Monday, October 17, 2011

Pop quiz

Imagine you're standing in a house occupied by three humans and a handful of other pampered mammals.  Those humans are three adults, one of whom is a serious, staunch atheist, the other two are agnostics.  One has a PhD, has been a college professor and a particle physicist;  the second has an advanced degree in history; the third is a professional artist of some small (very small) success.  The artist is also partially disabled and mostly unemployable in the "real world" due to both physical and mental health challenges.  

They have all been teachers.

They have an extensive library in their home. They can quote extensively from many sources.  

Their families' bloodlines are of both European transplant and native North American backgrounds. 

They own no firearms.  They support the local arts.     Occasionally, when they can afford it, they take trips to distant cities to visit those cities' museums and galleries, or to attend a special concert or performance of an opera.  

Some of their closest friends are on the faculty and staff of the nearby college.  Others are professional artists and musicians.  

At holidays, their dining table has regularly welcomed persons from many different backgrounds, different ethnicities, different homelands. 

The family drives a car which, when it was new, averaged 38 mpg on the highway, and occasionally capped 42 mpg on long drives, with a good tailwind.  They have been proud of this economy. 

They share a garden with their neighbors, and preserve much of what they harvest. Their wardrobe is of natural fibers.  None of them wears cosmetics, uses hair spray or styling products.

In conversation in this house, it would not be unusual to hear the phrase, "the empirical data are indicative of...", or, "current research seems to point in the direction of...."

Their mean IQ is upwards of 150.

Now, the question:  what are their political leanings?

Would they show support for 
(a). the mostly-white, blue-collar crowd of the TEA party, demanding smaller government, or
(b) the mostly-white college graduates gathering in major cities demanding... whatever they're demanding at the moment?    "Gun-toting, Bible-thumping racist bitter clingers," or "self-absorbed, over-schooled, uninformed, filthy, hippie communist/union-useful-idiots"?

Be careful how you answer.  

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