Parade politics

Parade politics July 5, 2012

We went to the 4th of July parade here in our small northern Virginia town.  I love the way such institutions usually include politicians marching down the parade route, waving and smiling to voters no matter how hot it gets.  It is a sign of American liberties that we don’t have to kiss up to our rulers–our rulers have to kiss up to us!

Anyway, Virginia is one of those battleground states, a toss-up that will help determine who wins the presidential election.  There are many polls, which are inconclusive.  I will offer political observers a bit of evidence from the parade.  When the Democratic Party contingent came by with their cool cars, pro-Obama signs, and supporters handing out Obama tracts, NO ONE CLAPPED.  The crowd was pretty boisterous otherwise, with everybody applauding each float and firetruck and antique car.  But when the Obama people marched by, an ominous silence accompanied them up and down the parade route.  I felt embarrassed for them.  I at least waved.

Now when the corresponding group of Republicans with their pro-Romney signs marched by, there was some applause, though it seemed notably unenthusiastic.

My impression is that, based on the parade sampling, Virginia voters a aren’t wild about Romney, but they like him better than Obama.

We’ll see how that stands up on election day.

"Science is a process of discovery of our natural world. It is in the process ..."

Advent, St. Nicholas, & the Deity ..."
"I am reminded of "poor tODD.""

Trying to be a Missionary Apart ..."
"Allah is the one true god, and muhammad is its prophet. Is that a myth?"

Advent, St. Nicholas, & the Deity ..."
"Switzerland would be my exemplar."

The Fall of Ancient Greece

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Evangelical
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • That’s about right. I take the tract/flier, smile politely, and wait for the candy so I can snatch it up 😀

  • That’s about right. I take the tract/flier, smile politely, and wait for the candy so I can snatch it up 😀

  • WebMonk

    Key statement, though, Dr. Veith: “small town”.

    Politics in small towns is stereotypically much more conservative than in more urban areas. It isn’t an always-everywhere rule, but it holds generally true with every study. On average there is anywhere from 5% to 15% more support for “conservative” positions in a small town than in nearby urban centers. (depending on which study one uses)

    I don’t think Virginia as a whole is nearly as Republican as the small town parade reaction might suggest. (for good or bad)

  • WebMonk

    Key statement, though, Dr. Veith: “small town”.

    Politics in small towns is stereotypically much more conservative than in more urban areas. It isn’t an always-everywhere rule, but it holds generally true with every study. On average there is anywhere from 5% to 15% more support for “conservative” positions in a small town than in nearby urban centers. (depending on which study one uses)

    I don’t think Virginia as a whole is nearly as Republican as the small town parade reaction might suggest. (for good or bad)

  • Tom Hering

    Maybe no one clapped because they wanted to keep their hands ready to take a tract – thinking they might be penalized (“taxed”) for not taking one.

  • Tom Hering

    Maybe no one clapped because they wanted to keep their hands ready to take a tract – thinking they might be penalized (“taxed”) for not taking one.

  • sg

    Small towns, well farming communities. I have been researching my family history. Sometimes I just google the person’s name and county just to see what I get because the county is so sparsley populated there likely aren’t going to be 50 unrelated people with the same name in that tiny town. Anyway, several times what I have got is a list of top recipients of farm subsidies similar to this one (no relation to me):

    http://farm.ewg.org/persondetail.php?custnumber=A07127275

    One relative in nowhereville Nebraska got well over a million dollars spread over 17 years. How does this affect small town politics? I checked the vote totals in his county. It was about 80% Republican in the last primary election. These subsidies seem like higher per vote payoffs than welfare to indigents in cities. What do you all think?

  • sg

    Small towns, well farming communities. I have been researching my family history. Sometimes I just google the person’s name and county just to see what I get because the county is so sparsley populated there likely aren’t going to be 50 unrelated people with the same name in that tiny town. Anyway, several times what I have got is a list of top recipients of farm subsidies similar to this one (no relation to me):

    http://farm.ewg.org/persondetail.php?custnumber=A07127275

    One relative in nowhereville Nebraska got well over a million dollars spread over 17 years. How does this affect small town politics? I checked the vote totals in his county. It was about 80% Republican in the last primary election. These subsidies seem like higher per vote payoffs than welfare to indigents in cities. What do you all think?

  • Joe

    I had a similar experience at a parade in a small Wisconsin town. The Dems got silence and the GOP got a big applause. In years past the Dems got very laud applause and the GOP got a polite clap.

  • Joe

    I had a similar experience at a parade in a small Wisconsin town. The Dems got silence and the GOP got a big applause. In years past the Dems got very laud applause and the GOP got a polite clap.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @#2 I don’t know if the prototypical “small town” idea can work here given their proximity to a major metropolitan area. In my experience small towns just outside a major metropolitan area are different from small towns in more prototypical rural areas. So I wouldn’t judge the reaction based on “small town.”

