? When people earn more money, they start to hate taxes and start voting Republican, right?

Wrong.

Once you've taken race and education out of the equation, there is little if any relationship between income and voting preferences. Respondents from the highest income levels tend to be a little less likely to support Obama, but the error bars are generally overlapping each other. In any case, it is clear that any relationship with income is far outweighed by the relationship to educational attainment. However, it is the higher educational categories that are more heavily weighted towards higher income - so if even if we did see a clear trend with income, and accounted for that in the education graph, we would see an even stronger relationship between education and political preferences.

What about gender? More women are graduating from college, so wouldn't that skew the higher education levels towards the preferred candidate of women, Obama?

It turns out that the trend with education is evident for both men and women. Not only that, but for respondents over 30, men still are the majority of the postgraduate (55%) and college (52%) demographics. So again, if we account for the gender mix at each education level, this would actually slightly enhance the relationship between education and voter preference, not diminish it.

Finally, what about geography? Here's the education graph split by geography (as defined by area codes dialed in the polling).

Again, we see the same pattern for all regions, but the level of support is lower for the South. But as it turns out, there is very little difference in the distribution of educational attainment among whites between the South and the nation as a whole: the percent of white voters who reside in the South is 32% of high school graduates, 33% of some college, 32% of college graduates, and 30% of postgraduates. Although this small discrepancy in distribution does work against the trend shown in the first graph, it is very slight.

Basically, though, we see the same pattern over and over, even when split by gender, income, or region: more educated white voters are more Democratic voters. There's three possible mechanisms I can think of here:

1. More educated white voters are more Democratic because Republicans keep bashing education. For evidence, we see that since 1980, college educated voters have gradually shifted their presidential preferences from Reagan +17 to Obama +8 (although this includes an increase in non-white voters as well).

2. Education itself at most institutions tends to broadens an individual's experiences and teaches that life is not full of the black-and-white certainties associated with the authoritarian Republican worldview. This is the most basic correlation-equals-causation interpretation of the data, and one conservatives have been blathering on about since William F. Buckley, Jr.

3. White individuals who are likely to be Democrats or Republicans self-select by choosing to continue their education or not as the case may be. We actually have some evidence against this idea in a survey from 2008 showing that 18-24 year olds in college had nearly identical political preferences as those who were not in college. The demographics of both groups were fairly similar (college:64% white, 53% female; non-college: 57% white, 50% female). However, this may not have been true in the past.

While you contemplate these possibilities, I will leave you with the opinions of one of the great thinkers on the other side of the aisle, who proves single-handedly that you can get all the way through law school without being the least bit intelligent.

“President Obama said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob! There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them. Oh I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image. I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his.” - Rick Santorum, 2/25/12

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 09:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The religious evangelical right (25+ / 0-)

    Gets most traction from folks willing to put their faith before facts/evidence.  It's almost as if some of the right wing true believers are in a trance of willful ignorance.

    Quality public education tends to encourage a world-view grounded in facts.  

    We're ALL better off when we're ALL better off!

    by susanWAstate on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 10:00:10 AM PDT

    •  I think the religion variable (6+ / 0-)

      would absolutely tie in here, at least on the Dem vs. Rep. support (broadening what was looked at above for Obama support)

      I suspect there's a sort of "hardening of the [brain] arteries" effect that comes into play for many hard-core religious zealots, and they lose a flexibility of seeing and perception of the world around them.

      That's why so many Christian fundamentalists are conservative. Which is very ironic, given what a socialist Jesus was.

      Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

      by murasaki on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 02:16:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I like my Unitarian Universalist liberal (4+ / 0-)

        Congregation with this mission statement:

        We are a liberal religious community that opens minds, fills hearts, and transforms lives. We work for peace, equality, a healthy earth, and an end to poverty.
         The minister marches in the local gay pride parade and encourages the congregation to join him.  "God" is rarely mentioned and atheists are welcome.

        We're ALL better off when we're ALL better off!

        by susanWAstate on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 02:51:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  not really the case (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bumiputera, Larsstephens, MichaelNY

    If you're just looking at your data for Obama, maybe.  But if you're looking more broadly at Democrats versus Republicans, Republicans tend to do better among people with some college or a 2 or 4 year degree, while Democrats do better among people at the ends of the spectrum, with either no college or those who have gone to graduate school.  This showed up in SUSA's last poll of Oregon, where Obama led by 10 points among people with high school education, Romney led by 1 among people with "some college", and Obama by 18 among people with at least a 4 year degree.  If you look at CNN's 2004 exit polling, Kerry won people without even a high school diploma, and did best among those with postgrad studies, while Bush won high school grads, some college, and college grads, but Kerry generally did worse the more education voters had, until you got to postgrad studies.

