From the UK’s Daily Mail:
Die-hard Democrats may want to keep their children well away from July 4th parades, according to a new Harvard study.
Researchers at the university claim youngsters who attend the patriotic events are much more likely to grow up as Republicans.
And it’s not just children – the study also claims that adults are more likely to vote for a GOP candidate on election day if they go to one of the parades.
‘Fourth of July celebrations in the United States shape the nation’s political landscape by forming beliefs and increasing participation, primarily in favour of the Republican Party,’ the report says.
Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor David Yanagizawa-Drott and Bocconi University Assistant Professor Andreas Madestam claim the right identifies itself more closely with patriotism and that Republicans believe they love their country more than Democrats.
According to the study, Republicans consider themselves more patriotic than Democrats
The report continues: ‘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.
‘According to this interpretation, 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.’
The study found that for youngsters under the age of 18 attending the parades, the likelihood of them identifying as a Republican goes up by at least two per cent.
It also raises the possibility of parade watchers voting Republican by about four per cent.
By the same token, Democrats gain nothing from the independence parades that are held in towns and cities across the nation.
‘There is no evidence of an increased likelihood of identifying as a Democrat, indicating that Fourth of July shifts preferences to the right rather than increasing political polarization,’ the authors write.
‘Surprisingly, the estimates show that the impact on political preferences is permanent, with no evidence of the effects depreciating as individuals become older,’ says the study.
Irrespective of political allegiances, the researchers say people should head to Republican strongholds if they want to have the most patriotic fun.
‘Republican adults celebrate Fourth of July more intensively in the first place,’ they say.