I answered this question In the U.S., are people with more education more likely to vote liberal?, and my answer contained multiple citations. The answer was deleted for lack of citations, which doesn't make sense to me.

1 Answer 1


I didn't delete it, but let's see what was wrong in the answer:

First, look at your so-called "citations" (which, except for one, were links and not citations):

  1. A SciAm opinion article, that suffers from theee flaws:

    • First, it's OPINION. Quoting an opinion article is not what people in science, usually consider "citation".

    • Second, while it tries as hard as possible to present this as overall problem, it then starts cherry-picking examples of being anti-science on the right, and furthermore, make judgement calls on which of anti-science behaviors (left or right) is more dangerous - frequently wrongly.

      For example, I have yet to see an example of a politician who believes in creationism - wrong as that belief is to me - actually inform their policy making (aside from sometimes - and rarely - insisting that creationism be taught in school, which is fully outmatched by the Left's teaching of 100 other unscientific things that somehow get ignored). In other words, the biggest "anti-scientific" mantra against republicans has nothing to do with actual politics or government.

      On the other hand, the fact that the liberals collectively have been ignoring the implications of game theory and evolutionary psychology (the former of which they are frequently more ignorant of than the supposedly anti-evolution right) to economics and politics, deliberately, gets zero mention, despite the fact that this ignorance underlies most of their policies and ideas.

    • More importantly, if you dig deep down, you will notice that on meta level, the article admits that the philosophical opposition to science is a liberal phenomena:

      Ironically, the intellectual tools currently being used by the political right to such harmful effect originated on the academic left. In the 1960s and 1970s a philosophical movement called postmodernism developed among humanities professors displeased at being deposed by science, which they regarded as right-leaning.

  2. A New York Times opinion editorial. Need I say anything else?

  3. An opinion article in Chronicles.com (by professor of history at the University of California at Los Angeles - clearly an unbiased observer).

  4. "The 2012 Texan Republican Party platform opposed the teaching of critical thinking in schools" link

    • First, while the link itself has accurate wording of the platform, you are committing a Fallacy of composition - Texan GOP is not USA GOP, and last I checked, GOP as a whole has no such opposition, in the platform or otherwise.

    • Second, you ignore the fact that the same thing - except much worse - happens on the left, such as liberal teachers punishing students for not being pro-Obama or god forbid criticizing him. That's a much worse application of opposing critical thinking than anything on the right.

    • Third, the opposition to OBE for a vast majority of people has nothing to do with being anti-science or teaching "critical thinking", and with it being a shoddy educational idea, or at rather a shoddy implementation. Y'know, thinks like "reform math", "constructivist teaching" etc. Yes, teaching kids that correct answers don't matter in math sure sounds to me like an idea highly beneficial to science.

Now, we get to uncited portions:

  • Republicans have long felt that higher education turns students into liberals. Do you have proof that what Republicans object to is "higher education" and not "liberal postmodernist non-science professors who are not simply overwhelmingly liberal but insist on indoctrinating students into that worldview, AND object to simply teaching STEM subjects as a majority of real curriculum"?

  • They are actually smart enough to see exactly why and how this happens. - this simply sounds incredibly condescending, if, ironically, ends up being quite true.

  • In 2012, too many things in the Republican "party line" don't hold up to critical thinking. [citation needed] [details needed - like WHICH many things and how important are they to party line?].

  • Republicans have recently opposed measures intended to help people in college and recent graduates - blatant misrepresentation. They opposed giving other people's money to people who by their own free will chose to take out overlarge student loans to pay of overvalued degrees that are not as useful to being employable as they were incorrectly assuming.

  • such as removing the banks from the middle of administering federal student loans and the student loan forgiveness program - first, "student loan forgiveness program" is euphemism for "steal money from people who loaned to college students that are rightfully theirs, to give money to college students because they yell louder than those who graciously agreed to lend them money". Second, what they opposed was giving the student loan administration to Sally Mae. Shocking, I know... unless you bothered looking at how Freddie Mac handled housing loans... or what Freddie ended up costing the taxpayers.

    On Oct 21, 2010 government estimates revealed that the bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will likely cost taxpayers $154 billion.

