Things seemed much easier, politically that is, a few years ago. Living a sterile, upper middle class, suburban existence was simple. On voting day I would walk into the booth and punch the “Republican” straight ticket block and walk out.
Things became increasingly complicated when, despite well-intended warnings, I moved to Oak Cliff. My new “home town” was a very creative and diverse area and over the past eight years in O.C. I have met a lot of people, and many of them Democrats.
I admit I was a bit scared at first to be surrounded by so many liberals. After all, to be a Democrat you must be either an elitist or on the take from the system. But none of my new friends seemed to be the elitist type and to my utter amazement not a single one of them was a welfare recipient. How could this be? What in the world would make a productive, educated, middle class person become a Democrat? I found this a bit puzzling, but didn’t think much more about it until recently.
One afternoon as my wife and I were taking a walk I asked her why she thinks so many people here would be supporting Democratic candidates. I pointed out that the average home price was rather high in the area and a lot of people were self-employed and ran small businesses and that should make darn good Republicans out of them.
Her answer was simple. She said, “Democrats are cool, and the Democratic Party is the cool party.”
Wow, I was blown away. I have met many cool people who are Democrats, but I didn’t consider the Democratic Party to be in and of itself “cool”. After all, I would never accuse Ted Kennedy or Hillary of being cool.
All of this made me wonder exactly which party is the cool party? So I made a list of issues I think are cool, and the party I think is most aligned with each issue. Here is what I came up with:
I was surprised by my scientific study of political coolness in the United States. My results revealed that while Democrats are slightly cooler than Republicans, neither party is inherently cool.