Monday, January 24, 2022

Ignoring Purple

We talk about red states and blue states, but all of them are purple. We think of Massachusetts and Vermont as very liberal Democratic states, but both elect some Republicans. A state that goes 60% for a Republican is considered not only red, but strongly red.  DC is an exception, I suppose. We ignore this in nearly all our discussions, not only about national issues, but even local. I consider Concord to be very liberal, and it is - but that means 65-35 for Biden in 2020, 60-35-4 for Hillary in 2016, with the 4% going to the libertarian candidate. 

This has a direct application to covid discussions.  I see strong assertions that "parents" want their kids back in full-time school now. And that "teachers" are opposing this, or sometimes "administrators" are doing that. Yet when parents are given choices about what they want to happen for their particular children, some choose keeping them home, some choose sending them back, and some choose hybrid. Even at that, the parents are sometimes going against what would be their preference in a perfect world because of transportation, day care, juggling work, etc. There are plenty of teachers who desire that we all just get back to normal with five-day school. I will note that in those discussions masks do not figure prominently. The number of parents who consider masks abusive to their children is small. Nor do the children much care.  They find it annoying, but find rules about having to keep quiet here or there, or rules about devices, or having to stay in their seats for long periods to be a bigger deal.

There are administrators who want things to return quickly to status quo ante as well, who have loud opinions from all sides directed at them, as do the admins who are more cautious and protective, also subjected to impassioned insistence - not all of it reasonable - from parents and community.

I think of these things when I read someone who is asserting what "parents" want, as if that is some unified whole. Their credibility goes down fast with me.  It means that they only know a few parents, or none, or hang out on FB only with the like-minded getting each other incensed. Or perhaps they know people but don't really listen to them. Polling reveals divides. (And be careful of who is doing the polling and how they worded hings as well.)


bs king said...

Thank you. As someone who lives in a pretty darn blue state, I've been startled at the number of people who claim "blue states" are doing things we haven't had done here in in 20 months or more.

It would have been terribly hard, but I have often wished for a map of the US that shows where lockdowns or school closures are actually happening at any given moment, so people could get a sense of how normal or abnormal their local rules actually are.

Zachriel said...

bs king: I have often wished for a map of the US that shows where lockdowns or school closures are actually happening at any given moment

Earl Wajenberg said...

I frequent, a question-and-answer web site. Very, very often, I see questions about what "Christians" or "liberals" or "scientists" or "conservatives" or "Americans" or "women" or "men" believe. Fairly often, one of the answers points out patiently (or not) that these are large groups with wide varieties of opinion inside them.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Earl, you may remember James Ernest, Pastor Beth's husband and a PhD in NT studies. Brilliant, jolly, but somewhat irritable man. I asked him once about what the early church actually believes about pacifism. He hesitated, smirked, and said "If I asked you to describe what the 20th C Church believed about pacifism, what would you say?" When I paused, looking off to the side and nodding for a bit with a puzzled expression he said "It was exactly the same in the First Century.