by CHQ Staff
We conservatives often bemoan the commercialization and secularization of our traditional holidays. Christmas – or should we say the Winter Holiday – now begins around November 15, and Veterans Day and Memorial Day are occasions for mattress sales, not solemn commemorations of the sacrifices made to preserve our way of life.
However, researchers at Harvard University have found that the July 4th holiday commemorating the announcement of the Declaration of Independence may still be serving its intended purpose – promoting patriotism.
And the good news is it seems to make people vote Republican.
According to the study by Andreas Madestam and David Yanagizawa-Drott, “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 three key findings about those attending Independence Day celebrations:
• When done before the age of 18, it increases the likelihood of a youth identifying as a Republican by at least 2 percent.
• Celebrating Independence Day raises the likelihood that parade watchers will vote for a Republican candidate by 4 percent.
• Celebrating the 4th of July boosts the likelihood a reveler will vote by about 1 percent and increases the chances they’ll make a political contribution by 3 percent.
What’s more, the impact isn’t fleeting. “Surprisingly, the estimates show that the impact on political preferences is permanent, with no evidence of the effects depreciating as individuals become older,” said the Harvard report.
It is worth noting that many of the grievances the Founders outlined in the Declaration of Independence had to do with taxes and big government, so perhaps it is understandable that the sentiments commemorated on July 4th don’t resonate with liberals and Democrats as much as with conservatives and Republicans.
We do not know if President Trump is familiar with the Andreas Madestam and David Yanagizawa-Drott study. However, we suspect that Trump’s unerring sense of branding and how audiences respond to his message led him to the same conclusion; that a big Fourth of July bash in Washington was a great branding opportunity, and an even better opportunity to sucker Democrats into looking small by criticizing it.