For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Democrats and Republicans - Rhetoric and Reality
Comparing the Voters in Statistics and Anecdotes
  • Joseph Fried
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Democrats and Republicans - Rhetoric and Reality. Comparing the Voters in Statistics and Anecdotes
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Who are the Democrats and Republicans, really? Drawing on authoritative nationwide surveys and a wide range of quips and quotes, the author outlines the beliefs of Democrats vs. Republicans, and illustrates differences between Republicans and Democrats through details of lifestyles, ethics, intelligence, and achievements in a multitude of charts and statistics.

A recognized whistleblower who identified $2BN in false Social Security claims, the author pokes fun while poking holes in our prejudices about both national parties.  

The book opens a bottomless sack of political trivia and in the collage that emerges, readers find a surprising portrait  of  the voters and legislators. This work, the author says, is “an informative, fair, and constructive book that can broaden your understanding of Democrats and Republicans. Also, it’s pretty good if you just need some ammo for that next encounter with your brother-in-law.”


About the Author

Joseph Fried is an MBA and a practicing CPA specializing in governmental auditing, the audit of nonprofit organizations, and the peer review of other CPA firms. Fried is an expert in Social Security policy, and the waste, fraud, and abuse that are reflected in all facets of the program. He has published two books with Algora Publishing.

Mr. Fried serves as director of the Public Program Testing Organization (PPTO), an Ohio-based nonprofit organization that seeks to identify and eliminate waste in the governmental and nonprofit sectors. Working on behalf of the PPTO, Mr. Fried determined that several Texas school districts were illegally giving workers Social Security coverage in a scheme that will cause the government to pay over $2 billion to ineligible beneficiaries. The Office of Inspector General investigated these allegations and confirmed their accuracy and validity in a report issued in 2007. (See report at http://www.ssa.gov/oig/ADOBEPDF/A-09-06-26086.pdf.)

About the Book

Are Democrats more tolerant than Republicans? Are they more intelligent? Who spends more time at work and who spends more time watching TV? Why are Republicans happier? Who benefits more from Social Security? All of these questions, and many...

Are Democrats more tolerant than Republicans? Are they more intelligent? Who spends more time at work and who spends more time watching TV? Why are Republicans happier? Who benefits more from Social Security? All of these questions, and many more, are answered in Democrats and Republicans – Rhetoric and Reality. It uses authoritative survey evidence and statistics to compare the conduct and achievements of the Democratic and Republican constituencies.

Many of the findings are surprising. For example, Democrats and Republicans have different tendencies with regard to trust, self-esteem, "apparent intelligence," political knowledge, mental health, happiness, work hours, charity, and even body mass index. These general differences are quantifiable and statistically significant. The author principally relied on data from the General Social Survey and the American National Election Studies, rounded out by surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, the Gallup Organization, the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, Harris Interactive, and other organizations.

Although the book is aimed at the popular market, it has all of the supporting references and statistical significance of an academic work. Interspersed among the findings are quotations from pundits, politicians, philosophers, celebrities, fruitcakes, etc. Although some of this rhetoric is strident, the book's overall tone is objective – a refreshing alternative to the bombastic polemics we often see in modern political works. The last chapter comprises several constructive lessons that can be learned from the various Democratic-Republican comparisons.

This is the most comprehensive and authoritative book written about the constituencies of our two major political parties. It should be in the personal library of anyone who is interested in American politics.


Preface

Getting tired of books filled with political bombast and hot air? Here’s an alternative. Within these pages you will find no unsupported views, only comprehensive and objective information. Questions about the constituents of...

Getting tired of books filled with political bombast and hot air? Here’s an alternative. Within these pages you will find no unsupported views, only comprehensive and objective information. Questions about the constituents of America’s two major political parties are answered in a straightforward, thorough, and easy-to-understand manner. Much of the information is presented graphically. Most chapters have a theme, examining, for example, who pays more taxes, who is smarter, or who is the better citizen. The themes were not selected with the intent of making one political group look better than the other. Rather, they were chosen because they involve verifiable distinctions, distinctions which have two essential attributes:

• They relate to a person’s actions, achievements, or specific preferences not just general thoughts or wishes.

