How increasing cocooning hurts liberals

May 24, 2012
By

Michael Barone:

Journalist Bill Bishop, who lives in an Austin, Texas, neighborhood whose politics resemble [famously cocooned New Yorker fim critic Pauline] Kael’s, started looking at national data.

It inspired him to write his 2009 book The Big Sort, which describes how Americans since the 1970s have increasingly sorted themselves out, moving to places where almost everybody shares their cultural orientation and political preference — and the others keep quiet about theirs.

Thus professionals with a choice of where to make their livings head for the San Francisco Bay Area if they’re liberal and for the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex (they really do call it that) if they’re conservative. Over the years the Bay Area becomes more liberal and the Metroplex more conservative.

But cocooning has an asymmetrical effect on liberals and conservatives. Even in a cocoon, conservatives cannot avoid liberal mainstream media, liberal Hollywood entertainment, and, these days, the liberal Obama administration.

They’re made uncomfortably aware of the arguments of those on the other side. Which gives them an advantage in fashioning their own responses.

Liberals can protect themselves better against assaults from outside their cocoon. They can stay out of megachurches and make sure their remote controls never click on Fox News. They can stay off the AM radio dial so they will never hear Rush Limbaugh.

The problem is that this leaves them unprepared to make the best case for their side in public debate. They are too often not aware of holes in arguments that sound plausible when bandied between confreres entirely disposed to agree.

15 Responses to How increasing cocooning hurts liberals

  1. MikeN on May 24, 2012 at 7:07 am

    No cocooning on this site. Lots of diverse opinion as to who would be the best Senator, Joe Miller, Sharon Angle, Ken Buck, or Christine ODonnell.

  2. artist on May 24, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Liberals also love places that are mostly white.

    Odd, isn’t it?

  3. all nazis enjoy striking things out on May 24, 2012 at 7:39 am

    So you’re saying that the Left wants to stamp out what they disagree with?

    That’s a pretty bold charge to make, mister.

    I mean, it’s not like they go around squelching speech, is it?

    • ATTILA on May 24, 2012 at 9:06 am

      Try bringing a conservative to speak on a college campus sometime.

  4. anonymous un-RINO is a nazi on May 24, 2012 at 9:06 am

    So you’re saying that whenever anonymous un-RINO wants to project his love of nazis, he uses a sock puppet.

    That’s a pretty bold charge to make, mister.

    But true.

  5. give it a break, artist on May 24, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Liberals also love places that are mostly white.

    Odd, isn’t it?

    Not odd is that you have absolutely no proof in support of your statement.

  6. all nazis enjoy striking things out on May 24, 2012 at 9:19 am

    See, what did I tell you? The Left is pure. Not a word struck in this discussion. Not a single concentration camp victim liquidated.

    I mean, sure, they might WANT do do all that. They might be considering it. But they haven’t done it in HERE (yet).

    So relax.

    • anonymous un-RINO's sock puppets on May 24, 2012 at 9:56 am

      Why does anonymous un-RINO use sock puppets when he channels his inner nazi?

      • all nazis enjoy striking things out on May 24, 2012 at 10:00 am

        Of course, there ARE a few worthies around here who enjoy striking things out.

        They enjoy it immensely.

        It gives them pleasure.

  7. MikeN on May 24, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Liberals pretend to love minorities, but in places where they live, they do things to drive minorities out. Raising prices on their apartments and houses. Raising prices in grocery stores so liberals can shop in peace.

  8. ATTILA on May 24, 2012 at 9:53 am
  9. MikeN, not so bright on May 24, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Liberals pretend to love minorities, but in places where they live, they do things to drive minorities out. Raising prices on their apartments and houses. Raising prices in grocery stores so liberals can shop in peace.

    Yet you have no evidence in support of your statement.

  10. Bizman on May 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    “the liberal Obama administration”

    We’re supposed to take this “analysis” seriously when the author cannot even clearly recognize Obama’s position on the political spectrum…someone whose views and policies are well documented….as opposed to the imaginary Liberal who has no idea, allegedly, what Wingnut hate radio people and lying politicians say and so are ineffective in providing counter arguments.

    His prescription: Listen to Limbaugh more often.

    You must be frickin’ joking.

    • LibTURDS are swirling the drain on May 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      We’re supposed to take this “analysis” seriously when the author cannot even clearly recognize Obama’s position on the political spectrum…someone whose views and policies are well documented….as opposed to the imaginary Liberal who has no idea, allegedly, what Wingnut hate radio people and lying politicians say and so are ineffective in providing counter arguments.

      Go take a writing class, idiot. Are you still in the fourth grade or is that an example of how you actually construct sentences?

      LMAO!! Nice job, moron.

      • Bizman on May 25, 2012 at 10:46 am

        “…or is that an example of how you actually construct sentences?”

        No, the sentence just constructed itself.

        Although if you have any problem with comprehension then you really need to think about who is lacking an education, “LibTURD”.

        Because as we are all aware, people who adopt screen names like that are typically well-educated, erudite, serious thinkers and scholars.

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