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Peter Beinart in his 'Liberal' is Good piece for The Atlantic makes the argument that many conservatives self-identify as conservative even though they support both cultural and economic policies more aligned with liberal positions.

While Beinart goes on to discuss the psycho-social underpinnings of why this is so, my interest lies in the statistics underlying his article.  Namely, he cites a 2013 paper by Christopher Claassen, Patrick Tucker, and Steven S. Smith at the Department of Political Science and the Weidenbaum Center of Washington University in St. Louis in which earlier research cited indicates  between 1/3 and 1/2 of conservatives actually are liberals in all but name.

Beinart discusses the reasons for this so I won't go into them here.  You can read his article for his take.

What fascinated me is that while so many self-diagnosed conservatives are liberals in wolves clothing, the reverse is not true; those who identify as liberal actually subscribe to liberal positions.

The upshot for me being that we have a chance to liberate our closeted allies hiding behind the skirts of the conservative label by letting them know it's okay to come out and declare yourself a Liberal.  We should provide them cover and support as they transition into the light of Liberalism and welcome them home with open arms.

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Comment Preferences

  •  That would not surprise me. I am often taken (8+ / 0-)

    aback when people I know from work, volunteering, or church who have very similar values to mine, express support for Republican candidates.  They identify as Republicans even though they would not support most of what in in the GOP platform.

    I understand that some are racists, bigots, etc.  but that is not the case for many.  I attribute it to relatively low attention to politics and the tribe effect (GOP = economically successful businessmen) and the successful trashing of the Democratic brand (baby killing welfare queens).

    “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

    by ahumbleopinion on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 02:19:52 PM PST

  •  There was a lot of context provided... (5+ / 0-)

    but the basic premise was summed up in this sentence:

    Part of the reason Americans consider liberal an epithet, in other words, is because they mostly hear it used as an epithet.
    As far as I'm concerned, "conservative" should be replaced by "authoritarian". It's more accurate.

    One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

    by Darwinian Detritus on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 02:27:53 PM PST

  •  I think some of the reason why... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    some people say they are Republican even though they don't support their policies is that they look at Team Democratic and think, "the 'Others' are on that team. I'd rather be on this team with the 'normal' Americans," I really think it is nothing more complicated than that for some.  

  •  Party affiliation vs. socio-political labels.... (0+ / 0-)

    I've been saying in not so polite conversations with people for years, what do these quite often arbitrary labels mean in the first place? What exactly does that mean to be a conservative? Conservative about exactly what? Liberal about what? When and where is a conservative approach more correct? When and where is a liberal touch necessary?

    The average person is a pedestrian when it comes to politics, let's face it, you don't have to have a poli-sci degree to qualify that statement. I'm no expert either, I know I try a helluva lot harder than most people quite often straining my relationships with friends and even loved ones trying to inform them about KXL - fuck for years now already - and Fracking, and water in West Virginia, and the bees are dying and Timiluk deserves humane treatment and etc just trying figure out the goddamn ball of wax and how not to melt it down before gingerly passing it off to the kids who have no idea what they are in for. So in that sense I can tell you unequivocally that I know that isn't just something that those who identify with so called Republicanism are guilty of - not being awfully informed or involved that is.

    People regardless of party affiliation just can't be bothered 360 some odd days of the year. Partially it's not their fault, partially. They've got kids to over-medicate because they're to busy blowjobing their boss to keep their job so they can buy more cocaine so they can work harder so they can buy more cocaine from the company store because the company store is the only place they can get the medicine they need to over-medicate their kids who are traumatized because they saw them blowjobing their boss to pay for a tuition for a degree that's useless cause no one is hiring...

    Sorry I prefer blowjobing to blowing, come on it's just better....

    Seriously though, people don't have the time to shift through the barrage of ridiculous white noise misinformation about who to listen to when it comes to HR. 2323432742374623764236476 with a rider of 783435345845834 vetoed by a margin of 122/312 before sub-committee appointed by the Vice Chair Oversight on Ways and Means regarding The Acorn Methamphetamine rehab loan forgiveness Survey, that never actually happened because Benghazi because WMD because why again did we let Saddam loose on the Iraqi people back in the 90's? Oh right, because of Black people....

    Especially when they're too busy....okay I'll lay off the bj jokes.

    Certain Tea Party types love to wave the conservative flag while being incredibly liberal with their shadow pork PAC cocaine paste gun lobby junkets with West Boro Baptists protesting at the funerals of children, but only the black children because well, you know, NWA.

    And Liberals, for the most part at least, can be awfully conservative when it ...wait a minute if most conservatives are actually Liberals......

    Right so I've been saying in not so polite conversation with people for years.....

    "The 5 O"clock whistles on the clink, the whistle won't blow and whatcha think, my papas still in the factory, cause he don't know what time it happens to be."

    by Meurglys on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 04:33:08 PM PST

    •  Your conclusions agree (0+ / 0-)

      with the researchers suppositions that most people simply can't really say what is liberal and what is conservative at a policy level on a broad range of issues; that there self-identification hinges more on tradition and perception than any rational look at or knowledge of liberal / conservative policies.

  •  When I frequented gun forums online, (0+ / 0-)

    my sig line usually was - Another Liberal Veteran Gun Owner...

    Several times, I got private messages from others on those  forums saying they felt the same, but felt they could not post on such sites if their true beliefs were known...several even told me they were recent military veterans and thought they HAD to be conservatives if they had served in the military.

     One man in particular listed the physical attacks on those perceived as "liberal" or "gay" in his county in the Florida panhandle...including beatings and burning people's homes - known as "gay burnout". There ARE liberals in the red states, but many hide for their own safety.

    The right has far better publicity/propaganda than we do, and it does not take much to find "hiding" liberals.

    Bring me the head of Geraldo Rivera.

    by old mark on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 06:10:03 AM PST

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