Because I am a laggard who relatively recently began to finally equip myself with podcasts wherever I go, instead of relying on radio, I am only this week discovering John Derbyshire's weekly half-hour broadcast entitled "Radio Derb", a middlebrow commentary on the events of the previous seven days with a sardonic witiness that feels like a mix of Tom Wolfe, Rush Limbaugh, and Ted Danson's Becker character, delivered in a euphonious British accent (euphonious, of course, because it is British).
Anyway, shameless self-promotion is better made late than not at all. The installment for the week of April 10 includes the Derb discussing (starts at about 18:30) a previous post concerning per capita federal welfare spending by state. He closes the segment with a silly riff on the word "epigone":
The blogger who calls himself Audacious Epigone dug through some government statistics and came up with a list of states by per capita federal welfare spending. Top of the list: District of Columbia, with almost 300 dollars per capita. Wonder if that includes all the salaries and benefits of the Congresscritters. Why not — they should count as welfare cases, shouldn't they? It's not like any of them have marketable skills. Bottom of the list was New Hampshire, with only 53 federal dollars per capita. Now I'll listen a bit more respectfully to Mark Steyn when he talks about what rugged individualists they are up there in the Granite State … though I'm still going to remind him that the state went for Obama in November. My own state, New York, is number 2, with 218 federal dollars per capita, followed by California with 173. Number 6 is Vermont, which is a bit of a mystery. How come Vermont gets 146 dollars in welfare per capita from the feds when New Hampshire gets by on 53? Is this related to the fact that Vermont's just legalized homosexual weddings? Bit of a mystery. Well, thanks for that, Audacious Epigone.In hearing this, I am embarrassed that I've yet to give an explanation for the choice of the pseudonym. Like many others here, after reading Steve Sailer for awhile, I recognized him to be one of the most perspicacious and underappreciated intellectuals in the modern world and hoped that in taking a quantitative, empirical approach to issues involving human biodiversity, I might be able to add in some small way to the popular understanding of things as they actually are. It would surely involve making some controversial assertions (from which Randall Parker, another major inspiration, never shied away)--hence the audacity--and, to the pleasure of Socrates, I was fully aware that I couldn't even see Steve's shadow, let alone stand in it--hence the epigone.
What is an epigone, though? It's one of those words I can never remember. Hang on, let me look it up … "an imitative follower, an inferior imitator." Hm, right. But why don't we pronounce the "e" at the end, like we do with "epitome"? Shouldn't we say "ep-i-gon-e," or "ep-i-tom"? Who knows? I guess there are some doors man was
never meant to open.
Tearing myself away from the mirror, the Derb later asserts that blacks are anchored further to the left than is any other major sub-group in the US. He doesn't specifically mention liberals among the groups out-flanked by blacks, but he could have. Indeed, blacks were more likely to vote for Obama last November than self-described liberals were, 95% to 89%. Yes, but a black man ran for the Presidency. It was a unique result due to tribalistic loyalty, right? No--the story was the same in '04. Kerry won 88% of the black vote compared to 85% of the vote among liberals. In 2000, 90% of voting blacks backed Gore, while only 80% of liberals did.
The GSS confirms that blacks--liberal, conservative, and otherwise--are more reliable Democratic stalwarts than are liberals. Covering the same time period, 76.5% of blacks self-identify as Democrats, while 68.4% of liberals do. Even conservative blacks, 71.9% of whom are Dems, are more politically antagonistic toward the GOP than liberals are.
GSS variables used: PARTYID, POLVIEWS(1-3)(5-7), RACECEN1(2), YEAR(2000-2008)