I don’t know if Liberals are more intelligent than Conservatives…

October 1st, 2008

…but they certainly can sound more arrogant:

If you’re going to spend your days complaining how the media is supposedly liberally biased, cialis sale view then become a journalist. Ask yourself why those journalists happen to have (perceived) biases (for instance, are you seriously claiming that when they’re hired they’re given some kind of political litmus test?), and why so few conservatives are willing to do the legwork journalism on their own. What is it about journalism, in your mind, that is inherently liberally biased? Don’t just start with the assumption that it’s true. What is your hypothesis for why it’s true? And, in your opinion, why is it that these journalists, the people who are getting the information firsthand, directly from the sources, conducting the most research into topics as a group, happen to side with the left? Why are academics, another group constantly attacked by the right as being biased, the most educated in their fields, usually left of center? Why are scientists, yet another group constantly attacked by the right as being biased, who also happen to be incredibly knowledgeable in their fields, usually left of center?

CNN’s 2006 exit poll did show that 58% of folks with graduate degrees voted for Democrats that year compared to just 41% that voted for Republicans.

I guess that 41% was comprised entirely of the dumb graduate students.

Seriously, the “I’m Liberal, because I’m smart and know more than everyone else” meme’s got to end.

There are some very intelligent Liberals (Barack Obama, for example) and some brilliant Conservatives (George Will and Antonin Scalia come to mind). Neither political philosophy has a monopoly on intelligent adherents. There are many reasons people choose a political philosophy. I suspect that native intelligence and level of education may actually be two of the least important factors.

Besides, everyone knows the most intelligent folks are all Libertarians like me, but that’s a topic for another post. ;)

Entry Filed under: Blogs,Politics

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Simon Owens  |  October 2nd, 2008 at 12:11 am

    But still, my question still stands, what about the field of journalism inherently makes it a liberally biased profession? Your post essentially boils down to the “elitist” argument, which really doesn’t phase me. I don’t shy away from the E word.

    I’m just getting tired of the shrieking paranoia that is employed by the right, in which they approach any article written by a journalist as if it has all the validity of a manifesto written by a Kennedy conspiracy theorist. And I’m tired of the irrational logic that all opinions are created equal, and that somehow true balance is giving both sides the same amount of positive and negative coverage.

  • 2. Aaron  |  October 2nd, 2008 at 4:32 am

    Yet, it has been my experience that the majority of engineers (easily more than 50%) are conservative.

    My theory is that liberals are bad at math.

  • 3. Debunked  |  October 2nd, 2008 at 7:34 am

    I’m an engineer. I graduated with grades in the top percentages. I’m a liberal.

    To give an actual analysis of why the majority of engineers are conservative (which I agree with, though it’s probably like a 40/60 split): I think it’s because engineering programs are light on the liberal arts type courses. The programs don’t require many and many don’t have much interest in them.

    Philosophy, psychology, sociology, humanities, art, and so on. I took many of those, but I was already a liberal going into them and, thus, they interested me. Those types of classes tend to sway moderates and reinforce liberal perspectives of an intertwined social structure.

  • 4. grumps  |  October 2nd, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Umm, Elliott? You meant, “the most intelligent folks are all Libertarians as I am,” right? ;)

  • 5. elliot  |  October 2nd, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Damn if I know, Grumps.

    I was a lit major not a grammar major. ;)

  • 6. elliot  |  October 2nd, 2008 at 10:26 am

    I’ll come to your place and comment, Simon. It’s only fair.

  • 7. elliot  |  October 2nd, 2008 at 11:20 am

    I’m posting my comment from Simon’s blog here as well:

    I think you’ve got a couple problems with your post, Simon.

    1. 1.) The entire structure of your argument is a little odd. I’m not sure if you’re saying that there is no liberal bias in journalism or advocating that there should be.
    2. 2.) Causality. You imply that journalists and academics tend to be liberal because they are more informed and/or better educated. That would only be true if the people in those professions became liberals after becoming journalists or professors. It’s at least as likely that those professions tend to be more attractive to people who are already liberal.
    3. 3.) It’s not a surprise that academics tend to be liberal. People usually vote their own interest. Because academics enjoy high-paying jobs that are highly-subsidized by the government, it’s in their best interest to support a worldview that promotes more government rather than less government.
    4. 4.) The reasons journalists are liberal are less clear. I think a big part of it is a hangover from Watergate. That particular scandal set the tone for nearly every kid who went to journalism school for the next twenty years: Nixon was a Republican. Nixon was bad. Thus, Republican’s are bad.
    5. 5.) People tend to hire people who are like themselves. Once an ideology becomes dominant in a field like journalism or academia, it’s self-perpetuating.

    The undeniable fact is that most journalists vote for Democrats. The only question is whether or not they can keep that bias out of their reporting.

    Personally, I think they usually can. But after eight years of a very unpopular Republican presidency, I suspect that many journalists’ self-restraint has grown threadbare.

    On the other hand, once Obama wins (if he does win), I think the natural tendency of journalists to go after the folks in power will reassert itself.

    I’m not sure if I answered your question, Simon. If you want to rephrase it, I’ll be happy to try again.

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