Someone once said, “A lie repeated a thousand times becomes the truth.” I’m not about to write an article that accuses anyone of lying or of any deception. But there are some political “talking points” that have been around for a long time that might not be entirely factual in nature.

Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative and independent have always has pretty common definitions across all ideologies. Liberals like entitlements; conservatives like personal responsibility. It seems that some people have taken it upon themselves to see how much is really accurate and how much is folklore.

Which Party Gives More to Charity?

It might surprise you to know that Democratic households have higher incomes than Republican households. Yet, Republicans give almost 30% more money to charities than Democrats. The argument seems to focus on how giving is done. Liberals favor government doing the giving where conservative’s favor making their own decisions on how much is given, and where and how it’s used.

Which Party is Better Informed?

According to the demographics of KMMS, listeners to talk radio are usually better educated and more affluent than those who favor other types of radio. They vote more often and have a keener interest in government topics.

The American National Election Study and an April 2012 Pew Research Center study entitled, “What the Public Knows About Political Parties” has shed some new light on some old political concepts. Of the survey’s 13 questions about general political knowledge, Republicans finished 18 points higher than Democrats. The survey also pointed out that this is a common trend over the years rather than fluke on this particular survey.

One question in particular was very telling. “Which party is generally more supportive of reducing the size of the federal government?” Only 46% of Democrats correctly named the Republican Party compared to 76% of Republicans. For some strange reason, Republicans seem to know more about the Democratic Party than Democrats do. Only 59% of Democrats know Nancy Pelosi is a Democrat compared to 75% of Republicans. While 73% of Republicans knew Franklin D. Roosevelt was a Democrat, only 58% of Democrats did.

Some Final Thoughts

The main point of today’s exercise is not to focus on one party over another. Instead use it as an example to examine views that you don’t necessarily agree with. Seek out sites and sources of information that oppose your ideology. If for no other reason than to prove you are correct in your thinking.

I know Fox News commentators are going to slant right and MSNBC is going to slant left. Knowing that —  is there any reason not to do a sampling of both? If you only read books on a topic written by one author would you consider yourself informed on the topic? The thinnest pancake has two sides. Be informed. Shut up and listen rather than shouting down anyone you disagree with.

How politically savvy are you? Take the Pew Research Test yourself. I aced it.

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