Yale Professor Stunned to Learn That Tea Partiers are Smart

The grades are back, and the professor was shocked to learn that the “smart” kids aren’t nearly so smart as the ones he had pegged as imbeciles.

It doesn’t happen too often that a dyed-in-the-wool liberal has the tenacity, skills or attention span to actually question his own assumptions and admit that they’re wrong.

But that’s what happened in the case of Yale psychology professor Dan Kahan, who conducted a survey of political affiliations and scientific literacy.

Kahan found that not only are members of the Tea Party knowledgeable about things scientific, but they are more scientifically literate than most of the population.

What makes Kahan’s research most noteworthy, however, is the rare honesty with which he discusses his findings.

“I’ve got to confess, though, I found this result surprising,” Kahan said. “As I pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I’d be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension.”

Kahan’s comments also support the notion many Tea Partiers hold that liberals base their opinions mostly on what the liberal media tell them.

“But then again, I don’t know a single person who identifies with the Tea Party,” Kahan admitted. “All my impressions come from watching cable TV — & I don’t watch Fox News very often — and reading the ‘paper’ (New York Times daily, plus a variety of politics-focused internet sites like Huffington Post & Politico). I’m a little embarrassed, but mainly I’m just glad that I no longer hold this particular mistaken view.”

Kahan might have saved himself some time if he had referred to a 2010 study, published in the New York Times that found Tea Party members were smarter and wealthier than the average.

If liberals like Kahan ever bothered to attend a Tea Party event, they would find that Tea Party members are bright, engaged people who are concerned about this country’s future based on their detailed knowledge of history, economics and politics. So it’s no surprise Tea Partiers ace science tests as well.

Still, you can lead a liberal to facts, but you can’t make him think.

Kahan, in his original posting talking about his findings, turns right around and dismisses his figures as “trivially small,” and he rushes to reassure his liberal readers, “Of course, I still subscribe to my various political and moral assessments–all very negative– of what I understand the ‘Tea Party movement’ to stand for.”

Maybe Kahan will continue to be honest and explain what part of lower taxes, constitutionally limited government and free markets — specifically — he finds morally repugnant.

 







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  • patriotusa2

    Professor or not, I find his assumptions about tea partiers to be ridiculous. Tea party is just a name for a conservative group of people, just as those with his political leanings are called liberals. What he actually believed was that people who didn’t adhere to his political way of thinking, had to be dumb, uninformed and a lot of other negatives. Professor Kahan should get a very low grade for his stupid assumptions which amount to nothing more than arrogance and a lack of common sense.

    • shagphil

      That is “spot on” and well said!

      • patriotusa2

        Thank you.

    • Ray Mason

      Sorta like the view that we Tea Partiers have of liberals. Of course we are right. Ray

      • LeSellers

        The difference is that we are surrounded by progressives/liberals/communists and they control huge parts of our lives. Like it (or them) or no, we know many.

        As the “good professor” noted, he doesn’t know any of us. His “information” about freedom lovers is limited to what the Left-stream media deigns to publish, and, hence, all of it is bad (and wrong).

        He says that even though we admits being both wrong and embarrassed about being wrong, he still hold TEA Party members in disdain, and, I’d bet, he still has not met one.

        Mr. Magoo O’bama, will there ever be any Jobs?

      • patriotusa2

        To tell you the truth, Ray, although I have disagreed passionately with liberal ideologies and hated their stupidity concerning their political views, I’ve never considered the entire lot of them to be all intellectually vacant. Albert Einstein is just one example.

        • Ray Mason

          Patriot you are most correct, I was being facetious. Thanks for the reply. Ray

        • patriotusa2

          No problem. Even if you didn’t agree with me it would not have mattered. We’re all entitled to our own opinions, but thanks for your reply, Ray. It was thoughtful.

        • gestr

          I think Einstein would disdain liberalism today. He was not an immoral man. He was staunchly monogamous, and believed in God.

        • patriotusa2

          Yes, I think you’re right. Although he did have a reputation for being liberal, his philosophies weren’t as rabid as the liberals in our day. He did believe in God, too, very passionately.

    • jsmithcsa

      While you are right, at least he came to the realization that he was wrong and admitted it. Many of his ilk will not do so.

      • LeSellers

        He still doesn’t know any of us, though.

        Too embarrassed, perhaps.

        Mr. Magoo O’bama, will there ever be any Jobs?

      • bbarnicle

        …or if you’re Sharpton…”elk”

    • Frank_O

      The professor gets his news from the liberal MSM & it seems he never put forth the effort to search the internet for other sources of news & other points of views. So the information set he used to form opinions were totally skewed. He basically discovered that he himself had been “dumbed-down” (in the sense of having a severe lack in his information set) & brain-washed by the MSM. Tea Party supporters must get their information someplace other than the MSM, so they tend to search the internet more for other information & compare alternate points of view more often because anyone that searches the internet for real news will come across these alternate points of view.

      • patriotusa2

        I agree, Frank.

