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I am a former middle and high school science teacher pursuing a doctorate in Science Ed. at George Mason University, with a concentration in cognitive science and the evolution of cognition and learning. Postings on this blog represent my own views, not those of my employer or school. All writing displayed on this page is original work unless otherwise noted, and thus copyrighted.

15 April 2010

They're more bigoted too...

NY Times says that Tea Party Backers are wealthier and more educated than the population as a whole... I think this article bears examination.
Firstly, this was determined by a phone survey, which included a whopping 1500 people (ok, almost 1600), which calls into question the validity of any of the data based on sample size and how representative the sample actually is of the American people. I'll be fair, and pretend that these issues don't exist for the sake of argument:
According to the survey, about 18% of the population supports the Tea Party movement, stemming from the bailout and continuing into resistance of Obama's health care initiatives. There's nothing cited in the article to substantiate the headline, whatsoever, so we're left to take the author's word for that. If it proved true, it would lend some credibility to the assertion that this is a class issue more than anything else (Yes, Jacqueline Holman, it means I'd have to agree with you on parts of this, since that's where the evidence lies). I'm inclined to buy the first half of that thesis, based on the selfish greed that drives the whole "I don't want to share my money with people who didn't earn it, even if it keeps them alive" sentiment behind the Tea Parties. I'm not terribly inclined to accept the better educated aspect, as it also cites that those people involved in the movement tend to be older Americans, who, quite frankly, didn't need to be better educated to compile the wealth that some of these people have. It could just as easily be a function of the good old boy networks, particularly since 80% of the people who identified with it were white males, and 98% were white.
Some of the other numbers are equally interesting... such as that 25% of them think that Obama is favouring blacks or the 90% that think America is headed in the wrong directtion. This reeks, unfortunately for those involved, of "I don't want teh Black as POTUS". Too far you say?

They are more likely than the general public, and Republicans, to say that too much has been made of the problems facing black people.

Some of the other quotes are rather telling as well:
“I just feel he’s getting away from what America is,” said Kathy Mayhugh, 67, a retired medical transcriber in Jacksonville. “He’s a socialist. And to tell you the truth, I think he’s a Muslim and trying to head us in that direction, I don’t care what he says. He’s been in office over a year and can’t find a church to go to. That doesn’t say much for him.”

Well, Kathy, you first need to support that initial statement with something, and then find some evidence other than his nonattendance of church to support the idea that Obama's a Muslim. Personally, it sounds a whole lot more like he doesn't believe much in terms of religion, particularly since he actually acknowledged nonbelievers in his inauguration speech. But you wouldn't think of that, because it's unthinkable to you that someone wouldn't believe in doG at all. What's more fun is the assertion that socialism and Islam are linked, because there's a complete lack of evidence correlating the two. In fact, I would argue that proper Christianity, that is actually based on the things attributed to their zombie lord, would be rather socialist, because many of those statements involve letting go of wealth and caring for your neighbours. (This might actually count as a point in favour of Xians, if they bothered to follow that part).

“The only way they will stop the spending is to have a revolt on their hands,” Elwin Thrasher, a 66-year-old semiretired lawyer in Florida, said in an interview after the poll. “I’m sick and tired of them wasting money and doing what our founders never intended to be done with the federal government.”

A revolt of 60-some year olds? Oh NOES... whatever will we do? Perhaps cut off their medical care, and let them die out?
Speaking of medical care, isn't it a bit hypocritical that people who are against socialised health care in any form (and this new act hardly counts) are the same ones who are crying "hands off my Medicare/Social Security"? Those are socialised programmes as well, and according to the Tea Partiers, worth the price that's being paid for them. I agree with them on the last point, it's the selfish sentiment of the first with which I take issue.

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