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Centrists Find Politics Boring, Wish It Would Go Away
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Steve Sailer:

Centrists aren’t typically well-informed people who understand fully the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments of the left and the right. Centrists aren’t normally Mickey Kaus writing a ten-part debate with himself over whether to vote for Gore or Bush in 2000 (he eventually decided upon Gore).

Instead, centrists are more often people who find politics boring and annoying and wish it would just go away.

The GSS permits a testing of that assertion. The following graph shows political interest by self-described ideology. The survey asked respondents about their personal level of interest in politics with five potential responses ranging from “not at all interested” on the low end to “very interested” on the high end. Inverted from the survey for ease of comprehension, the higher the score, the greater the interest (N = 5,091):

Steve’s assessment is spot on.

Relatedly, moderates tend to be less intelligent than liberals or conservatives. Dumbest of all are self-described conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans, probably because many of them are just randomly selecting designations due to ignorance and a fear of being recognized for that ignorance.

GSS variables used: POLVIEWS, POLINT

(Republished from The Audacious Epigone by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Blogosphere, GSS, IQ, Politics 
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  1. I do not agree with this reasoning. This is self-reported data. We know that more intelligent people, in self-reported answers, more likely to subscribe IQ&genetics denialism, so genetics denialism must be The True Thing? Or something
    U.S. two-party system doesn't really offer much variants. Whether they vote a Rep or Dem president, they always bomb some country.

    >Centrists aren’t normally Mickey Kaus writing a ten-part debate with himself over whether to vote for Gore or Bush in 2000
    So are "libs" and "cons" too.

  2. Ann Coulter said that all elections are decided by people too stupid to know if they are liberal or conservative.

  3. I think the centrists are sensitive to external conditions.

    At this point, I cannot for the life of me see how it is possible for Democrats to deliver any improvement in any aspect of American life. All policy points bring decline. This is because they have become purely reactive against every improvement conservatives ask for.

    Arguably, the one they could try to offer is universal healthcare, I suppose, but only 9% of the population lack health coverage and all of the poor and old have it. Obamacare expanded the Medicaid rolls already, and there is limited scope for improvement. If Trump legalizes pot then what does the left do, legalize heroin?

    In an age of massive deficits, there is no money for additional social spending. Things like free college cannot be paid for.

    The new left in America wants increased crime, increased taxes, increased invasion, especially of the world's worst people, and war with Russia, and seek to destroy men, whites, religion and want to use SJW principles to destroy every corporation.

    Even if some weakly enlightened leftist understood that it is better to import immigrants from smart countries than dull ones, those aren't the ones being offered, to but it mildly.

    Can you think of any policy the Democrats have that would make things better and not blow up the deficit?

    Trump has managed to get the Democrats to oppose every good and productive government policy possible. He managed to squeeze blood from a stone, getting several percentage points of growth from an economy facing huge structural headwinds through deregulation and tax cuts. And now he wants to legalize pot.

    What improvement to the American people do Democrats have to offer? I am completely at a loss.

  4. Alliumnsk,

    Intelligence in the clinical sense, not necessarily the colloquial sense. Bruce Charlton's idea of "clever sillies" is relevant here.

    g wood,

    Ha, if the shoe fits…


    Health care costs are the big one. Premiums have shot up enormously for private employers over the last couple of years. Hell, I went from $30/week to nearly $200/week over that time frame and our corporate plan is a higher deductible one now than it was then!

    A severe market drop on the order of 2,000+ DJIA points between now and November could ping the external conditions radar centrists are influenced by.

    Finally, a mix of rage and cognitive dissonance could drive Democrat voters to push for House control in their unending desire to push the string that is the Fake Russia Collusion story.

  5. So, IQ tests on avg mean nothing or little about rationality if extreme-''liberal'' people, seems, more common among ''highly IQ people'' and definitely they are not the most rational ones.. Humans ''has been selected'' to be competitive so most about intelligence has been coopted to the competitive behavior and not to the intelligent behavior itself, even human intelligence evo is the increasing of holistic or general psycho-cognitive skills over hyper-specialized skills, the rule among nonhuman species.

    IQ tests don't measure reasoning in the real world AND about the most important facts, directly related with individual survive, which can be found in politics, in other words, the basis of intelligence or adaptation. IQ is mostly about chrystallized sect instead fluid, and when it is, again, it's not based on real world, so it's mostly predictive but not absolutely determined.

    A combination of ''common'' sense + constant moral and intellectual self-actualization is the best expression of what rationality in real time look like and majority of people are extremely sttuborn and specially about stupid thinking lines or point of views, why*

    Because this point of views express or reflects their own nature and their current adaptational state. Most people look like subconsciously dishonest and hyper-convenient.

    Most people no have have the habit of contemplative, self-corrective thought.

  6. Steve was only NOTICING what he wanted. His assessment is not Of course, Kahn does not state that he believes saying if you are moderate you are stupid; rather, he says, there is a MODEST link between IQ and political ideology. However, his data is from 2008, with no follow up studies. Moreover, Wordsum, as an IQ test and not a "proxy" for IQ, is very highly correlated with maternal education levels, so there is a serious and potential confounding variable issue.

    Furthermore, intelligence and politics have a complex relationship. In one study, “A recent proponent of this view is Rinderman (link is external) who argued that more intelligent people tend to have civic values that lead them to support political systems they believe will foster education and the growth of knowledge (Rindermann, Flores-Mendoza, & Woodley, 2012). Hence, according to this view, intelligent people tend to believe that moderate/centrist parties are more likely to promote their particular social interests compared to more clearly left or right parties. In support of this, Rinderman et al. cite findings from Great Britain and Brazil showing that people who expressed support for centrist parties (including centre-right and centre-left) had higher average IQ’s compared to those who supported more clearly left or right parties. An interesting finding from the study in Brazil was that people who had a political orientation at all tended to have a higher IQ than those who said they had no political orientation. This suggests that people who are more intelligent tend to be more interested in and informed about politics generally. It is worth noting that the average IQ’s cited for the various political orientations in Rinderman et al.’s study were all well within the normal range (an IQ ranging between 90 – 110 is considered “average”). For example, those who supported centre-right parties had an IQ around 105 whereas those who supported clearly left or right parties had IQ’s around 94.”

  7. His assessment is not "spot on".

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