The survey results above clearly show that there is a correlation between education level and ideology. Adults that went on to postgraduate education showed to have the most liberal views, with 31% being labeled “consistently liberal” and an additional 23% “mostly liberal.” Moving down to just college grads, with 24% and 20% respectively. After that, the numbers rapidly drop. It’s evident, then, that the more educated you are, the more likely you are to have liberal values, and vice versa.
Perhaps this might not come as a surprise. Surely, if you received “proper” education and were diligent enough to receive the proper education “properly,” you would inevitably be a liberal thinker? Because “liberal” is “true” and “morally correct,” and any intelligent, “proper” human being can figure that out on their own…right?
It’s the forces of nature and human psychology that paint Medium in such a liberal color, some cursing at conservatives, others cooing at endangered animals through rose-tinted glass.
It’s easy to skip to the conclusion that having a degree points to only one thing: how smart you are. After all, that’s the point of going to college, isn’t it? People go to college because they value knowledge and they want to be more enlightened. They graduate college, having become smarter.
However, just because a study shows that education-level is correlated to political ideology, doesn’t mean that it’s causated. Your political ideology may or may not be the direct effect of your intelligence. There’s room for more speculation here.
Having a bachelor’s, masters, or doctorate makes one more likely to get a job — a decent one, at that. One that provides you with plenty of money, comfort, security, insurance, and days off. When you have a job like that, you certainly will feel valued and respected. Other people want to benefit from the knowledge and experience you’ve gained from your education, and you’re there to provide them. You are important. And as long as you keep being important, you have no real threat about having your job — and consequently your safety, comfort, and even identity — taken away.
But what happens if you don’t have a college degree? For someone who hasn’t received enough education, it’s so much harder to get a decent job. Therefore, it’s much harder to take care of yourself and your immediate loved ones, leaving less room for you to care about strangers, of all people. If you’re white, you feel like you should protect white people first. If you’re straight, you feel like you should protect straight people first. You don’t have the emotional capacity to worry about other people. It’s not your fault — it’s not anyone’s.