    And if you look at income, with one slight exception, Kerry did worse the higher voters' income was.

    And income is a very strong predictor.  If you consider the poorest states, aside from New Mexico, the others are generally Republican states today.  But the poorer people in those states, Hispanics and Native Americans in New Mexico, African Americans in Mississippi, etc., they tend to be Democrats.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 10:38:44 AM PDT

    •  I wonder if there's a correlation (4+ / 0-)

      between regional incomes, ie, 50 is a high wage for rural PA versus NYC.

      "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

      by CFAmick on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 11:04:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Democrats do indeed do better among HS voters (4+ / 0-)

      ...Among the entire voting population. In Dkos summer polling, Obama does better among those with high school or less education than those with some college or college. (The numbers for these lower education levels probably understate Obama's support because of polling error.)

      But that's because voters with less education are more likely to be non-white. If we want to try to identify a relationship with education itself, we need to filter out the variable of race. This is what the first graph above shows  - the relationship between education and voting preference just among whites - those with less education are less likely to support Obama. (This may or may not be true for voters of other races; we don't have the data available.)

      In the SUSA Oregon poll in particular, N<100 for the high school category, so the error is +/-11 points. This is high enough that all we can say when comparing to Obama's support among educational categories is that it is not statistically different from support of those with some college or college. Indeed, if you look at the 2008 Oregon exit poll, which has N=1249, you can see a nominal and significant increase in support for Obama from those with a HS education (52%) to postgraduates (68%).

      The same idea goes for income. Lower income voters are more likely to be racial minorities, as you point out in your comment. So yes, overall, lower income voters are more likely to vote for Democrats. But if we want to try to identify the relationship with income alone we need to filter out other variables. After you account for race and education, income only has a slight relationship to support for Obama.

      So yes, income can be a good predictor of voting behavior if all other variables are unknown.  But it is only a good predictor because it tends to be linked with race in our society. The correlation between income itself and voting behavior - and thus the possible effect of income - is not strong, but probably there to a small extent.

      Sorry I did not make myself more clear. Thanks for your comment.

      •  I don't think it was lack of clarity, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        historys mysteries, MichaelNY

        but in removing variables you're losing sight of the whole picture.  Income is a very important factor.  That it's tied to race and education doesn't make it less important.

        ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

        by James Allen on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 11:25:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great work! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens, DamselleFly

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 11:01:38 AM PDT

  •  sigh (4+ / 0-)

    Naturally, there are those on the right who would say this proves that the entirety of organized academia has a liberal bias and brainwashes its students into adopting it.

    I dunno, does "tends to broadens an individual's experiences" count as instilling a bias?

  •  see my sig (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bleeding blue, bontemps2012

    on why the establishment hates education.

  •  It's a side effect. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaurelCrown, asindc, Odysseus, MichaelNY

    The main reason they hate education is that it produces a well-informed and self-confident work force, one that's much too difficult to cow into underpaid submission. But it's a side effect they like.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 11:30:44 AM PDT

    •  The true sign that the GOP hates education, has (10+ / 0-)

      been their nonstop assault on primary school since the stealth campaigns in the 80s.

      They cannot "unlearn" the adults, but they can prevent children from becoming well rounded individuals due to a good, well grounded primary education.

      This is why their primary attacks on education have been mostly on introducing revisionist history into our Primary school text books, with a heaping of their personal brand of pseudo-science, and a complete makeover of social studies which in it's best form, teaches multi-culturalism.

      Their other assault on high edu has mainly been through For-Profit course work that targets active duty and veterans, which teaches the same concepts listed above, but in an adult tone.

      Accredited institutions dropped the ball on serious distance learning, especially with Active Duty people. For the longest time the only degrees offered across the board to deployed folks were MBA type degrees, leaving out History, Humanities, Political Science,  and Liberal Arts.

      The For Profit religious schools were more than happy to fill their vacuum.

      And here we are.