      • michael

        Hmm! You two support my conclusion that his left leaning bias turned into something similar to a self fulfilling prophesy.
        It appears that he does not like the light that his research briefly shined on his biased assumptions, so he is doing the equivalent of stuffing old rags into the chinks in his mental armor to shut out any illuminating thoughts.

    • Robert Lande

      No, he asked a question and had the courage to report his findings honestly. Most on the left would have swept it under the table and moved on, like the left and the government has done with the government’s own study which showed that the Head Start program did not work even though we have spent approximately $200 Billion on the program. The study found that after the first year of school, there were no measurable differences of the Head Start children over the control group. As Obama noted just this week, the problem with big government is that it is just to big and doesn’t work. We should encourage more candor on the left. It would be refreshing.

      I am disappointed though that he did not change his view of Tea Partiers even after he had determined they were smarter than what he had thought. You would have thought that his findings would have given him the incentive to investigate further- maybe by watching FOX. Maybe he is not smart enough to be a Tea Partier. After all, he is at Yale.

      • patriotusa2

        “As Obama noted just this week, the problem with big government is that it is just to big and doesn’t work.”

        I find that statement from Obama to be the epitome of hypocrisy on his part considering that he has expanded government much more than any other president that I’m aware of, and is always toting his ambition for bigger government in many different venues. Yes, it was good that this professor didn’t sweep his finding under the rug like so many others on the left would do, but I still say his assumptions were silly and biased to assume that someone who didn’t share his liberal mindset could actually have any intelligence. It’s just as bad as me saying that only conservatives are intelligent which we all know isn’t true.

        • Robert Lande

          I agree with you. You would think that the professor would learn from the results of his own experiment. I love it that Obama is now blaming the website disaster on big government. Unfortunately, the irony of this will be lost on the left. Like the professor, the left has an uncanny ability to ignore facts that don’t fit their leftist views.

  • jsmithcsa

    There are many myths about the TEA Party — I’m glad to see one die here. Now if we can kill the myths that we’re all old, hate-filled and Republican, we’ll be making some progress.

  • mikeledo

    People who are really smart don’t need a study to know they are smart.

  • madman

    His problem is he reads Left wing newspapers & web sites as well as their networks which portray the Tea Party as stupid.

    • LeSellers

      That’s just one part of his problem. The real issue is that he doesn’t know anyone in the TEA Party. (He seems proud of that fact, too.)

      Mr. Magoo O’bama, will there ever be any Jobs?

      • Robert Lande

        Whatever happen to the left’s cry for diversity?

  • Steve

    I would be surprised to find any professors who are “smart”

    • Robert Lande

      Maybe some are smart, but very few are wise.

  • BigUgly666

    Welcome to the Real World, Kahan.

  • Americans Wake Up

    “Still, you can lead a liberal (Democrat) to facts, but you can’t make him think.”

    Love this line! Added my own twist to it.

  • noweareman

    Why are we to assume anyone from Yale (or any other ivy league indoctrination center) is smart

  • babsan

    To me it shows how “stupid” the Liberals/Commies actually are

  • bbarnicle

    I remember years ago talking to a liberal church friend who was going on about how stupid George Bush was and how smart Gore was. I told them that Bush’s college grades were higher than Gore’s – she could check the transcripts. She believed me, but she looked like someone who had just been told there was no Santa Claus. Facts really mess them up.

    • ronald54321

      Since liberals don’t believe in original sin and advocate immorality, they are not Christians in the first place.

  • mhammo

    The interesting thing is I have yet to see or read exactly what liberals “negative assessment” of Tea Partiers are. What specific issues do they disagree with Tea Party supporters?

    Do they think government is too big? Do they think the government needs to spend more? To go further into debt? Need more broken government programs? Need less freedom?

    I really wish they would start to articulate exactly what they disagree with.

  • mogul264

    I like that phrase:
    “Still, you can lead a liberal to facts, but you can’t make him think.”
    I would like to borrow that, if you don’t mind!

  • ronald54321

    Nothing is as stupid and ignorant as a stupid, snotty egghead.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenneth.bowman.773 Kenneth Bowman

    Perhaps there is hope for this particular liberal.

  • LittleMoose

    For a “smart” man he seems to depend on a liberal press to get his news, doesn’t make much sense to me. Maybe he should read the Tea Party Platform, it may prove interesting reading.

    TEA PARTY PLATFORM

    Preamble:
    The Tea Party Movement is an all-inclusive American grassroots movement with the belief that everyone is created equal and deserves an equal opportunity to thrive in these United States where they may “pursue life, liberty and happiness” as stated in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.

    No one is excluded from participation in the Tea Party Movement. Everyone is welcomed to join in seeking to achieve the Tea Party Movement goals, which are as follows:

    1. Eliminate Excessive Taxes
    2. Eliminate the National Debt
    3. Eliminate Deficit Spending
    4. Protect Free Markets
    5. Abide by the Constitution of the United States
    6. Promote Civic Responsibility
    7. Reduce the Overall Size of Government
    8. Believe in the People
    9. Avoid the Pitfalls of Politics
    10.Maintain Local Independence
    That sounds a lot more American then what you read in the New York Times.