Search This Blog

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Words and Politics

In our chapter on civic culture, we note that Americans tend to dislike the "socialist" label, and a new study from the Pew Research Center provides confirmation:

The rejection is far from unanimous, however. And the word "capitalism" gets a negative reaction from a substantial number. The latter finding may indicate another strain of American civic culture, namely a reformist distrust of concentrated power.

The study also confirms an observation in our chapter on political parties: Republicans and Democrats tend to have very different belief systems.
A large majority of Republicans (77%) react negatively to “socialism,” while 62% have a positive reaction to “capitalism.” Democrats’ impressions are more divided: In fact, about as many Democrats react positively to “socialism” (44%) as to “capitalism” (47%).