Liberal Netroots: A Bunch of Aging Hippies

This sounds like a job for South Park's Eric Cartman.The vaunted e-elite of the Left, the so-called Netroots, aren't quite what they and the media would have us believe. Far from a mostly middle-class Gen X and Gen Y coalition, blogger Joshua Trevino reminds us the data show Kossacks tend to be rich, areligious, aging hippies forever mentally mired in their glory days of Vietnam protests and Nixon-hating:

A commissioned third-party survey of the DailyKos readership, published in May 2006, revealed that the “netroots” are remarkably synonymous, in demographic terms, with the old “new left” of the Vietnam era: that is, cloistered in coastal enclaves, financially well-off, and aging. Nearly 60% of readers reported making more than $75,000 annually; nearly 62% were over 45 years old; over a third were over 55 years old; and just under a quarter are over 65 years old. Furthermore, as the survey firm reported, their geographic locations “correspond heavily to the coastal ‘blue state’ regions.” This is a cohort, then, that largely came into political consciousness during the Vietnam War and Watergate — and the resultant policy biases and frames of reference, with the hyperbole over President Bush and the insistence on retreat from Iraq, are on stark display today.

It is not merely in material demographics that the “netroots” diverges wildly from the American mainstream it claims to represent. The sources of their fundamental values are also sharply at odds with the mass of Americans. Nowhere is this more evident than in the internal, self-reported polls of religious belief periodically undertaken at DailyKos. At about the same time the ’06 demographic survey was released, a sitewide poll on faith garnered the participation of over 1,400 DailyKos readers. Shockingly, only about 37% definitively affirmed a belief in some manner of monotheism; and just over 40% declared for atheism or agnosticism.

On a related note, MRC/NB's Tim Graham has recently concluded a study that documents the shrill, harsh rhetoric of the left-wing Huffington Post blog. See also Tim's related NewsBusters blog entry.  

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters