Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Closing of the Republican Mind


The election of President Trump has coincided with a reaction among Republican voters against open-mindedness, open borders and an open society in general — not to mention a growing hostility to cognitive elites. Take a recent survey showing a fundamental shift in the attitude of Republicans toward the value of higher education. Between 2010 and 2017, the Pew Research Center asked voters whether colleges and universities have a positive or negative effect “on the way things are going in the country.” From 2010 to 2015, solid majorities of Republicans and Democrats agreed that institutions of higher learning had a positive effect on America. In 2010, Republicans were 58-32 positive and Democrats 65-22. For Democrats, this pattern grew stronger over time, reaching 72-19 in the most recent polling in June. That was not the case for Republicans, who flipped from positive to negative on college education.

   Robert directs your attention to this comment at the linked source;

soxared, 04-07-13 Crete, Illinois 22 minutes ago Mr. Edsall, I think that professor James Stimson has captured the Trump voter in the round. His analyses are not (I don't think) stereotypical, but typical. When he writes that "those who choose to go will be profoundly different from those who stay" he is describing the tribal insularity that has marked out rural America from time immemorial: us vs. them, "a highly selected group of people who faced economic adversity and choose to stay at home and accept it when others sought and found opportunity elsewhere." This could result, perhaps, from the unpromising and problematic quality of education in rural areas. Most people tend to know everyone else and deviations from the norms of their accepted societal behavior--thought or deed--mark them out as "other," even if they all share the identical tribal (racial) markings. They are, Professor Stimson continues, "fearful, conservative, in the social sense, and lack ambition stay and accept decline." They also see, from afar, "foreigners," "interlopers," "non-Americans," who enter the United States and succeed academically and, consequently, take from the natives what they deem as their tribal rights and entitlements. They now are what "was once mainstream America...now the residue of failed social mobility, when most have been mobile...these people should be Trump voters". So the bedrock of their support for Donald Trump is resentment based upon this premise: the world charged ahead and they stayed behind. Whose fault is that?
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