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What can shake progressive priors? Not the electorate, apparently.

The liberal package is much harder to shake by parts.

Party Animals: Asymmetric Ideological Constraint among Democratic and Republican Party Activists

Existing literature shows that Republicans in the mass public demonstrate greater ideological inconsistency and value conflict than Democrats. That is, despite a commitment to the conservative label and abstract belief in limited government, Republican identifiers' substantive policy attitudes are nonetheless divided. Conversely, Democrats, despite registering lower levels of ideological thinking, maintain relatively consistent liberal issue attitudes. Based on theories of coalition formation and elite opinion leadership, we argue that these differences should extend to Democratic and Republican Party activists. Examining surveys of convention delegates from the years 2000 and 2004, we show that Democratic activists' attitudes are more ideologically constrained than are those of Republican activists. The results support our hypothesis and highlight that some of the inconsistent attitudes evident among mass public party identifiers can be traced to the internal divisions of the major party coalitions themselves.

Ideological Consistency, Political Orientation, and Variability Across Moral Foundations

We conceptualized ideological consistency as the extent to which an individual's attitudes toward diverse political issues are coherent among themselves from an ideological standpoint. Four studies compared the ideological consistency of self-identified liberals and conservatives. Across diverse samples, attitudes, and consistency measures, liberals were more ideologically consistent than conservatives. In other words, conservatives' individual-level attitudes toward diverse political issues (e.g., abortion, gun control, welfare) were more dispersed across the political spectrum than were liberals' attitudes. Study 4 demonstrated that variability across commitments to different moral foundations predicted ideological consistency and mediated the relationship between political orientation and ideological consistency.

This is consistent with the view that the liberals occupy just one level (#6, green) of Graves' levels of existence.

by das monde on Tue Oct 30th, 2018 at 12:40:14 PM EST
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