The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Why Do Republicans Divorce More Often Than Democrats?

Why Do Republicans Divorce More Often Than Democrats?

Republicans are the party of family values.

They’re the party that protects the sanctity of marriage. Their morality is stronger than their opposition.

So say the Republicans. But the statistics say differently.

Of the top 15 states for divorce rates in 2005, all 15 voted for Bush in 2004. All fifteen.

Of the 12 lowest states for divorce rates, 11 voted for Kerry.

Massachusetts, where gay marriage is allowed (and where, according to Republicans, civilization would fall apart), has the lowest divorce rate in the country.

This cannot be a coincidence. So what are the reasons behind the fact that Republicans are significantly more likely to divorce than Democrats? And why do the former claim the high ground on marriage, when it is patently clear that their marriages don’t last as long as their political opponents?

Well, Republicans will answer that married couples are more likely to vote for them – and they’re right about that. Republicans control 49 of the 50 [congressional] districts with the highest rates of married people, while Democrats represent all 50 districts that have the highest rates of adults who have never married.

But that doesn’t explain the RATE of divorce, only the actual numbers. Why is it that in Massachusetts the rate of divorce is a third of the Arkansas figure?

I’m no sociologist, so the following is pure speculation. But… what if Republicans are simple greedier? In their economic policies, they tend to favor their own wealth over any kind of taxation that benefits society. In their foreign policy, they prefer protectionism and unilateralism. In their social policy, they cut education and welfare and pass the savings on to big business.

Is it so far-fetched to think that the reason that Republicans divorce more often, is that they’re more selfish – that they’re not generous partners, that they have more affairs that lead to divorce, that they abandon their spouses for younger models?

Other theories gladly entertained…

In case you want to check the statistics for yourself, along with other demographic data, please download the Excel file below. By default it is sorted by divorce rate (scroll all the way to the right), with a few unavailable states at the top. But you can also sort it by education, per capita income, obesity rate, property crime etc. Go to 'Data' at the top, then 'Sort By' and choose a category. Interesting to note that the top 19 states for obesity are also all Republican!

If you use this data, please do link back to this blog. Thanks!

Download 2004_election_demographics_v2.xls


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