Are Educated Republicans Stupider Than Uneducated Ones?

Chris Mooney writes at AlterNet:

Let’s face it: We liberals and progressives are absolutely outraged by partisan misinformation. Lies about “death panels.” People seriously thinking that President Obama is a Muslim, not born in the United States. Climate-change denial. Debt ceiling denial. These things drive us crazy, in large part because we can’t comprehend how such intellectual abominations could possibly exist.

And not only are we enraged by lies and misinformation; we want to refute them—to argue, argue, argue about why we’re right and Republicans are wrong. Indeed, we often act as though right-wing misinformation’s defeat is nigh, if we could only make people wiser and more educated (just like us) and get them the medicine that is correct information.

No less than President Obama’s science adviser John Holdren (a man whom I greatly admire, but disagree with in this instance) has stated, when asked how to get Republicans in Congress to accept our mainstream scientific understanding of climate change, that it’s an “education problem.”

But the facts, the scientific data, say otherwise.

Indeed, the rapidly growing social scientific literature on the resistance to global warming (see for examples here and here) says so pretty unequivocally. Again and again, Republicans or conservatives who say they know more about the topic, or are more educated, are shown to be more in denial, and often more sure of themselves as well—and are confident they don’t need any more information on the issue.

Tea Party members appear to be the worst of all..

Read more here.

55 Comments on "Are Educated Republicans Stupider Than Uneducated Ones?"

  1. I’ll watch these idiots jump off a cliff even as they drag me down, laughing the whole way.

  2. Anarchy Pony | Jul 13, 2012 at 7:28 pm |

    Corey Robin; The Reactionary Mind 

  3. Mickey Mouse | Jul 13, 2012 at 7:47 pm |


  4. DeepCough | Jul 13, 2012 at 9:08 pm |

    Educated does not mean “smart” or “intelligent.” Educated just means you did what your teachers told you to do.

  5. Here’s the problem with articles like this…

    For every case that this guy can bring up to prove that the right-wingers are “out of touch idiots”, the right-wingers can bring up a case to paint the left as “out of touch idiots”.

    Both groups make the same sorts of mistakes.

    In fact, a close look at this article is a case study in how “partisan” thinking can go so tragically wrong.

    Fucking amazing.

    • Anarchy Pony | Jul 14, 2012 at 12:19 am |

      Tis a fair crop.

    • Linsang811 | Jul 14, 2012 at 8:03 pm |

       Not really. It’s pretty much verifiable that the right is stupider and less educated than the left.

      • And yet somehow the Left still sees the Right as “The Establishment” which holds a majority of the power and is somehow able to continuously thwart nearly all of the Left’s noble efforts to liberate and uplift all of mankind.

        Sorta makes one ashamed to be a Leftist.

    •  The professional denialists aren’t fools they know exactly what lies they are telling. Same as the PR=B$ douche’s that try to flood forums, with references to junk journalists and junk magazines and junk scientists, with the same lying claims that the lies from the right are equal to the truth from the left or the even more insane idea that somehow science and truth are left wing politics and somehow equates to the lie, cheat, steal and kill mantra coming from the corporate right.
      One side tells the truth and is accused of being left wing political hacks and the other side, foaming at the mouth, rabid shit eating scum PR hacks paid to lie, well how gives a crap about their lies, they are paid to lie, paid to dress it up, paid to create false stories, paid to plant them in corporate mass media, paid to create PR=B$ (lies for profit) magazines, paid to create some of the most pathetic deceitful websites that do nothing but sell lies and paid to flood every forum with the most pathetic scum on the planet.

  6. Marklar_Prime | Jul 13, 2012 at 11:57 pm |

    Anybody who let’s a political party / ideology, left or right, think for them is a drooling idiot, Period.

  7. charlieprimero | Jul 14, 2012 at 12:48 am |

    Evidence of this guy’s stellar “education” is the fact that he doesn’t know what the word liberal means.

  8. if you’re not yet smart enough to eschew partisan politics
    then you’re probably suffering from an edumacation problem

    gaze at a Bell Curve for a while
    and you’ll find a huge mass of stupidity in the middle of the curve
    waiting to be herded by the partisan politician of their “choosing”

  9. Liam_McGonagle | Jul 14, 2012 at 11:25 am |

    This is really about morality.  The technical issues themselves are actually not that complex:  either you engineer your ethos to support a robust collective or a parasitic minority.

    But religion has abandoned its ostensible purpose of “linking together” the disparate threads of society into a coherent social contract, and instead taken up the propogation of a slave ideology to exclusively serve the interests of the “elites”.

    Having all the brains in the world won’t help you one bit if you use them to design a more painful suicide device.

  10. He’s got one thing right. Liberals love to argue- and they just have to – HAVE to tell you their point of view.  Whether you want to hear it or not. Its a mental disease.

     I remember being liberal and spouting my opinion at everyone in earshot. A lot of people just shook their heads sadly and walked away. 
     You know what conservatives really are- are liberals who have just come to their senses.

    • Liam_McGonagle | Jul 14, 2012 at 1:24 pm |

      Do you not feel the slightest bit of irony in proffering your own opinion?

      You just told us that in your opinion the definition of mental illness is offering an opinion.  I don’t recall anyone out there saying, “Hey, I really wish Jerry Alan Kimbro would give us his incoherent take on this issue.”

      Now I’m not saying you’re insane.  The possibilities of stupid or drunk should not be discounted.  But whatever the case, I’m sure I speak for the majority of regular posters when I say, “Thank you.  That was really funny.”

