What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
(Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene ii)
A new survey out from Pew Research brings this quote to mind. They asked a sample size of 1546 Americans (413 Republicans, 499 Democrats, 564 Independents) to evaluate their reactions (favorable or unfavorable) to a variety of terms, including “socialism”, “capitalism”, “states’ rights”, “family values”, “civil liberties”, “civil rights”, etc.
The results are broken down by party, and so for example, we can see that the response to “libertarian” is rather surprising – Democrats saw that term mildly favorable (39-37), while Republicans reacted unfavorable (31-44) and Independents were favorable (44-32).
Or, one of our favorite terms around here, “progressive”, got (unsurprisingly) 81-12 from Democrats and (surprisingly) 56-34 from Republicans, and 64-26 from Independents.
The list goes on, and I won’t type it all out, but the section doing a detailed breakdown (by age, race, income and gender) of “socialism” and “capitalism” is worth a review, certainly.
Some food for thought for all of us, when considering how to brand our candidates and our opponents…