Human Events Blog

Harvard Study Says Independence Day Is Right-Wing Brainwashing

U.S. News brings us word of an important new Harvard study, which has concluded that Fourth of July parades are a form of right-wing brainwashing that “energize only Republicans, turn kids into Republicans, and help to boost the GOP turnout of adults on Election Day.”

“Fourth of July celebrations in the United States shape the nation’s political landscape by forming beliefs and increasing participation, primarily in favor of the Republican Party,” said the report from Harvard.

“The political right has been more successful in appropriating American patriotism and its symbols during the 20th century. Survey evidence also confirms that Republicans consider themselves more patriotic than Democrats. According to this interpretation, there is a political congruence between the patriotism promoted on Fourth of July and the values associated with the Republican Party. Fourth of July celebrations in Republican dominated counties may thus be more politically biased events that socialize children into Republicans,” write Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor David Yanagizawa-Drott and Bocconi University Assistant Professor Andreas Madestam.

This is an absolutely outrageous insult… to Democrats.  If “there is a political congruence between the patriotism promoted on Fourth of July and the values associated with the Republican Party,” it follows that these same patriotic values are antithetical to the Democrat Party.  Maybe they should lean on their friends in Hollywood to build up May Day, so they have their own summer holiday to compete with the Republicans.

According to the study, attending Fourth of July celebrations increases the likelihood of people younger than 18 identifying as a Republican by at least 2 percent, and raises the likelihood that parade watchers will vote for Republican candidates by 4 percent.  It also increases the chances that Fourth of July celebrants will vote by 1 percent.  These effects are said to be “surprisingly” enduring, with “no evidence of the effects depreciating as individuals become older.”

This is all terribly embarrassing for Democrats, but perhaps the Harvard study is over-estimating the American pride elements of our national holiday.  Remember, it was a Democrat President who said the Fourth of July “will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night!  We will not vanish without a fight!  We’re going to live on!  We’re going to survive!”

No, wait, that was a fictional character in the movie Independence Day.  Never mind.

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