Thursday, October 27, 2022

Politics and College

How people feel about university education is becoming one of the clearest divides between the parties in the US:

Since the late 1990s, college-educated voters have been moving towards the Democratic Party while voters without a college degree have become more decidedly Republican-leaning. . . . 

As this divide deepened, views on higher education became even more partisan. That has influenced how politicians talk about higher education, as well as their policy approaches to it. During his administration, Trump not only launched attacks on colleges, especially those he deemed elite — despite himself having graduated from the University of Pennsylvania — but began accusing them of spreading liberal propaganda. “Too many Universities and School Systems are about Radical Left Indoctrination, not Education,” he wrote on Twitter in 2020.

In the FiveThirtyEight/PerryUndem/YouGov survey 51 percent of respondents agreed with the idea that “a college education is the best way to get ahead in the U.S.” But agreement differed significantly by respondent’s partisan affiliations: Seventy-one percent of self-identified Democrats agreed while 37 percent of self-identified Republicans did.

Respondents were also asked a series of questions to gauge how they felt about higher education. Fifty-seven percent of respondents disagreed with the statement “college makes you lose common sense,” while 37 percent agreed. Of those who agreed, 65 percent planned to “definitely” vote for the Republican candidate in the upcoming midterms, while 12 percent of those who agreed planned to “definitely” vote for the Democratic candidate.

More than 4 in 5 Republicans agreed with the statements that “most college professors teach liberal propaganda” and “high schools are trying to teach liberal propaganda,” compared with 17 and 16 percent of Democrats, respectively. Those who agreed with one of these statements generally also agreed with the other (90 percent). There weren’t huge differences in how people answered these questions based on level of education (except for people with postgraduate degrees). Instead, it was partisanship that mattered.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” - Isaac Asimov