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.
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.