Tag Archives | Liberals

Why Aren’t There More Republicans in Hollywood?

olivia wildeLeslie Gornstein a/k/a The Answer Bitch, E! Online’s resident question-and-answer columnist, asks disinformation author Ed Rampell for help with this question:

Just saw a new video with Olivia Wilde urging people to vote progressive, and it got me to thinking: Why is Hollywood so darned liberal?
Brenda, San Antonio

You speak of the MoveOn.org video featuring Wilde as a hard-bitten activist from the future who berates you—you specifically, thanks to some Facebook-aided personalization—for not voting in the upcoming election.

It’s certainly not the kind of message you’d see from, say, Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Here’s why:

Indeed, Wilde and Romany Malco, he of The 40-Year-Old-Virgin, jokingly warn that without your vote, President Palin will, among other things, declare an “ultrawar” against the Pacific Ocean and “whatever country Björk is from.”

Now, I talked to Ed Rampell, author of Progressive Hollywood, about this. Rampell offers three very interesting reasons why the entertainment business is so full of non-Republicans.

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Researchers Find a ‘Liberal Gene’

Chemical structures of representative D4-preferring ligands.

Chemical structures of representative D4-preferring ligands.

From ScienceDaily:

Appearing in the latest edition of The Journal of Politics published by Cambridge University Press, the research focused on 2,000 subjects from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. By matching genetic information with maps of the subjects’ social networks, the researchers were able to show that people with a specific variant of the DRD4 gene were more likely to be liberal as adults, but only if they had an active social life in adolescence.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter affecting brain processes that control movement, emotional response, and ability to experience pleasure and pain. Previous research has identified a connection between a variant of this gene and novelty-seeking behavior, and this behavior has previously been associated with personality traits related to political liberalism.

Lead researcher James H. Fowler of UC San Diego and his colleagues hypothesized that people with the novelty-seeking gene variant would be more interested in learning about their friends’ points of view.

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Peter Berkowitz: Why Liberals Don’t Get the Tea Party Movement

Another take on this disinfo.com post. Peter Berkowitz writes in the Wall Street Journal:

Highly educated people say the darndest things, these days particularly about the tea party movement. Vast numbers of other highly educated people read and hear these dubious pronouncements, smile knowingly, and nod their heads in agreement. University educations and advanced degrees notwithstanding, they lack a basic understanding of the contours of American constitutional government.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman got the ball rolling in April 2009, just ahead of the first major tea party rallies on April 15, by falsely asserting that “the tea parties don’t represent a spontaneous outpouring of public sentiment. They’re AstroTurf (fake grass-roots) events.”

Having learned next to nothing in the intervening 16 months about one of the most spectacular grass-roots political movements in American history, fellow Times columnist Frank Rich denied in August of this year that the tea party movement is “spontaneous and leaderless,” insisting instead that it is the instrument of billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch.

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Notes Toward a New Political Taxonomy

Noah Millman writes for the American Scene:

It has become clear to me over the years that one of the causes of persistent confusion in our political arguments is the interchangeable use of taxonomic terms that, while they may have a natural affinity, are not actually synonyms.

Three terms that tend to get used interchangeably are:

Left / Liberal / Progressive

Their counterparts on the other side of the political spectrum are treated similarly:

Right / Conservative / Reactionary

The shades of difference among the meanings of the words within the triads, however, are not minor. One can very well be extremely right-wing without being a reactionary in any meaningful sense — think of Ayn Rand. One can be extremely left-wing without being a liberal in any meaningful sense — think of Lenin.

I propose, therefore, to accentuate the differences between the words commonly lumped together, to clear up all ambiguities by assigning technical meanings to commonly-used terms, and thereby define a three-dimensional space within which political writers and thinkers could more clearly be pegged.

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Jonathan Haidt On the Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives

VIa TED: Are you a conservative who believes liberals have no moral values? Are you a liberal who believes conservatives have no moral values? Either way, you'd be wrong. Do you believe liberals have an unbiased grasp of reality? Do you believe conservatives have an unbiased grasp of reality? Again, either way, you'd be wrong. Watch as psychologist Jonathan Haidt tries to lead a group of (mostly) liberals out of their "comforting delusions" (his exact phrase) at the 2008 TED conference, and wonder how successful he'd be in front of a group of Tea Partiers.
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Liberals, Atheists Are More Highly Evolved?

Smarter people are more inclined to nontraditional values, a study suggests, reported by National Geographic:

Your apelike ancestors probably aren’t top of mind when you enter the polling booth. But a new study suggests that human evolution may have a big influence on whether you’re liberal or conservative—not to mention how smart you are, whether you believe in God, or whether you’ve got a cheatin’ heart.

It’s all linked to the evolution of intelligence, says author Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Kanazawa’s theory is that intelligence—particularly our ability for on-the-spot problem solving and reasoning—arose as an adaptation to deal with the unusual and unexpected, such as a sudden forest fire.

Since disasters like that are rare in daily life, responding to them wouldn’t likely be something our ancestors were hard-wired to “know” how to do. Surviving the fire required both the ability to think up a new behavior, and the willingness to try it out.

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Top 100 U.S. Liberals And Conservatives

Telegraph.co.uk presents its latest list of the 100 most influential conservatives and 100 most influential liberals in America a year after Barack Obama took the oath on the steps of the Capitol to become the 44th President of the United States:

The first lists, produced exactly a year before the 2008 election, sent then unprecedented traffic to the website and generated controversy that resonated on American cable television and talk radio for weeks.

Top conservatives: 81-100

Top liberals: 81-100

Since then, more than one political figure has approached us to inquire gently about what position they might occupy second time around. Some have cited their 2007 positions in publicity and biographical materials.

The difference between our new lists and the ones published last time reflect the unprecedented political and economic upheaval that has happened since then – as well as, we confess, some cloudiness in the Crystal Ball we used in November 2007.

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