Did you participate in a Fourth of July Parade last month? A new Harvard University study just reported that Independence Day parades energize only Republicans, turn kids into Republicans, and help to boost Republican turnout of adults on Election Day. Here is a direct quote from this remarkable report:
"Fourth of July celebrations in the United States shape the nation's political landscape by forming beliefs and increasing participation, primarily in favor of the Republican Party. The political right has been more successful in appropriating American patriotism and its symbols during the 20th century. Survey evidence also confirms that Republicans consider themselves more patriotic than Democrats. There is a political congruence between the patriotism promoted on Fourth of July and the values associated with the Republican Party. Fourth of July celebrations in Republican dominated counties may thus be more politically biased events that socialize children into Republicans." (End of quotation from the Harvard study.)
The three key findings of the Harvard report about Fourth of July celebrations are these: (1) When done before the age of 18, it increases the likelihood of a youth identifying as a Republican by at least 2%. (2) It raises the likelihood that parade watchers will vote for a Republican candidate by 4%. (3) It boosts the likelihood that a parade participant will vote by about 1% and increases the chances they will make a political contribution by 3%. What's more, "the impact on political preferences is permanent, with no evidence of the effects depreciating as individuals become older."
Now, that's a lot of mighty useful information. Since it comes from Harvard, it must be true.
Listen to the radio commentary here: