Bigotry from the right (a rebuttal)

This is a rebuttal piece to a story by another Viner called “Bigotry…From The Left” (sic) which, as of ~5am EST, has comments turned off so I can’t utterly destroy it in the comment area.

The crux of that hate filled slop is that the left are now supposedly the bigoted ones, a debatable smear based on a new Gallup poll (it seems conservatives have taken a break from insisting that all polls are biased and that polling isn’t real science, etc) which shows that “only” 72% of Democrats will vote for a Mormon for President.

That’s their proof that it’s really Democrats who are bigots, not Republicans.

What was left out of the “story” was the rest of the poll results, which showed that the three most bigoted replies came not from independents or Democrats, but from Republicans, just as you’d expect to see if all those supposedly false claims against the right are actually true.

And they are, per this very poll.

The lowest response of all was the 47% of Republicans who said they’d vote for a Muslim for President. That means about 54% — over half the party and tens of millions of people — would not vote for a Muslim presidential candidate. I think any liberal or independent would have expected a result like that, except maybe Juan Williams (now an employee of Fox News). From the bigoted right-wing outrage and opposition to Park 51 and other peaceful mosques in America, to the right-wing support for the NYPD’s disgusting anti-Muslim (note: not anti-terrorist really) surveillance program, American conservatives have become fevered in their hatred and distrust of Muslims generally.

How meaningful is it to talk about “bigotry from the left” when 72% of Democrats would vote for a Mormon for President, while only 47% of Republicans would vote for a Muslim?

Not very.

In fact, it’s downright pathetic.

But it actually gets worse for the right. The top three lowest responses in this poll all came from Republicans. While only 47% would vote for a Muslim for President, just 48% would vote for an atheist, and 56% for a gay person.

No ideology or party comes out squeaky clean. Democrats will only vote for an atheist at an embarrassing and shameful 58% clip, and independents are actually in the middle as being generally more bigoted than Democrats, but less bigoted than Republicans.

There are only a few instances where Democrats are worse than Republicans in head-to-head comparisons. Mormonism is one of them, although Gallup noted that Republican willingness to vote for Mormons has increased by 9 points since 1999, most likely because their 2012 Presidential candidate and only chance to win the fall election is a Mormon. Likewise, Democratic willingness to vote for a Mormon has decreased by exactly the same amount, about 9 points, owing to the 2012 GOP nominee being a Mormon.

Republicans were only more willing to vote for a Mormon by about 6 points prior, about the same gap that Democrats hold over Republicans when it comes to voting for women.

For the close and meaningless results, the difference on African Americans, A Woman, Catholics, Hispanics, and Jews are all within 5 points. The worst for Democrats there is -3 for Jews (odd since most American Jews are Democrats) and the worst for Republicans is -5 for a woman.

From there it’s a -18 drop for Democrats supporting a Mormon, and all downhill for Republicans.

Republicans are behind Democrats by -10 for an atheist, -22 for a Muslim, and -26 for a gay person.

Another important point that gets left out is how willing people are to lie in anonymous polls. Republican voters, for example, did not elect a single African American to Congress between 2003 and 2007. Almost all the African Americans in Congress are Democrats, and there are far more female Democrats in Congress than female Republicans. The Democratic Party nominated the first female to be Vice President in the 60s, while the GOP didn’t match that feat until 2008.

Let’s not even get started on the racism boiling over in the Tea Party.

If Republican voters are so willing to vote for women and African Americans, why don’t they? There are other reasons I’m sure, but the results of this poll and the results of most elections since reconstruction would seem to indicate that Republicans are lying their asses off about a few things here.

The three worst for Democrats:

Atheist: 58% would vote for one.
Muslim: 69%.
Mormon: 72%

The three worst for Republicans:

Muslim: 47% would vote for one.
Atheist: 48%.
Gays: 56%.

The full results of this poll tell the true story. Democrats, independents, and Republicans all have some bigotry problems, but the GOP has a lot more than anything else. And hatred is still pervasive and crippling in the Republican Party.

Update
I ran across a few things worth mentioning here while reading some of the comments left on the other story. One person pointed to this post and poll by Gallup from 2007 published/taken during the GOP and Democratic primaries. A series of polls from February, March, and December of 2007 shows significant Republican opposition to a “well-qualified Mormon” Presidential candidate early in the year, that gradually fell away as Mitt Romney worked his way through the 2007 GOP primary.

GOP opposition to a Mormon candidate was 30% in February of 2007, seven points higher than Democratic opposition, 21% in March (one point higher), and 18% in December for both parties.

In the last five years, Republicans have historically been more cool to a Mormon President than Democrats have, right up until the point that a Mormon Republican became a serious contender for their party’s nomination in 2007. It’s logical (and now proven) that Republicans have warmed up to Mormons even more the second time around. Yet Democratic opposition to a Mormon candidate today (28%) is still lower than Republican opposition in 2007, before Mitt Romney became a national player.

This provides significant evidence that Democratic opposition on Mormon candidates is unusually high today because the 2012 GOP candidate is a Mormon, just as GOP support being 20 points higher today than in early 2007. Perhaps the most important figure is the difference between late 2007 and today, because 82% of both Democrats and Republicans would have supported a Mormon candidate in December of 2007. The increase in support by Republicans since then is 8%. The decrease in support by Democrats is 10%.

It’s almost certain that the difference between the two party’s today is influenced entirely by the faith of the current GOP nominee, where otherwise support and opposition between the two parties would be identical, just as it was in 2007.

The other thing worth noting is that Mitt Romney easily defeated Democrat Shannon O’Brien for Governor in deep-blue Massachusetts in 2003, despite the state having large Democratic majorities in the legislature and the state being dominated by Democrats for generations. Romney ran on a platform of gay-rights and proclaimed himself pro-choice, but was still otherwise a fairly run-of-the-mill Republican, illustrating the willingness of Democrats to vote for Mormons that they feel share some of their political policies.

Paul Tenny

Paul Tenny

I'm not a journalist but I do it anyway. I cover elections and have interviewed television writers and producers.
Paul Tenny

Latest posts by Paul Tenny (see all)

Leave a Reply