Are Republicans Stupid?


Scientific Literacy and Verbal Ability by Fundamentalism and Party ID

Even vacuous Republican operatives masquerading as “journalists” are beginning to openly ponder whether Republicans are merely simpletons. While I would like to think this was the case, my research shows that only one segment of Republicans are know-nothing anti-intellectual numbskulls. This was a bit interesting, and unexpected. In my research on beliefs about same sex marriage I show strong influences of both religious beliefs and religious identifications and political beliefs and identifications on opposition to civil rights for same sex couples. This went counter to the prevailing logic that religious fundamentalism was the source of anti-gay bigotry among Republicans. I expected to find something similar here. But no. Republican identifiers, even after controls for age, race, gender, region, etc, are just as fluent with English and equally adept with basic scientific facts. However, they are pulled down by the fact that large proportions of Republicans are fundamentalist Christians–who have stunted vocabularies and retarded scientific literacy. If it weren’t for this, Republicans and Democrats would be quite equal in their intellectual capacities. The bottom line is that most Republicans understand science, they just don’t want it used to regulate their businesses, and they don’t want it taught to poor American people who might compete for jobs with their worthless offspring. In fact, they are LOVING this science gap with Asia, because it means that they can get much cheaper product, and not have to worry about the messy “human capital development” costs  which might cost them one of their vacation homes in taxes. No, Republicans aren’t stupid. They are simply using anti-intellectualism to attract fundamentalist voters who are too stupid to understand that they are being used.


6 Responses to “Are Republicans Stupid?”

  1. question about fundy Says:

    Fascinating. Is “fundy” here based on the Bible belief measure or identification with a conservative/evangelical/fundamentalist/sectarian denomination?

  2. sherkat Says:

    Yeah, this is biblical inerrancy fundy, which is highly correlated with sectarian identification. Above and beyond inerrancy, sectarians have smaller vocabularies and lower levels of scientific literacy, as I show in my 2010 SSR and 2011 SSQ papers.

  3. question about fundy Says:

    Thanks. And what exactly are these percentages referring to (I get what the green bars are…)? Are they mean percentage scores on the science and vocab tests? Or the percentage who “passed” these tests? Or something else?

  4. sherkat Says:

    this must be Conrad, eh? Afraid to show your trolling face…..That would be the percentage correct on the 10 point vocabulary score or the 13 point scientific literacy test. I guess I can expect this to be reworked on the Pew site with no attribution or citation to my publications….

  5. question about fundy Says:

    No, not Conrad. Not affiliated with Pew. Just found it really interesting and wanted to know the details. Not sure why asking questions is considered “trolling.”

  6. sherkat Says:

    Sorry, it’s not. The Pew people tend to lack creativity and look to my irreverent blog for inspiration–then they tack up something on their own site without attribution. Check out their marijuana legalization chart sometime…..then look at mine which was posted a few months prior….

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