Monday, July 4, 2011

Do Fourth Of July Celebrations Recruit Future Republicans?

Happy Fourth of July to all my readers. According to a recent Harvard study, “Shaping the Nation: Estimating the Impact of Fourth of July Using a Natural Experiment,” those of us on the liberal side should celebrate it with a new challenge in mind. The findings: Fourth of July celebrations attended in childhood increase the likelihood that one will become a Republican:

"The political right has been more successful in appropriating American patriotism and its symbols during the 20th century. Survey evidence also confirms that Republicans consider themselves more patriotic than Democrats. According to this interpretation, there is a political congruence between the patriotism promoted on Fourth of July and the values associated with the Republican party. Fourth of July celebrations in Republican dominated counties may thus be more politically biased events that socialize children into Republicans," [Harvard researchers David Yanagizawa-Drott and Andreas Madestam] write.

According to their research, attending one rain-free July 4 celebration before the age of 18 increases the likelihood that children will identify as Republican by two percent and increases the likelihood that they will vote for a Republican candidate by the time they turn 40 by four percent. It also increases the likelihood that young attendees will vote in elections by 0.9 percent and boosts the chances that they'll make political campaign contributions by three percent, the study claims.

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