Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Enterprising Country Pundit

Your correspondent thoroughly enjoys Internet quizzes of various stripes. This one, however, is actually useful: Pew Research Center Political Typology I took it, and was surprised at the result. Most of these sorts of things tend to call me a social conservative. I'd certainly identify myself as a social, rather than an economic, conservative. What'd I get? Enterpriser. The results are reproduced below with commentary where deemed appropriate: Enterprisers represent 9 percent of the American public, and 10 percent of registered voters. Basic Description As in previous studies conducted in 1987, 1994 and 1999, this extremely partisan Republican group’s politics are driven by a belief in the free enterprise system and social values that reflect a conservative agenda. Enterprisers are also the strongest backers of an assertive foreign policy, which includes nearly unanimous support for the war in Iraq and strong support for such anti-terrorism efforts as the Patriot Act. Defining Values Assertive on foreign policy and patriotic; anti-regulation and pro-business; very little support for government help to the poor; strong belief that individuals are responsible for their own well being. Conservative on social issues such as gay marriage, but not much more religious than the nation as a whole. Very satisfied with personal financial situation. Assertive? Oh yeah. Heh heh heh. And patriotic, too! I love my Commonwealth and my country; I expect that all other citizens do likewise. I don't dig flag burning, speech or no speech. I do not, on the other hand, have "very little support" for government aid to the poor. I just expect these programs to be administered efficiently, with the constant aim of making their recipients capable of self-sufficiency where possible. Who They Are Predominantly white (91%), male (76%) and financially well-off (62% have household incomes of at least $50,000, compared with 40% nationwide). Nearly half (46%) have a college degree, and 77% are married. Nearly a quarter (23%) are themselves military veterans. Only 10% are under age 30. Well, I'm a male and I project a future household income (i.e. my own, since there is no Mrs. Country Pundit, alas!) of about $50,000 (see prior post). I've got a doctoral degree---the J.D. strikes back!---but I've never worn the national uniform. When the U.S. Navy hands out gray uniforms, festooned with silver code cylinders and decked out with red and blue squares over the left breast pocket, I will immediately rectify this. Lifestyle Notes 59% report having a gun in their homes; 53% trade stocks and bonds in the stock market, and 30% are small business owners – all of which are the highest percentages among typology groups. 48% attend church weekly; 36% attend bible study or prayer group meetings. Kim du Toit will kill me for saying this, but I don't have any firearms in the home. There's never been any money in the budget for one, so I don't. Not that I live in a high-crime area, though; anything that gets into my home will probably be incapacitated by something left near the door or otherwise in the floor. Can't rob me blind if you've broken your leg due to tripping over stuff. What's even better is that I can't be sued for malicious wounding or anything else like that. "Your Honor, my client was not aware that leaving nails welded into a jackrock laying around was an activity that would be hazardous to trespassers. Once he was given notice of this, which would be after Mr. Burglar broke and entered and subsequently was maimed for life by an accidental grouping of these jackrocks, he, my client, remedied the problem." (Yes, I know jackrocks are illegal in Virginia, and rightly so. Bloody union coal miners!) On the other hand, if someone wanted to give me a Henry repeating rifle or a Spencer carbine, plus a Colt Navy Model 1851 revolver, well, I'd be much obliged. Ah'm yer huckleberry, Mr. Burglar. I don't own any stocks; being broke and dumping everything into education tends to do that to you, and I don't own a small business. I know a few people who do, and no thanks. I do attend church on a---pardon the word choice---religious basis. I don't go to Bible study or prayer meetings though; that must've been what kept me from being a Social Conservative. Enh, whatever. 2004 Election Bush 92%, Kerry 1%. Bush’s most reliable supporters (just 4% of Enterprisers did not vote) Yes, I voted for Bush, but I certainly don't back all his policies and I'm not entirely fond of him, either. Party ID 81% Republican, 18% Independent/No Preference, 1% Democrat (98% Rep/LeanRep) Well, duh. That fits. Media Use Enterprisers follow news about government and politics more closely than any other group, and exhibit the most knowledge about world affairs. The Fox News Channel is their primary source of news (46% cite it as a main source) followed by newspapers (42%) radio (31%) and the internet (26%). I do not use the Fox News Channel as my primary source of information. I'd suggest that National Public Radio and the Internet serve as my primary sources of information. I don't have time for FNC's poorly produced and aesthetically unappealing tripe. "Ooh! Let's get together and shout at each other, or focus on Laci Peterson, or celebrity gossip! Fair and balanced!" No. Make of this what you will, and take the test yourself. Comments and results are, as always, welcome. I'm glad that there's evidence to shatter this ridiculous 50-50 Red State/Blue State meme; it's stupid, simplistic, and annoying. To steal a thought from General Kenobi, "Only the masses think in absolutes!" Tip of the Executor hat to the Cold Spring Shops

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