      •  Outstanding comment. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother, MichaelNY

        I agree in every respect.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 12:22:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I tried to do Distance Learning back in the 90s (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, sidnora

          while serving,  and if you weren't studying electronics, avionics, getting an accounting degree, an MBA or going to correspondence Bible Colleges, there wasn't anything for you.  You were S.O.L.

          •   I would add, things have changed since then, but (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, sidnora

            it was mostly For Profit colleges that filled in this vacuum, and that includes questionable religious schools pushing bad agendas. And sadly instead of serious Institutions setting a high bar for distance learning, they have all jumped through their own asses to bend low and make like the for profit colleges.

            It's sickening.

            •  Respected colleges and universities (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GreenMother, MichaelNY

              have a lot to answer for regarding this issue. It would be interesting to learn what their rationale was for turning their back on distance learning for so long. Was it a security issue (i.e., too difficult to monitor cheating, sockpuppetry etc.)?

              I understand that no computer course can exactly replicate being in the same room with the faculty member, but having sat in lecture halls with 500 other first-year students who were expected to be passive consumers of the professor's incredibly dry and dense talk on organic chemistry, no questions allowed until the lecture was over, I can't imagine that the online experience could be that much worse.

              "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

              by sidnora on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 03:03:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I can't imagine at this point that it would be (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sidnora

                anything but excuses.

                I wanted to learn. I still do. I felt incredibly let down by what passed for choices before I actually went to a real live college. And like you said, sitting in a huge class, no questions, all reading, and lectures. I can do that with a VCR pre-computer, and ordering books by mail.

                Now the screwed up part is, that the military encourages active duty people to take coursework from these questionable institutions. I say encourage, but it's really code for, if you don't, you don't make advancement because it shows a lack of initiative.

                And the military gives this credibility. The military builds this crap up to mean more than it does. Why? Because the hole had to be filled, and regular institutions of higher EDU drop-kicked that ball out of sight and out of mind. So in our wonderful capitalist society, someone stepped up to offer the service to others, that was seen as beneath traditional universities.

                We got GIs with government money in the form of Tuition Assistance burning a hole in their back pockets--so why not take that money!

  •  For the GOP, the dumber people are, the better! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaurelCrown, asindc, splashy

    Then they can more easily scare them and feed them with idiotic "common sense" populism that doesn't make any sense.

    That is a question of SURVIVAL for the GOP!

  •  To Complete the Picture, We Need to See (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaurelCrown, asindc, MichaelNY

    a breakout on the correlation of education among supporters of Romney.  Of course, it would be equally as interesting to see the breakouts of all the other parameters as well, to see how those distribute.  Gender and income, especially.

    With that in front of us, I think we might be able to draw some conclusions about the relationships of levels of education and other parameters to voting preference.

    So called "low information" voters indeed may be low education level voters. More affirmation of your premise.  Even from your diary we can see that ignorance is bliss for the aims of Republicans.

    Thanks for an enlightening diary.  You did a lot of good digging to produce it.  I appreciate your work!

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 11:54:59 AM PDT

  •  I always thought.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catwho, MichaelNY
    While you contemplate these possibilities, I will leave you with the opinions of one of the great thinkers on the other side of the aisle, who proves single-handedly that you can get all the way through law school without being the least bit intelligent.
    ...that if somebody had the horsepower to get through law school that they must be pretty intelligent.

    But when you look at the likes of Louie Gohmert, Michelle Bachmann, Virginia Fox, lawyers all, it kind of makes you wonder.

    "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

    by jkay on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 12:16:33 PM PDT

    •  Being able to remember to parrot facts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      Doesn't mean intelligence.

      Women create the entire labor force.

      by splashy on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 01:15:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  as a current law student (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jkay, catwho, MichaelNY

        I guarantee you one who is simply able to parrot facts may be able to graduate, but will have a hard time doing so.

        ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

        by James Allen on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 01:28:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Applying the law to facts... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          catwho

          ....has to be a rigorous scholarly exercise, I agree with you.

          There is by it's very nature going to be a lot of complex, multi-layered logic that must be used in the study and application of law.

          I think in the case of these people in the republican party, they have been indoctrinated from an early age in these strange worldviews and are just not able to break free from them for any number of deeply embedded psychological reasons.

          My pet theory is that many of these people are afraid of contradicting how their parents raised them, especially if that worldview is coupled with a very strong religious component. To toss out the foundation you've been brought up with requires a strong sense of self and not a little bit of courage.