  • I suspect if you looked to see who voted for the law that makes it impossible to expunge student debt when you go through a bankruptcy, you'd find most of them were Republicans - yes, because Republicans are for those alien radical concepts like personal responsibility for one's choices in life and not stealing when your choices resulted in suboptimal results. Student debt - if you apply a wee bit of critical thinking - is slightly different from regular debt. In the former, much of it comes from taxpayers who did NOT have an option to reject loans to un-creditworthy students (I HAVE actually personally loaned money for college to friends... and I would never have loaned to the same exact friend if they chose a degree in French Poetry, or chose to go to expensive elite school with no scholarship; because the prospects of being repaid would have been much riskier. As a taxpayer, I don't have that luxury of choice).

  • 2012 presidential candidate Rick Santorum called Obama a snob for wanting all children to have the opportunity to go to college - No. He called Obama a snob for assuming that you aren't worth much if you didn't attend college, therefore everyone must. That's snobbish. A plumber who didn't go to college is worth a lot more to a society than a French language major (by an objective evaluation of comparing how much people in aggregate are willing to pay for each person's services).

  • Republicans... have an active disdain for opinions not formed out of thin air. Indubitably true. Because you think so.

  • Republicans... have an active disdain for opinions... handed to the holder by some right-leaning pundit. You are welcome to point out a single opinion I hold that was "handed to me by a pundit". What you are saying is in essence Republicans are too stupid to form their own opinions, everything they say is copy/paste from a pundit.

  • ...as if taking the trouble to inform yourself on an issue makes you less qualified to have or express an opinion. - No comment.

  • Republican politicians make a big deal of pretending they think theory means what it does in common speech - OK, I grant you that some evangelicals do this. First, you are confusing a subset for a whole set as discussed before. Logical fallacy. Second, as noted, none of them actually inform their mainline policies on the basis of that (admittedly, idiotic) view. As opposed to Democrat politicians, whose main policies exhibit startling disregard to knowing how evolution actually works - namely, the actual science behind it beyond "evolution proves Bible wrong" level. I'll leave aside the abovementioned point that the "these are equal theories" is a postmodernist liberal invention in the first place.

To top it off, your whole post is written with the strong whiff of "no intelligent person votes for republicans, only uneducated morons support them, and all smart people vote D". Somehow ignoring that in 2012:

  • People with no higher education at all voted for Obama 51%/47%

  • People with some college, 49%/48%

  • College educated, 47%/51%

  • Postgraduate, 55%-42%.

So somehow, those 42% of postgraduate-educated people voting for Romney disagree with your blanket assessments.

Now, if you look at my answer, a REALLY interesting experiment on whether it is "higher education" that makes people more liberal or specifically being exposed to American liberal professors: Immigrants from USSR (who as a demographics have 60% of population with 5+ years of higher education) vote for democrts consistently at 10% of electorate, and for Republicans, 65% to 90% depending on election, for the last 10 years. I hope you won't argue that they are less educated, less smart or less critically thinking?

  • 2
    Your whole answer is basically an opinion, and completely biased to boot. Politics, at its root, is opinion, so stating that people can't cite opinions in support of their political opinions is just silly. Is there someone official who didn't also have a deleted answer on this post who can answer this? Dec 25, 2012 at 18:26
  • 2
    BTW, I find your habit of downvoting questions and answers of people just because you disagree with their politics deplorable. Does this forum impose a penalty when you downvote, like StackExchange does? Dec 25, 2012 at 18:29
  • @AmyBlankenship - Downvoting on meta is covered in the FAQ. meta.stackoverflow.com/faq#vote-differences . Downvoting insulting low quality rants on main site happens because of low quality. You will notice that high quality posts of all sorts of political stripes and opinions don't get downvoted, for most part, so don't blame politics.
    – user4012
    Dec 25, 2012 at 19:24
  • @AmyBlankenship - also, my answer was deleted mostly because you and your answer started an avalanche of discussion, which is something mods highly dislike (for a reason). The official reason for not undeleting was that it answered a somewhat different question than the one asked, not low quality, since my "opinions" were actually backed by statistics.
    – user4012
    Dec 25, 2012 at 19:27
  • Hm, yes, it says that on meta downvoting is used to express disagreement, and doesn't answer my question about whether you get a hit to your reputation by doing it on the regular site. Still having trouble with careful reading... Dec 25, 2012 at 19:28
  • 3
    Downvotes on meta do not affect reputation, except on meta.stackoverflow
    – JKor
    Dec 26, 2012 at 3:47

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