Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Survey No. 1: Can You Indentify a Republican vs. a Democrat

Identification of Republicans vs. Democrats

I spend a tremendous amount of watching C-Span.

As a result, I watch many U.S. Senate and House proceedings.

Quite often, I turn off the sound for some unrelated reason, and when I turn around and focus on the TV screen, I usually see the face of an elected official speaking. However, since I do not have the benefit of sound, I am unable to determine the subject about which the person is speaking.

Frequently, there is a banner below the person identifying their state, whether that individual is a Representative or Senator, and the party affiliation.

I've found myself playing a game with myself, trying to guess the party of the person without looking at the banner, and without listening to his or her position. Although I have not actually kept score, I believe that I can, within 10 seconds, tell a Democrat versus a Republican, simply by looking at them, based purely on physicality, with an accuracy of roughly 95%. Can you?

Do you think that there are some distinguishing physical characteristics?


  1. Have you found some common techniques?

    Minority = democrat?
    Woman without fashion sense = republican?

  2. I don’t believe you can define people’s political choices -just by the way they look. ‘Appearance can be deceiving’.

    How you define someone (as you frequently say) tells more about you -than that person.


  3. To Vikki and "the Cup":

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. Of course, I am making generalizations. What has suprised me is how accurate when I've tested myself. Additionally, I've eliminated racial minorities from this. I only perform it when I see Caucasian elected officials.

    It is an intangible quality or air that I sense. Some years ago, someone once described the difference between a Democrat and a Republican as follows:

    A Republican believes that everyone has an equal chance to succeed, and one's success is more dependent upon personal characteristics than those outside of the individual.

    Democrats believe that there are factors beyond one's personal characteristics, and that occasionally, some of the less successful may need some assistance or a helping hand.

    I've thought about this for roughly ten years. Quite honestly, this intangible "quick sense" to which I refer may have been tainted by that description. However, when I see someone who has a sense or air of independence, which essentially conveys the message, "I made it primarily on my own; you should be able to do it also," I think Republican. There is a look in the eyes, facial expressions and gestures, and an attitude. None of these factors should be interpreted as negative; just different.

    With some others, I detect more of a nuanced approach to individuals. A tad less "you've done it, and you haven't" attitude. The eyebrows appears to be more uplifted, and the eyes appear to be a tad more open. Once again, this is without the benefit of sound and reading the banner identifying the elected official's party affiliation.

    No science to this. Just a feeling, and very personal.

  4. The Congressional hearings on how we managed to find ourselves in this mess are on C-Span right now. Take a piece of paper or some other barrier, and place it along the bottom quarter of your TV screen so that you are not able to see the name or party affiliation of the speaker. Then turn off the sound. Try to determine the party affiliation of the person whose image appears on the screen as it changes rapidly throughout the day. Amazingly, I haven't missed one yet. I HOPE that I will, and lots of them to be honest. I actually do not like being able to prejudge new faces.


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