March 17, 2010

BUT THEY CAN DESCRIBE THEIR OWN NAVELS PERFECTLY:

Inside the Tea Party echo chamber (Tim Mak, 3/17/10, National Post)

[W]hen put together, the results reveal real insights about Tea Party perceptions. For example, they perceive a tax burden that is substantially higher than in reality:

1. Asked about how much the United States federal government takes out of the economy in taxation, the average Tea Partier approximation was around 42% of GDP, while the figure actually stands at approximately 31.5%.

2. Asked how much the typical American family earning $50,000 annually paid in income tax, the average guess was around $13,000. The actual tax bracket is 15%, which is $7,500 a year.

Further, the average Tea Party protestor was extremely pessimistic about the economy. 95% surveyed expressed the opinion that the country’s general economic situation is worse off than a year ago. Many said that they believed the economy would continue to deteriorate. [...]

Why, by proxy, did the Tea Partiers surveyed misjudge the health-care status quo? And why did they believe that ANWR is more of a panacea for the United States’ energy problem than it actually is?

Part of the answer is their lack of engagement with the mainstream media -– I was reminded many times throughout the protest of my sins as a mainstream reporter. Some protestors were outright hostile, condemning me as a member of the liberal media establishment.

Much like tort reform has become a rallying cry for conservatives hoping to stick a healthcare idea in the air, ANWR has become the cure-all for the United States’ growing energy requirements –- except neither are sustainable solutions for the future.

This may be because many Tea Partiers scorn traditional media outlets, instead focusing on the opinionized reporting of outlets they already agree with, such as WorldNetDaily, RedState and Fox News. This creates an echo chamber that exaggerates the benefit of small solutions like tort reform and hyperbolizes genuine problems like the tax burden.


"I know nothing."

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 17, 2010 2:06 PM
blog comments powered by Disqus
« NOW THAT'S POLITICALLY SAVVY: | Main | MAYBE RUNNING HARVARD LAW REVIEW ISN'T ADEQUATE PREPARATION?: »