• They can be supported with credible evidence.

This concept can be illustrated with the following example: A verifiable distinction would exist if we had credible survey evidence showing that, during the last three months, Democrats were more likely than Republicans to give money to charity. A verifiable distinction would not exist if the evidence merely showed that Democrats were more likely to say that society should help the poor. In the former case we have a record of personal actions or achievements; in the latter case we simply have words.

The evidence in this book came from the survey results of large and well-respected nonpartisan organizations. Where possible, I used data from the General Social Survey (GSS) and the American National Election Studies (NES). GSS has been accumulating data since the early 1970s, and NES has been conducting its surveys since the early 1950s. Where more support was needed, I looked to surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press (Pew), the Gallup Organization, the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, Harris Interactive, and other well-established research entities. In some instances, conclusions are supported by non-survey evidence. This is particularly true with regard to the chapters on taxes and Social Security. In all cases, however, credible sources are used, identified, explained, and referenced.1 In addition to comparison data, you will find lots of rhetoric in this book.

There are numerous quotations from Democrats, Republicans, philosophers, comedians, pundits, actors, statesmen, and garden-variety fruitcakes. Some of this rhetoric will make you think, some will make you laugh, some will make you mad, and some will make you wince. There was no particular method (or objectivity) used in the selection of rhetoric; I simply chose the quotations that felt right to me.

No doubt some people will hate the book and feel it is mean-spirited, biased, or both. In anticipation of this reaction, let me give a brief defense. No matter how careful we try to be, comparisons are never completely fair, and one side (or both) will probably be slighted. Nevertheless, it would be a dull world if we did not make comparisons. More importantly, comparisons are needed to promote greater understanding and to facilitate progress in our lives. How else do we learn how the other guy thinks, and how else do we identify shortcomings so that solutions can be achieved? Speaking of solutions, Chapter 12 is filled with constructive lessons that, in my opinion, can be learned from the comparisons made throughout the book.

Have I been biased in selecting and presenting the comparison data? I hope not. I am not a political pundit; I am a CPA who has strived to present quantified information in a clear and balanced manner. This is a very transparent work, with sources and methods described in detail. Almost all source information is publicly available and, in nearly every case, relevant statistical information is provided. If a reader believes that I have erred, I hope he will contact me via the publisher so that the appropriate correction can be made.

Finally, I’d like to discuss a matter of potential controversy: the use of the Democrat–Republican paradigm. Some may wonder why this book makes comparisons based on party identification rather than political ideology (e.g., liberal versus conservative). I compare Democrats and Republicans because party identification is where the “rubber hits the road.” In America, most of us support a candidate — with time, effort, money, or votes — based on his identification with one of the major political parties. In this manner, our political feelings are connected to tangible action of some sort. This is not true with regard to our ideological identifications such as “liberal” or “conservative.”

In addition, the term “conservative” can be very misleading because it is not well understood. How many people realize that, during the last 35 years, 25 to 50 percent of all self-identified “conservatives” have been Democrats? And, how many realize that Democratic conservatives and Republican conservatives are as different as “night and day”? More discussion of these matters is found in Chapter 11 and in Appendix E.

I believe this is an informative, fair, and constructive book that can broaden your understanding of Democrats and Republicans. Also, it’s pretty good if you just need some ammo for that next encounter with your brother-in-law.


More Information
Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 2010. Interview with Toshihiro Yamanaka.

Intriguing and iconoclastic — there's no other book like it.

Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 2010. Interview with Toshihiro Yamanaka.

Intriguing and iconoclastic — there's no other book like it.

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Pages 374
Year: 2008
LC Classification: JK2271.F75
Dewey code: 324.273—dc22
BISAC: POL015000 POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Political Parties
BISAC: POL008000 POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Elections
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-603-1
Price: USD 24.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-604-8
Price: USD 33.95
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ISBN: 978-0-87586-605-5
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