      • You are right. I did interject my opinion here where nobody asked. But in this case- I felt provoked. The article is very insulting to Republicans. I felt I had to respond. 

        • Liam_McGonagle | Jul 14, 2012 at 1:38 pm |

          Well, if Republicans actually responded to the substance of the criticism once in a while instead of saying something totally irrelevant and stupid, maybe someone would take them more seriously.

          • What is the criticism here? That republicans are really dumb?
            Well i responded to it- and i get smacked down for it.
            You are right- i should have known better than to argue with a liberal.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm |

             the really ironic thing is- you missed the irony.

          • I didn’t miss it at all. the article starts off calling Republicans stupid and then gets worse. How would you respond if there was an article calling YOU stupid?

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 14, 2012 at 3:52 pm |

            i’d begin by not comparing the offering of opinion to mental disease and then offering mine;)

          • That reply is a good one- except that obviously you have decided to attack me in every post- so it’s a pretty hollow opinion.
            So IF you are as unbiased as you claim- shouldn’t you listen to a person before you attack them by calling thugs, or drunks and mentally deranged? i’m just saying.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 14, 2012 at 9:54 pm |

            for the record i never called you mentally ill, nor a drunk. and i don’t listen to self-described republicans who lack empathy or character.

          • As you say, BUT… I don’t think I lack empathy- and i have plenty of character. People tell me i am one.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 16, 2012 at 12:43 am |

            a character in the vein of an ayn rand narrative is sorely lacking in characterisation.

          • Well the mention of Ayn Rand just trumps everything! You ARE a towering intellectual! Next: you’ll be quoting satre or camus or somebody.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 16, 2012 at 11:24 am |

            ahh sartre, now there is a proper writer. ‘l’enfer, c’est les autres.’

          • Next you’ll be quoting Nietzsche…

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 17, 2012 at 8:38 am |

            nah, the whole ‘ubermensch’ thing is really not my style. here’s one though,

            The mind of the perfect man is like a mirror. It does not lean forward or backward in its response to these things. It responds to them but conceals nothing of its own. So, it is able to deal with things without injury himself. – Zhuangzi

          • So what is the sound of one hand clapping?

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm |

            that’s Zen Buddhism, not daoism.

          • Like there’s a difference.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 17, 2012 at 8:58 pm |

            lol. a pretty big one actually.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm |

            you should be deeply embarrassed to admit that.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm |

            ignorant people generally aren’t ashamed of their ignorance. i guess republicans are just stupid no matter their level of education.

          • Ignorance can be fixed by education. But how do you plan to fix being so damned arrogant?

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 19, 2012 at 3:53 am |

            i defer to wisdom and experience. you lack the requisite wisdom and experience to be acknowledged.

          • Well that’s just rude. You know nothing about me. You won’t even take the trouble to learn. Just cut me down based on a few off hand remarks. It’s not only rude- its sad. You have the greatest tool for mass communication ever devised at your fingertips- and you only use it to insult people you don’t know and make yourself feel superior. You should be ashamed.
            You are not alone though, I have noticed all your peers on this website are guilty of the same anti-social behavior.

        • “Liberals love to argue- and they just have to – HAVE to tell you their point of view. ”
          “The article is very insulting to Republicans. I felt I had to respond. ”

          So where shall we start? Apparently only born again “koolaid” drinkers get the right to rebuttal something they feel needs to be addressed..

  11. JerWroten | Jul 14, 2012 at 7:31 pm |

    Maybe these Republicans aren’t actually in denial, they’re just RIGHT. lol

  12. I think being cynical is an important part of critical thinking. When you mix that cynicism with politics it seems to take on a dogmatism. Both sides of the political spectrum tend to entrench themselves in ridged points of view. For the liberal large corporations are necessary evils at best and the bigger they are the more certain we are that they’re having a negative impact on society. The conservatives view the government with almost the exact same regard. For the liberal government regulation and social programs are the only thing holding us back from complete social collapse. For the conservative government regulation and social programs are sapping all the strength out of our free market economy and have us on the verge of financial collapse. The reality is that our industry and government are in a fascist tryst that has liberals and conservatives running around in circles. Government doesn’t work because it’s totally co-opted by corporate interest and the megacorporations don’t work because of their parasitic relationship with the government.

    With the example of global warming, there’s every reason to be concerned that it’s going to be used as a gigantic profit making scam regardless of the veracity of the science. The back pressure created by all the conservative think-tank junk science that spawns the wall of conservative denial tends to make liberals too trusting of green initiatives. Meanwhile, the carpetbaggers are just waiting for that catastrophic break in the climate that causes everyone to panic and in the meantime are happy to see the whole situation mired in chaos.

    All sides have a great deal of unlearning to do and are inhibited by our own sense of intelligence.

  13. once ya have a degree there is no need to be intelligent, you have the diploma to back it up so there is no need to prove anything

  14. That’s like asking who is stupider, Dumb or Dumber

  15. Gregory Wyrdmaven | Jul 16, 2012 at 8:50 am |

    No, educated Republicans are not stupid.  They are cunning and conscienceless, qualities many progressives lack.  They know exactly what is really going on and so are able to get their spin right so as to convince the stupid conservatives that black is white and paper is plastic.

    It is fascinating that the Republicans the past four years have been able to blame the Dems for exactly what the Republican record is, while make conservatives vote against their best interests.  It’s tantamount to convincing someone who hates Adam Sandler that he should get an Oscar for his performance(s) in Jack and Jill.

    Fiat lux

  16. All credibility that you may have had is lost when you blame all of your crazy conspiracy theories on the GOP.  

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