          "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

          by jkay on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 02:15:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  there are different kinds of intelligence. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      too many people, MichaelNY

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 01:27:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They Hate Education for a Reason. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashy, Brian1066, Back In Blue

    The first Rule of a CULT is to Control access to
    Outside Information.  "Don't listen to Anyone But Us".

    College exposes young adults to a LOT of Diverse
    attitudes and Opinions. Mom and Dad aren't around to
    Force Conformity to Anything.

    For the First time in Life, you have to actually Think
    about things and Make Choices on Your Own.

    The Worst thing of All is SCIENCE.  People Learn HOW
    to do research on things called FACTS.

    When those people Graduate, they apply research and
    Facts to Everything.  OMFG !!!  Adults that Think !!!

    That's Definitely NOT what the Republicans Want.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 12:45:25 PM PDT

  •  The Right-Wing only attacks PUBLIC education (6+ / 0-)

    and have done so consistently ever since the classrooms were desegregated.

    Open Klan-style racism is becoming rare in this country. But the Republicans have successfully sublimated white racial resentment into a general hostility toward "Big government" - by which they mean the federal courts and agencies that enforced desegregation of jobs, schools and housing.

    Public Schools - and the property taxes that support them - became an object of animosity after the Amerikkaners pulled their kids out of neighborhood schools to place them in all-white "Christian academies".

    "Liberal College Professors" are feared and hated by conservatives because parents lose control of their offspring's thinking when they leave home for the university.

    Teacher's unions are vilified because they protect teachers from bullying and intimidation by parents who seek to police their children's thoughts.

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 01:14:15 PM PDT

    •  There's more to it than this (0+ / 0-)

      But I think there's a good deal of truth in what you're saying.

      I would remind everyone that it wasn't mostly Republicans who were objecting to desegregation in the 60s and 70s, however. Indeed, Republicans were indispensable for passage of all civil rights legislation in the 60s, and it was Southern Democratic senators who filibustered and Southern Democratic mayors who ordered the police to turn the hoses on the marchers. Things change.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 03:22:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  all conservatives believe education means spin (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashy, JAM11, imokyrok

    This is one thing I've seen common to financial conservatives as well as social/cultural conservatives.  There's no distinction between fact and frame in their minds.  They don't believe that reality has a liberal bias in the sense that they believe that bias (frames, value systems, etc.) is something that education - like the culture as a whole - has to go out of its way to cultivate.  To them, an education consisting only of facts is either unthinkable or useless.

    To a conservative, education isn't bad in and of itself; it's bad only when it refuses to dispense values, refuses to construct and apply narratives to reality, and refuses to mold students' characters, thereby producing nihilistic hedonists and layabouts ... better known as liberals.  Notice that, to a conservative, "values", "narratives", and "character" are assumed to be inherently conservative.

    To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

    by Visceral on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 01:20:45 PM PDT

  •  Colleges are all liberal, duh (0+ / 0-)

    They have their tired excuse about all of that -- those colleges are super liberal and plant their agenda into students' heads.

    Can't tell you how often I've heard that one.

  •  Comparing income vs education (0+ / 0-)

    It seems to me that what you would need to do to have a fair comparison of income vs. education would be to make your charts both ways.

    Specifically:

    I suggest making a version of this graph, except instead of having education on the x axis and income with the colored shapes, have income on the x axis and education with the colored shapes.

    I would guess that as income went up, we would see lower Dem support, but in each income group, more highly educated people would be more democratic.

    I think education makes people more democratic, but higher income makes people more Republican. The difficulty is that these effects coexist and cancel each other out to some extent, since better educated people tend to have higher incomes, and since higher income people tend to have better educations.

    Is that true?

    •  Here you go. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MattTX, Kimbeaux, MichaelNY
      You are correct in your understanding of the trends but the magnitude is different. Support for Obama increases by about 20 points as you move from high school to postgraduate education, within the same income bracket, and is a significant change. Support for Obama does appear to decrease somewhat as you move up the income scale, within the same educational demographic, but the change is not statistically significant and therefore may or may not be real.

      For example, among the college education white voters, support for Obama is 47±9 for <$30K, and 37±5. The error on these two numbers means we cannot be sure there is a real difference between them, although there is a nominal difference. For those with some college, there is not even a nominal difference (33% for both income extremes).

