Monday, November 22, 2010

UW Prof: You Are "Stupid"

The Madistan Oracle speaks through loosened bowels.

Political reporters often rely on University of Wisconsin political scientist Charles Franklin for expertise. In just the past few months, his insights have appeared in articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Associated Press, Politico, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, and many other publications. He's also a co-founder of the influential website, as well as co-director of the Big Ten Battleground Poll.

So Franklin answered with considerable authority when he was asked, at a recent forum on the November 2 election results, why Republicans emerged victorious in so many races. "I'm not endorsing the American voter," Franklin said. "They're pretty damn stupid."

That quote was inspired by an ex-TMJ reporter (doh), and led to another round of wailing and foot-stamping about the ChooChoo and RoJo.

If you're in SE Wisconsin you have no idea how much the Madison Intellectualoids are screeching about the ChooChoo, (which is a proxy for Governor Walker and the (R) Legislature.)

It's a good thing that the Intellectualoids are a tiny minority.


jimspice said...

What's your cutoff for stupid? It's like the old joke, 50% of doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class. There is a citizen out there somewhere who represents the absolute average, the "C" grade, middling intellect. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, brightest bulb on the tree, a few bristles short of a broom. Think Jay Walking. Now, realize that half the nation is dumber than that.

Dad29 said...

So in your book, the same "stupids" voted for Obama and the (D) Congress a few years before him.

Dad29 said...

And it's irrelevant.

"Voters" are designated as such by the States. I wasn't all that thrilled with the 08 results, but the voters are who the voters are.

In the end, the voters decided that Doylet's POLICIES were stupid--and the same goes for Obama's POLICIES.

jimspice said...

I'd like to think, and the stats would support me, that my side skews a bit more brainy, but yeah, we have our share of dead wood.

And I believe you are giving even the brighter voters more credit than they deserve. They were voting the economy, not policy. Ask a political scientist...oh, wait, you have that that whole distrust of academics thing. Nevermind.

neomom said...

Hey - didn't the New York Times even put out an analysis that showed that Tea Party supporters, on average were better educated than the general population? Pop! Goes the liberal bubble.

jimspice said...

Um, that would be expected? Education and political engagement/activism are highly correlated. No liberal worth their salt would call them stupid. Just wrong. By the way, here's a link to to the demographics section of that poll:

neomom said...

Actually many, many, many very prominent, not-so-prominent and intellectualoid and run-of-the-mill liberals have called the Tea Party stupid (among other things) over the past couple of years.

You must be an anomoly?

Dad29 said...

Bush: stupid.

Reagan: stupid.

Voters Who Vote Conservative: stupid.

Intellectualoids: one-word vocabulary.

jimspice said...

Relatively speaking, when your pool is only those that have risen to the highest office in the land, I think it would be difficult to argue that Bush was in anything but the lowest quintile. Do you disagree? Sure, he's smarter than the average American, but as I mentioned, that not really saying much.

Conservative voters? Stupid? No. But they are definitely voting against their own economic self interest, having been bamboozled by big biz and those that do their bidding.

Dad29 said...

Well, I don't have GWB's IQ measure in my desk drawer. Nor Obama's. One could easily argue that they are equals, by the way.

You seem to think that Conservatives "voted their pocketbook." I don't think so.

Conservatives voted the policy question(s)--ObamaCare, the 10th Amendment, and deficits.

Dad29 said...

And by the way: Insisting that the election was simply a pocketbook election is a sign of being indoctrinated by the Left's pundits.

jimspice said...

Well, it's been 15 years since I studied it in any depth, and recent elections may stray from the pattern (though I doubt it), but economics is the overriding factor in vote choice, but counter-intuitively, it is NOT pocket book voting. It is an individual's perception of the national economy. And for some reason, it's pinned to 6 months prior to the election. That's why I was predicting both chambers going R last May. Thank you T-Party.

Where do you and the Walker people get the idea that voters have suddenly become policy wonks?

Dad29 said...

So stuff like obscene deficits, ObamaCare (opposed by up to 68% of the country)....

...that had nothing to do with it?

I know about the 'economics' driver you mentioned, and I'm not willing to dismiss that out of hand.

At the same time, exit surveys seem to indicate that that particular driver was one 'among others,' specifically the deficit(s)/debt and ObamaCare.

I do think that the "Big Gummint" thing was not part of the equasion except for a relative few.

Dad29 said...

And today's news brings this:

New research findings add complexity to the basic assumption that humans act in their own economic self-interest. By analyzing hundreds of survey questions from 1952 to 2006, Peter Enns, assistant professor of government, and Nathan Kelly of the University of Tennessee found that as inequality rises, low income individuals' attitudes toward redistribution become more conservative.

Which, if true, means that it IS "policy."

jimspice said...

That article had nothing to do with voting.

Dad29 said...

Yes, BUT...

It had to do with (voter) attitudes toward POLICY.

One expects that attitude translates into votes, given the opportunity.