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Home > Blog > Do You Run Late? You Have Democratic Tendencies
Out of Our Minds
Tuesday, June 15, 2004 9:49 AM
Do You Run Late? You Have Democratic Tendencies
Anita Sharpe on Culture

David Brooks has a provocative piece in today's New York Times about 'the civil war within the educated class.'

Here's the gist: Professionals or 'knowledge-class types' -- architects, lawyers, teachers -- tend to vote Democratic. Managers, those who work in corporate America, tend to vote Republican. No surprises here.

But it gets more interesting when Brooks drills down into the personality characteristics that inform our choice of careers -- and candidates.


'Knowledge-class types are more likely to value leaders who possess what might be called university skills: the ability to read and digest large amounts of information and discuss their way through a nuanced solution. Democratic administrations tend to value self-expression over self-discipline. Democratic candidates -- from Clinton to Kerry -- often run late.'\n\n'Managers are more likely to value leaders whom they see as simple, straight-talking men and women of faith. They prize leaders who are good at managing people, not just ideas. They are more likely to distrust those who seem overly intellectual or narcissistically self-reflective.'\n\nRecognize yourself? Myers-Briggs anyone?


6 comments

John Nittolo - 6/18/2004 8:11:27 PM
Myers-Briggs...
As someone who tests out equally as an ENTJ and ESTJ I would like to say..phooey. Look, there are two kinds of voters- informed and uninformed. I am a school teacher and a business owner. We give people too much credit when we categorize them by according to their job or career. Think about it for a moment. Do you think or vote like all the people you work with? That is as valid as judging someone by their astrological sign.
By the way, I vote conservative.
Scott Palmer - 6/17/2004 7:23:38 AM
My site is humor-focused, and points out the trivialities I see in our online information stream, nothing more.

I don't think I was clear before. I agree with Sam's thoughts completely; after the first paragraph that is. My issue was primarily with the language of the article. No one likes to be stereotyped, but readers might more easily identify with one group or the other if they were presented in a different manner.
sam - 6/15/2004 7:19:33 PM
This from the guy who posts boycott Gillette because of RFID, come on now...next you will tell me about the brain-drain in the US due to outsourcing of our precious IT workers. I actually thought the article was very interesting, maybe not scientific fact but a fairly good thought anyhow.

I would agree from a general standpoint that there are tendencies for business people or other so called ‘knowledge workers’ to vote in certain ways. Although it’s a real stretch to say that republicans like pickups and straight talk and democrats prefer classical guitar and poetry or whatever…bizarre correlations. It’s mighty difficult to make such generalizations about any group of people, so why bother? It’s also difficult to argue the point that bush is a straight talker, in regards to the language he uses…never mind the WMD’s, that’s about the point he is making not the simplistic “straight talk� he apparently uses.

The “ability to read and digest large amounts of information and discuss their way through a nuanced solution?� I would have a difficult time finding a business professional that could not do the same; such is the problem with these generalizations. Maybe Mr. Brookes hasn’t spent enough time talking to businesspeople, or he is talking to the businesspeople that stopped doing the work so long ago that they now sound like the academics…oh what a mixed up world. Either way, it was a good effort…thanks for the discussion!
anita - 6/15/2004 6:38:14 PM
I thought that myself -- but what's interesting about this is David Brooks is a conservative (the Times's token conservative columnist.)
Scott Palmer - 6/15/2004 5:31:09 PM
Most articles such as this cite good and bad parts to each side. That way you can objectively look at one side or the other and say to yourself, 'Hey, I fit that one.' Given the above criteria, no one in their right minds would choose to see themselves as a Republican. Nobody wants to think of themselves as an anti-intellectual plodder. Any science included in the article is weakened by it's agenda.
Ty Moddelmog - 6/15/2004 2:24:33 PM
Straight-talking? WMD's?

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