Are you living in a right-wing social media ghetto like Scott Brown?

There was an interesting NYT bits blog post yesterday about the ability of researchers to tell the political leanings of people on Twitter by whom they follow. (link here.)

Much more interesting is the downloadable PDF showing rankings of national politicians, newsmakers, political organizations, and candidates.(link here.) So, for example, Scott Brown is to the right of all Democrats and several other Republicans, according to this scale.

(Read more…)

The larger point here is whether technology is making you a better Republican, or a worse one. If all of your online experiences are in the right-wing ghetto, and just make you more radical and less reasonable and less open to new ideas and less able to engage in debate with a neutral person, then your social media involvement is actually making you less effective as a Republican in a state where 89% of people are not in your party.

I don’t mean that we Republicans need to start following the tweets and updates of MoveOn or The Daily Kos, but that perhaps more non-partisan engagement, as well as productive conversations with the left, would yield a lot of benefits.

Is this all theoretical for people on this site? No way. Slowly, over the past six months, I have gotten to know some of the big names on RMG. With maybe a couple of exceptions, I would say this: you guys need to get out more and broaden the circle of people with whom you discuss politics. You don’t realize that by only talking to others on the right, you are believing and saying things you absolutely would not if you had better interactions with a more diverse group. (Examples? Sympathy for birthers, denial that global warming is man-made, nativism around immigration, over-the-top attacks of public employees, gay-bashing, a belief that America is going to put the CEO of the American Restaurant Association in the White House… I could go on and on.)

In a state of 11% GOP registration, hanging out with non-Republicans is not just a good idea, it is essential. Do it both online and offline.

About edfactor

  • Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno

    Yes I agree as a whole most of the activists that are Republican do need to expand their circle of friends in Massachusetts to include non-republicans and even those on the left.

    No I don’t agree that in order to do so we need to wholesale get rid of our principles.

    Anthropogenic Global Warming may or may not be happening. I’ve looked at research.  The problem is there has been no definitive link.  We on the earth have been both cooler and warmer than we are now.  0.5 C is not going to cause catastrophic changes that make the earth inhospitable.  It’s just not going to happen.  There are natural feedback mechanisms which help.  Skeptics are not neanderthaals.

    On immigration, being for LEGAL immigration is not nativist. It is for the following of the law.  I am a first generation American and the son of an immigrant that came here legally.  I hold dual citizenship with our northern neighbor.  I’m not a nativist. I believe our laws should be followed.

    Calling for public employees to pay their fair share of benefits, and to highlight the fact that their unions control democratic politicians is not over the top attacks. It’s the truth.

    Why do you dislike Herman Cain? He may not get the White House but what about his ideas or history disqualify him for the same?  

    Being friends with Liberals, talking politics with them? Yes.  Not standing on principles when doing so? No!  

    You aren’t talking about a conversation here, you are talking about surrender and there is a big difference.

  • You are correct – only 11% of the electorate are registered Republicans. Its really, really, really hard not to associate with Democrats. I come here precisely because it is one of the only places where I can talk openly with Republicans. The internet is the only place where I can do that.

    All I do is socialize and interact with liberals and Democrats. Whether it be family functions, dating, college, law school, work, socializing, everywhere I go I’m overwhelmed with liberals, progressives and Democrats.

  • geo999

    Scott Brown is to the right of all Democrats and several other Republicans

    Are you suggesting that is a bad thing?


    If all of your online experiences are in the right-wing ghetto


    I listen/watch 15-20 hrs of public broadcasting per week.

    I watch no cable tv, I read left, right and middle, and yes, I listen to talk radio as well. I stay informed.

    I find amusing, though not particularly creative, that in condescending, superior tone, a pretentious online boor deigns to judge the worthiness of my media choices by referring to some of my online resources as “ghetto”.


    you guys need to get out more

    And who doesn’t?  


    You don’t realize blah blah blah… you are believing blah blah blah…if you had better interactions..

    And who the hell are you, to presume what we “realize” and “believe”? The Amazing Kreskin? Dr. Joyce Bleeping Brothers?

    I stongly recommend that you lock yourself in a room and read this book.