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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Imagine Out and Proud Atheists Completely Dominating Public Discourse and Policy for a Couple of Years…

According to ThinkProgress recent polling discovers "The Tea Party ranks lower than any of the 23 other groups we asked about -- lower than both Republicans and Democrats. It is even less popular than much maligned groups like 'atheists'…" The poll goes on to point out that the unpopularity of The Tea Party is comparable to the unpopularity of the Christian Right. Given their overlap, this isn't exactly a surprising result. I daresay the numbers for white racists would also be, er, "comparable," and for similar reasons.

PS: I've been a cheerful nonjudgmental atheist for over a quarter century myself, and my point is certainly not that being an atheist disqualifies anybody from creating good policy (neither do I think it is a qualification on its own) but to expose just how weird it has been for such a marginal minority to shape our policy and discourse for so long.

3 comments:

bit said...

If you look at pages 11 and 12 of the survey, you'll find historical data (going back to 1992) on the percentage of people who self-identify as Republican, Democrat, and independent, and then liberal, conservative and moderate. While the Rep-Dem ratio has been about 25-35 historically, so has the liberal-conservative ratio.

In other words, 25% of Americans self-identify has Republican, but 35% identify has conservative; 35% identify as Democrat, but only 25% identify as liberal.

I wonder if that has to do with a certain stigma associated with that word. Likewise, the NYT article notes that the country has gotten more economically conservative over the last 5 years, but the numbers actual show an uptick in self-identified Democrats.

Lorraine said...

Yup, what this country needs is a generation-long period in which the C-word is a dirty word, Democratic (spell it right, asshole) primaries are liberal pissing contests, and Republicans defensively pander to the center. Until that is in place, my vote is "wrong track" in the "direction of America" surveys.

Dale Carrico said...

What's the C-word?