Send this article to a friend:


Media Creates Caricatures of Political Parties. And People Believe Them!
The Daily Bell Staff

Political parties help us construct straw men of our opponents. They help us see our fellow Americans as opponents in the first place. They have us joining teams not because we like what they stand for, but because we hate what the other team stands for.

Pew Research Center poll from last year found that about 40 percent of both Democrats and Republicans belong to their party because they oppose the other party’s values, rather than because they are particularly aligned with their own party.

Or at least, we hate what we think the other team stands for. A poll asked Democrats and Republicans to estimate statistics about the other party. The answers we pure caricatures.

For example, Republicans thought that 38% of Democrats were gay. That’s about twice as many gay people as actually exist in the USA by most estimates. Actually, only about 6% of Democrats are gay.

Democrats thought 44% of Republicans made more than $250,000 per year, those rich bastards! Turns out, only 2% of Republicans earn that much.

Democrats’ estimates for the percentage of 65 or older Republicans was double the actual 21% of the GOP. And Republicans assumed there were four times as many atheists and agnostics in the Democratic Party than the actual 9%.

People also overstated the numbers of these stereotypical groups within their own party — Democrats thought 29 percent of their fellow Democrats were gay, lesbian or bisexual — but they weren’t off by as much as members of the other party.

In short, “the parties in our heads,” as Ahler and Sood write, are not the parties in real life.

This is especially troublesome because other data suggests that people actually change their views to fall in line with the party. If there was no party as a simple one-stop shop for your ideology, people would have to actually make informed decisions about each government policy. Or they would have to admit that they don’t know or don’t care–which is better than supporting something out of ignorance.

“The danger of mega-partisan identity is that it encourages citizens to care more about partisan victory than about real policy outcomes,” Mason told me. “We find ways to justify almost any governmental policy as long as it is the policy of our own team. What is best for America, Americans or even small children is secondary to whether our party’s team gets what it demanded.”

The study cited the media as driving these stereotypes. In fact, the more someone follows politics, the larger their misconceptions about the other party! This proves the media doesn’t inform, it misinforms. It creates stereotypes that drive a wedge between Americans. And then people conform to the mass media produced image of what they should believe.

Of course, another way to interpret the findings is that in general… people are pretty dumb.

Even in cases where these groups comprise just a sliver of the population, people report that these groups constitute upwards of 40% of the party they “fit.” And when people are given information about these groups’ shares in the population, the bias in their estimates doesn’t decline…

This is why it is so important to be an individual that actually thinks critically, not a party pawn.

You don’t have to play by the rules of the corrupt politicians, manipulative media, and brainwashed peers.

When you subscribe to The Daily Bell, you also get a free guide:

How to Craft a Two Year Plan to Reclaim 3 Specific Freedoms.

This guide will show you exactly how to plan your next two years to build the free life of your dreams. It’s not as hard as you think…


Anthony Wile is an active investor, business strategist and consultant, financial markets commentator, publisher and author. Having lived and worked in several leading financial centers around the world, he has established an international network of asset managers, banks, family offices and financial analysts, as well as institutional investors and securities firms.

As Founding Chairman and CEO of The Wile Group Ltd., Wile now provides consulting and strategic financial advisory services to select firms and individuals within this network. Anthony founded The Daily Bell and served as its Chief Editor until February 2016. He is the author of four books: Financial Freedom: The High Alert Way to Discover Winning and Profitable Investment Ideas, High Alert: How the Internet Reformation is causing a financial hurricane – and how to profit from it, and The Liberation of Flockhead. He serves as a director of Fundación PharmaCielo, which endeavors to assist rural Colombians through partnering with existing organizations and efforts to improve living conditions and expand opportunities.

[Most Recent Quotes from] [Most Recent USD from] [Most Recent Quotes from]

Send this article to a friend: