The video clip of Matt Gaetz-- and the smirking chimp next to him-- in the video that opens an earlier post should be enough to turn anyone off to the idea of interacting with self-identifying Republicans... tens of millions of Americans. And a Generation Lab poll published by Axios yesterday, shows that is the reality, at least among college students. These are the overall numbers:
But when you look at it more closely, you find it is Democrats who are-- sensibly-- repulsed by Republicans, not the other way round.
71% of Democrats would either definitely not (30%) or probably not (42%) date a Republican, while 31% of Republicans feel the same animus towards Dems. Similarly 37% of Democrats would not be friends with a Republican while just 5% of Republicans would not be friends with a Democrat. 30% of Democrats and 7% of Republicans would not work for someone who voted for the presidential candidate of the opposite party. 41% of Democrats and 7% of Republicans are inclined to boycott businesses owned by someone who voted for the presidential candidate of the opposing party.
"Democrats," wrote Neal Rothschild, "argue that modern GOP positions, spearheaded by former President Trump-- are far outside of the mainstream and polite conversation. Some have expressed unyielding positions on matters of identity-- including abortion, LGBTQ rights and immigration-- where they argue human rights, and not just policy differences, are at stake."
Women are more likely than men to take a strong partisan stance in their personal choices.
41% of women would go on a date with someone who voted for the opposing candidate, compared to 67% of men.
76% of women would work for someone who voted for the other candidate, vs. 86% of men.
Just 68% of women-- compared to 84% of men-- would shop at or support the business of someone of the other party.
Aside from the identity politics problem, would you want to be friends with someone embracing fascism and political violence? Someone buying into the psychotic, nonsensical and dangerous conspiracy theories, some being actively perpetrated by America's enemies, that are now more a part of the foundations of the GOP than Reagan, let alone Eisenhower, Dole, either Bush or Romney? Being around a Republican will warp your mind. I just asked my twitter followers-- so not necessarily college students-- one of the questions: "Would you be friends with a Trump voter?" As you can see, of the 67 who had voted-- as of a few hours ago-- over 85% would absolutely not (47.8%) or would probably not (38.8%).
This morning the NY Times ran an essay by Thomas Edsall, Trump Won't Let America Go, Can Democrats Pry It Away? 74,216,154 Americans voted for him? I don't want to waste my time with any of them. Edsall began with a couple of questions:
1- "Do you believe, as many political activists and theorists do, that the contemporary Republican Party poses a threat to democracy? After all, much of its current leadership refuses to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election and is dead set on undermining the concept of one person, one vote."
2- "If, as much evidence shows, working-class defections from the Democratic Party are driven more by cultural, racial and gender issues than by economics-- many non-college-educated whites are in fact supportive of universal redistribution programs and increased taxes on the rich and corporations-- should the Democratic Party do what it can to minimize those sociocultural points of dispute, or should the party stand firm on policies promoted by its progressive wing?"
One of the big thinkers Edsall contacted for answers was Yale political scientist Jacob Hacker, who told him that "There are powerful economic and social forces at work here, and they’re particularly powerful in the United States, given that it has a deep history of racial inequality and division and it is on the leading edge of the transformation toward a knowledge economy in which educated citizens are concentrated in urban metros. The question, then, is how much Democrat elites’ strategic choices matter relative to these powerful forces. I lean toward thinking they’re less important than we typically assume... [The Republican Party has become] particularly dangerous because it rests on an increasing commitment to and reliance on what we called “countermajoritarianism”-- the exploitation of the anti-urban and status quo biases of the American political system, which allow an intense minority party with a rural base and mostly negative policy agenda to gain and wield outsized power... Republicans can avoid decisive defeats even in the most unfavorable circumstances. There is very little electoral incentive for the party to moderate."
Edsall concludes with another question: "Has the Republican Party passed a tipping point to become, irrevocably, the voice of ultranationalist racist authoritarianism?" You want to be friends with any of that? You want to work for someone who's part of that? Date someone who supports it? I did once-- inadvertently. I suggested anyone with a weak stomach for racy stories stop reading right here. I met a guy in New York online one time-- nothing romantic, just sex. He came over my hotel and, unfortunately, we made some small-talk. Turns out his father was close with Giuliani, then mayor, and Giuliani had gotten handicapped parking stickers for the whole family. My date wasn't just a Republican; he was a racist as well and went out of his way to tell me how much he hated unions. He was a hot-looking closet case and I was horny. So insted of tossing him out, I tossed the lidocaine and lubricant away instead. (I warned you not to keep reading.)