So the other day I opened up the Globe and saw the story about how the census says that we are the most educated state in the nation, growing in our percentages of those with degrees every year.
Does this matter to our state politics? Oh, yes.
Because the powerful colleges and universities here are quite liberal, there is no question that the Democrats own the “educated” label here. (You can add in museums, non-profits, and the local chapters of PBS and NPR – all led by liberals.)
What have we got? Where are the organizations that are filled with Republicans that make us look smart? Other than a few small think tanks and maybe a trade association no independent voter has heard of, I can’t think of any.
What should we do?…
I think Republicans should start by taking this demographic problem seriously – it is probably a factor in why we don’t win in the cities anymore. As the state gets more and more educated, the problem will worsen.
I know there are some smart Republicans out there – I met a few the other night at the MassGOP Christmas party. (I was pleasantly shocked to be able to discuss the Federalist Papers with someone who was there! I had a good time explaining why I felt that many of today’s Tea Partiers would not have ratified the Constitution they claim to be so faithful to. Take that, Sarah Palin – you Anti-Federalist! Oh…have your staff look that word up for you.)
I think we should look for opportunities to put our brains up front. How? I think we should add some homework into our training of activists and candidates. (History, vocabulary, economics, philosophy, argumentation) If someone at the Grassroots Conference in February wants to buy me a drink at the cocktail hour, I will be glad to explain how these things can help campaigns. (Fear not – I am a young, zany intellectual, not a dusty old professor!)
We might also have some social events with an intellectual theme. (I will host one on history or economics if people are interested.)
I realize this post will strike some people as absurd. But I believe we must fight against the perception that Republicans get their information from Fox and talk radio, which get dumber every year, while Massachusetts citizens keep getting smarter.