    I wouldn’t make much of it because mostly it tells one that a candidate is not popular with those who chose to go to that particular parade. It is really too small a sample to say anymore.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @#2 I don’t know if the prototypical “small town” idea can work here given their proximity to a major metropolitan area. In my experience small towns just outside a major metropolitan area are different from small towns in more prototypical rural areas. So I wouldn’t judge the reaction based on “small town.”

    I wouldn’t make much of it because mostly it tells one that a candidate is not popular with those who chose to go to that particular parade. It is really too small a sample to say anymore.

  • Kyralessa

    Sounds to me like maybe they don’t like politics in general, and were attending the parade to relax, have fun, and get their minds off mundane things like politics.

  • Kyralessa

    Sounds to me like maybe they don’t like politics in general, and were attending the parade to relax, have fun, and get their minds off mundane things like politics.

  • DonS

    I think your observation is dead on. Virginia goes Romney this year to thwart Obama’s second term.

  • DonS

    I think your observation is dead on. Virginia goes Romney this year to thwart Obama’s second term.

  • SKPeterson

    sg @ 4. Yes, both Democrat and Republican representatives from rural, ag-producing states have large numbers of constituents who receive large payouts and subsidies for years on end. If you narrow the scope even further, you’ll find that the largest subsidy dollar amounts and the most extensive and/or repeated declarations of “crop disasters or failures” requiring federal insurance payouts are for ag -producers who live in the congressional districts of members of the House Agriculture Committee. Amazingly, national crop disasters can happen in the same district year after year, until a Congressman from that district is no longer on the Committee. Then, in a shocking display of the whims of Nature, the disasters end, but start up in entirely new areas of the country, that luckily for the ag producers resident there, now have a member of Congress on the Ag committee who can see to their welfare.

  • SKPeterson

    sg @ 4. Yes, both Democrat and Republican representatives from rural, ag-producing states have large numbers of constituents who receive large payouts and subsidies for years on end. If you narrow the scope even further, you’ll find that the largest subsidy dollar amounts and the most extensive and/or repeated declarations of “crop disasters or failures” requiring federal insurance payouts are for ag -producers who live in the congressional districts of members of the House Agriculture Committee. Amazingly, national crop disasters can happen in the same district year after year, until a Congressman from that district is no longer on the Committee. Then, in a shocking display of the whims of Nature, the disasters end, but start up in entirely new areas of the country, that luckily for the ag producers resident there, now have a member of Congress on the Ag committee who can see to their welfare.

  • Our small town has a certain base of the old kind of small Southern town, but it has also become something of a suburb for Washington, D.C., with lots of commuters to jobs in government, the military-industrial complex, and the high tech industry. We have lots of people into the local food movement, sustainable agriculture, etc., which of course can include both environmentalists and Wendell Berry type conservatives. Northern Virginia went for Obama last time. I don’t remember if our particular town did, but in general rural Virginia votes conservative but northern Virginia votes liberal. I suspect our particular town is a cross-section, containing both elements, which makes it especially interesting as a possible bellwether.

  • Our small town has a certain base of the old kind of small Southern town, but it has also become something of a suburb for Washington, D.C., with lots of commuters to jobs in government, the military-industrial complex, and the high tech industry. We have lots of people into the local food movement, sustainable agriculture, etc., which of course can include both environmentalists and Wendell Berry type conservatives. Northern Virginia went for Obama last time. I don’t remember if our particular town did, but in general rural Virginia votes conservative but northern Virginia votes liberal. I suspect our particular town is a cross-section, containing both elements, which makes it especially interesting as a possible bellwether.

  • formerly just steve

    I would also add that people who typically attend Independence Day parades are older folks interspersed with civic-minded young families who want something more for their children than barbeques and fireworks. Neither of these two groups put Obama over the top the first time around.

  • formerly just steve

    I would also add that people who typically attend Independence Day parades are older folks interspersed with civic-minded young families who want something more for their children than barbeques and fireworks. Neither of these two groups put Obama over the top the first time around.

  • SAL

    It used to be when people with Obama stickers exited their cars at Wal-Mart/Target/Mall, it was a wash whether they were white, black, or other.

    However in 2012 I’ve noticed almost no white people with Obama stickers. At first I wondered if I was just imagining it but as I’ve started looking for Obama stickers, it’s surprised me how few whites had Obama stickers this time.

  • SAL

    It used to be when people with Obama stickers exited their cars at Wal-Mart/Target/Mall, it was a wash whether they were white, black, or other.

    However in 2012 I’ve noticed almost no white people with Obama stickers. At first I wondered if I was just imagining it but as I’ve started looking for Obama stickers, it’s surprised me how few whites had Obama stickers this time.

  • Plenty of Obama stickers on cars here in So. Cal..

    In a state that went from the most productive, to down near the bottom of the charts, in a realtively short time, it does not suprise me.
    Our people even voted Gov. Moonbeam back in. The guy who was largely responsible for our downfall.

  • Plenty of Obama stickers on cars here in So. Cal..

    In a state that went from the most productive, to down near the bottom of the charts, in a realtively short time, it does not suprise me.
    Our people even voted Gov. Moonbeam back in. The guy who was largely responsible for our downfall.