      We have to be careful about saying either education or income 'makes' people vote one way or another, though... for that you would need a study that follows people's political attitudes as their life circumstances change.

  •  They hate people who can THINK... (0+ / 0-)

    Very few  THINKING people become right wingers. Recall that Pol Pot had his people kill people who wore glasses because he feared readers...The right would love to do that here if they had the power, and believe me, they have wet dreams about that kind of power...If they could turn the US into North Korea, they would do it in a minute, so long as they and their rich owners were commanding the rest of us.
    They have NO IDEA what America is about, not at all.

    FWIW, College, Social Work, retired, low income, dog lover. guitar player.

    Retired AFSCME Steward and licensed gun carrying progressive veteran.

    by old mark on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 12:25:28 AM PDT

    •  North Korea? (0+ / 0-)

      Totally wrong paradigm. The right wing is fundamentally all about making huge corporations and multi-millionaires richer, at the expense of the poor, but not by abolishing corporations and making the country communist.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 03:25:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Spain under Franco or Germany under Hitler (0+ / 0-)

        are better 'paradigms' for the ideal Republican state. Fascist Spain lacked the religious fanaticism that the right here clutches to its bosom, and Hitler wanted to replace Christianity with a Nazified update of the atavistic pre-cultural religion practiced by the German tribes before they were conquered by the Romans. Otherwise, you're correct, fascism, not communism, is the model for the Republicans.

        Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

        by LongTom on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 04:42:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Franco's Spain did have a religious aspect (0+ / 0-)

          Catholicism was promoted by the state, and the Catholic Church promoted fascism. The Republic that was overthrown in the Spanish Civil War had been anti-clerical.

          The thing that's different here is that there's no likelihood that elections would be ended. So rather than out-and-out fascism, we'd have an increasingly corporate state, but with formal trappings of constitutional government still in place to whatever degree the ruling class found convenient.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 05:08:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Are you kidding? "no likelihood that elections (0+ / 0-)

            would be ended?" They had elections in Soviet Russia and Iraq under Saddam, too, and who can doubt that Republicans aren't trying to get to the point of sham elections. While Hitler did end elections after declaring a state of emergency, and considered dmocracy decadent, virtually every other fascist government at least did a feint toward holding elections.

            Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

            by LongTom on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 06:28:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

              When were there elections in Mussolini's Italy or Franco's Spain? Those are the two classic fascist regimes.

              "Sham elections" is exactly the point - to keep the sham of constitutional government while making it an empty shell.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 12:52:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Under Mussolini, there were sham elections for (0+ / 0-)

                Parliament in 1929 and 1934. Franco pretended to restore the monarchy, and so I guess he and Hitler are about the only fascist dictators who never held "elections."

                For you to say there's "no likelihood that elections would be ended" under Republicans is optimistic bullshit. Whatever elections are left under a Republican-dominated government won't be any more "real" than those under Mussolini or Brezhnev.

                Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

                by LongTom on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 09:47:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What part of my "sham elections" paragraph (0+ / 0-)

                  was unclear to you? It's irritating to get a response that purports to be an argument to a point I clearly didn't make.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 01:06:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Okay, so what IS your point? (0+ / 0-)

                    When you said there's "no chance that elections would be ended" in the US under Republicans, you were talking about BOTH real AND sham elections? The retention of sham elections isn't much of a comfort, is it?

                    Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

                    by LongTom on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 05:39:47 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No, it isn't a comfort (0+ / 0-)

                      Is this unclear? I'll clarify any point that isn't clear if you ask me to:

                      there's no likelihood that elections would be ended. So rather than out-and-out fascism, we'd have an increasingly corporate state, but with formal trappings of constitutional government still in place to whatever degree the ruling class found convenient.

                      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                      by MichaelNY on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 10:43:14 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  Says it all... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

    Nelson Mandela

    Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

    by Ellen Columbo on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 12:53:28 AM PDT

  •  polls must begin factoring talk radio- 15-15% over (0+ / 0-)

    the years say they get their news from talk radio and for 20 years a main talking point on talk radio has been to attack education, teashers, teachers unions, 'liberal' university professors, etc.

    . the eventual goal is to privatize ed, dumb down the population and increase the pool of well-disinformed votes.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 06:33:49 AM PDT

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