Are most Dopers liberal, conservative, or what?

In the ongoing GD thread, “Joe Wilson Fingers Karl Rove for Outing His Wife” (, smiling bandit made the following off-hand assertion:

It got me to wondering. Does a conservative really view the SDMB community this way? It seems to me there are an awful lot of right-wingers on this board. (And an awful lot they are! [rimshot]) But I’ve never done a poll, or seen one. What do you think? Are there more left-wing or right-wing dopers posting in the Great Debates forum? (The other forums, obviously, are not as relevant to this question.)

For that matter, how do we Dopers differ from the general population? Some characteristics are obvious:

  1. Since the SDMB is conducted in English, all Dopers know how to read and write (or type) English. Unless they have some B]really** good language-translation software.

  2. All Dopers have access to an Internet-linked computer and know enough to use it to post on this board.

  3. Dopers are self-selected for a certain level of interest in intellectual matters – that is, they are willing to devote a certain amount of their time and effort to discussing things on this board. (In this assertion I am using the phrase “intellectual matters” broadly enough to encompass a serious interest in Flintstones trivia, etc., or absolutely anything one might discuss in Cafe Society, General Questions, or MPSIMS.)

  4. Most or all Dopers learned about this board through Cecil’s column, which is published mainly in alternative weekly tabloid newspapers in major urban areas. (However, a lot of Dopers do seem to post from rural areas.)

Now, does all this add up to a community which is skewed toward the left? Toward the right? Toward some other direction? What do you all think? Are there more liberals or conservatives on this board?

I imagine most Dopers would not self identify. But short of a poll, I can’t imagine how we would resolve such a question. I know which side the intelligent Dopers are on, but that’s a given.

That would be the ones that agree with you, right? :rolleyes:

Well, that’s debatable, but judging by your comments, I’d think it is fairly safe to conclude which side has the most arrogant, pompous sounding fools.


Boy, you guys really got me that time. Sure didn’t see that one coming, nosireebob.

I think there are probably more left leaning Dopers than right but it’s not like the right is not well represented. I also think that “left” and “right” are pretty iffy designations, especially when it comes to international Dopers in which those terms have a different political context. I also think that some opinions get characterized as being on one side or the other when a poster may not self-identify with that side. Opposing the invasion of Iraq, to cite an obvious example, does not automatically make someone a liberal and vice versa. A lot of anti-war sentiment on the board may therefore give the impression that the SDMB is more leftist than it really is.

As to relative intelligence, I would say that I’ve noticed some posters who come off as quite intelligent, informed and articulate when talking about an area of personal expertise but who unaccountably go off the rails when it comes to politics.

You also have to remebr the international aspect of SDMB and why in general the world outside of the US looks disfavourably on Mr. Bush Jr.

Just to confuse matters, I’d like to point out that there is a much greater percentage of self-identified libertarians on the SDMB than one tends to meet in real life. This isn’t reflective of a “bias”, of course, but it is a factor in the board’s political culture.

People like elucidator would of course improperly identify libertarians broadly with the right wing.


I’ll go with, “or what.” As in, intelligent people banding together, regardless of political orientation, in order to fight ignorance. I remain ever-thankful we Americans live in a country where it can be agreed upon to disagree, without (too much) rancor.

I think the side that the majority of SDMBers are on is generally defined “whatever you’re not”.

From what I’ve seen, there’s way more right-wingers than left-wingers here. But there’s a pretty good complement of American liberals, which is what people in the U.S. call either left-wingers or centrists.

And to inject my own opinion, perhaps (okay, certainly) inappropriately, those guys are 50 times smarter than the millions of Ann Coulter psychopaths who find it so amusing and lucrative to regurgitate their inane blather daily. Really, don’t those people ever bathe?

Delanda est Winnipeg -Brutus the Handsome
Overall, I would think that the SDMB is skewed to the center, with exceptions in various areas. Fiscally conservative, socially liberal, in general, I would say.

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there. The vocal minority you disagree with is always more noticeable than the vocal minority you agree with.

all I know is that I’m pretty much a liberal. I have gotten the impression from reading some of the posts that there are several libertarians on this forum.

I, cringing, agree. I’m fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I guess where we disagree is entirely in the realm of foreign policy. And domestic repression.

I, cringing, agree. I’m fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

yeah, I know people like that.

Well, the conservatives lose most of the debates in my mind. Does that make me a liberal?

yeah, I think so. either that or you can spot bad arguments instantly.

Any Canadian for instance. You didn’t bother to quote the second, and more important part of what I said. Straw man. We just came from where you guys are going : apparently hopeless deficit. Forgive me for pointing to the fallen limb you are about to trip over.

I am not about to assume anything about your political beliefs, just based on your posting name. I’ll bet you 50/50, though, I marched under an anarchist black flag before you were born.

Note: CDN = approx. .70 US. :rolleyes: