Where are the patriotic Democrats?

According to Harvard scholars, they weren't at the Fourth of July parades.

Yes, Harvard did a study on Fourth of July parades and politics, which have probably always gone together but…not quite in this way. Seems they’re attracting, and creating, Republicans.

A new Harvard University study finds that all this July Fourth red-white-and-blue stuff — the parades and floats, the fire engines and soldiers, flags, fireworks, hand-over-the-heart stuff — actually helps create more Republicans.

Worse, it also energizes that crowd to participate dutifully in politics and vote in upcoming elections.

Worse? Why is that worse? Oh, because they’ll vote Republican.

These July Fourth believers are then more likely to indoctrinate their own future children into the GOP Even worse than worse, the study finds the political impact of childhood patriotic participation in July Fourth events is permanent. As in, once-a-GOP-leaning-July-Fourth-observer-always-a-GOP-voter.

This is interesting. Really. It’s so blatant.

Survey evidence also confirms that Republicans consider themselves more patriotic than Democrats.

But, if Democrats consider themselves patriotic, why do they avoid these proud and festive celebrations of Independence Day?

One explanation posited by the study for these effects is that “Fourth of July is a day that provides a context for the celebration of an American civil religion organized around flags, parades and the Constitution” and that “while these values need not be partisan … the political right has been more successful in appropriating American patriotism and its symbols during the 20th century.”…

“According to this interpretation,” the study continues, “there is a political congruence between the patriotism promoted on Fourth of July and the values associated with the Republican Party.”

With little exception.

The researchers report that for each sunny July Fourth in childhood, a 40-year-old is three-quarters of a percentage point more likely to be a Republican. They found no such correlation among Democrats.

From all this data, we can only surmise there were an awful lot of rainy July Fourths back when those 2008 voters were children.

Arianna Huffington puts this all in perspective.


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