In Which I Reconsider My Entire Political Outlook

By James Fallows

For anyone who might not yet have seen this: Mike Shannon and Will Feltus, at the Atlantic Media's Hotline site, have provided a psycho-graphic/beer-o-graphic post matching beer preference to political outlook and behavior. Read their post for elaboration, and this related story, but this is the crucial graph:

BeerGraph.png


My no-contest clear favorite among all the beers listed turns out to be the reddest of red-state, high-turnout-Republican preference. And the most purely Democratic beer is one I avoid -- although to be fair, I would take it over most of the other weak-tea alternatives displayed here. And, not to be too catty or snooty about it, but how exactly does anyone tell most of these other beers apart?

To me it is interesting (a) that the winning red-state beer has almost nothing in common with the other beers in its same high-turnout Republican-leaning quadrant, and (b) that another beer from the reportedly right-leaning Sam Adams family was the one chosen by Henry Louis Gates at the famous White House beer summit back in 2009. You do have to wonder how this chart would look if it included any craft or micro-brew products other than Sam Adams, the biggest "micro" brewer of them all. Sierra Nevada? New Belgium? Lagunitas? Flying Dog, and Heavy Seas? Victory or Boulevard or Dogfish Head or Summit? Without going down the long list, it is interesting to speculate on the correlations.

But instead of quibbling over methodology, I will say thank you to the creators of this chart (and to our friends at Hotline) and stick to the "I encompass multitudes" interpretation of the results. Democratic in economic outlook, Republican in beer preference, all-American in loyalties, I take this as new evidence that we can indeed all get along.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/09/in-which-i-reconsider-my-entire-political-outlook/262981/