The Atlantic's unwelcome discovery

I am filing this under "Be careful what you wish for."

The Atlantic Magazine may have used some of the money it saved by firing Kevin Williamson to commission a study on where the most prejudiced counties in America are.  Of course, the ultra-liberal magazine is now majority-controlled by Laurene Powell Jobs, the multi-billionaire widow of Steve Jobs, so it doesn't need to worry about its money running out.  

I can't help but suspect that the flattering but incorrect self-image of progressives as being tolerant and conservatives narrow-minded was behind the project.  But that's not how it turned out.  Two different articles (here and here) lay out the results with all the many assumptions and limitations that must be held in mind.  But this paragraph says a lot:

[T]he most politically intolerant county in America appears to be Suffolk County, Massachusetts, which includes the city of Boston.  In this part of the country, nine out of every 10 couples appear to share the same partisan leaning, according to the voter-file data.  Eight out of every 10 neighborhoods are politically homogeneous.  This means that people in Boston may have fewer "cross-cutting relationships," as researchers put it.  It is a very urban county with a relatively high education level.  All these things tend to correlate with partisan prejudice.

Suffolk County gave 79.5% of its votes to Hillary Clinton and only 16.5% to Trump in 2016.

Meanwhile, the most politically tolerant county is Jefferson County, around Watertown, N.Y., rated an entire article.  Jefferson County is Trump Country, handing him more than a 22-point margin over Madame Clinton, 58.2% to 35.9%.

Overall, the most prejudiced counties are "whiter, more highly educated, older, more urban, and more partisan" — the kind of places, in other words, where The Atlantic sells a lot of subscriptions.

I could have told them this for much less money.  When I began questioning liberalism and the Democrats (it took me until the 1980s), I immediately discovered after the first political meetings I attended that conservatives engaged in civil debate while, as a veteran of decades in Cambridge, Mass. and Berkeley, Calif., I was accustomed to subjects being dropped because they would only cause name-calling.

Needless to say, there are also conservatives and conservative counties that are prejudiced.  But this fairly formidable study is aimed at generalizations, and they do find that the same factors that lead to voting heavily progressive also seem to favor higher levels of prejudice toward those who politically disagree.

I guess the single best summation I can offer of the project that The Atlantic sponsored is that the people over there have literally "bought a clue."

I am filing this under "Be careful what you wish for."

The Atlantic Magazine may have used some of the money it saved by firing Kevin Williamson to commission a study on where the most prejudiced counties in America are.  Of course, the ultra-liberal magazine is now majority-controlled by Laurene Powell Jobs, the multi-billionaire widow of Steve Jobs, so it doesn't need to worry about its money running out.  

I can't help but suspect that the flattering but incorrect self-image of progressives as being tolerant and conservatives narrow-minded was behind the project.  But that's not how it turned out.  Two different articles (here and here) lay out the results with all the many assumptions and limitations that must be held in mind.  But this paragraph says a lot:

[T]he most politically intolerant county in America appears to be Suffolk County, Massachusetts, which includes the city of Boston.  In this part of the country, nine out of every 10 couples appear to share the same partisan leaning, according to the voter-file data.  Eight out of every 10 neighborhoods are politically homogeneous.  This means that people in Boston may have fewer "cross-cutting relationships," as researchers put it.  It is a very urban county with a relatively high education level.  All these things tend to correlate with partisan prejudice.

Suffolk County gave 79.5% of its votes to Hillary Clinton and only 16.5% to Trump in 2016.

Meanwhile, the most politically tolerant county is Jefferson County, around Watertown, N.Y., rated an entire article.  Jefferson County is Trump Country, handing him more than a 22-point margin over Madame Clinton, 58.2% to 35.9%.

Overall, the most prejudiced counties are "whiter, more highly educated, older, more urban, and more partisan" — the kind of places, in other words, where The Atlantic sells a lot of subscriptions.

I could have told them this for much less money.  When I began questioning liberalism and the Democrats (it took me until the 1980s), I immediately discovered after the first political meetings I attended that conservatives engaged in civil debate while, as a veteran of decades in Cambridge, Mass. and Berkeley, Calif., I was accustomed to subjects being dropped because they would only cause name-calling.

Needless to say, there are also conservatives and conservative counties that are prejudiced.  But this fairly formidable study is aimed at generalizations, and they do find that the same factors that lead to voting heavily progressive also seem to favor higher levels of prejudice toward those who politically disagree.

I guess the single best summation I can offer of the project that The Atlantic sponsored is that the people over there have literally "bought a clue."