on 4th of July
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For as long as Americans (and really, I) can remember, the nation has celebrated the Fourth of July by staging grand fireworks shows in public squares and lighting smaller displays at home. Did you know that 4th of July festivities could make you more Republican? A few weeks ago, one of our friends said, “did you know that you are 6% more Republican for every year you watched the fireworks with your family as a child?” This statement got me to thinking and after some research this is what I found, according to the report, published by Harvard University, July 4th-themed festivities (defined by the study as fireworks, parades, political speeches, and barbecues) not only energize primarily Republicans, but also turn children into Republicans and increase GOP voter turnout.
“In 2010, an estimated 144 million Americans age 18 or older celebrated Fourth of July by attending a barbecue. Another 98 million watched the ﬁreworks or went to a community festivity, while more than 28 million saw a parade,” the authors write. “Beyond the immediate fervor of the festivity, however, do national day celebrations matter? Does participation in national ceremonies and parades have a deeper impact by affecting children’s political beliefs, identity, and behavior?”
Simply put: “Fourth of July celebrations in the United States shape the nation’s political landscape by forming beliefs and increasing participation, primarily in favor of the Republican Party. All in all, attending one Fourth of July before age 18 increases the likelihood of identifying as a Republican by at least 2 percent and voting for the Republican candidate by 4 percent. It also increases voter turnout by 0.9 percent and boosts political campaign contributions by 3 percent,” says the report, which was written by Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor David Yanagizawa-Drott and Bocconi University Assistant Professor Andreas Madestam.
This is a fascinating article to me, after living in DC and reading this article seeing the fireworks and celebrating the FOurth of July gives a new reason and light to all of the festivities. As we know, not everyone will be particularly concerned with the possible political implications of July 4th celebrations. If you’re looking for a more patriotic experience, you might want to check out a parade in a particularly Republican-skewing part of town – according to the report, “Republican adults celebrate Fourth of July more intensively in the first place.”
I for one, love the Fourth of July. Having the opportunity to celebrate such an awesome Nation. Plus, the fireworks display in Washington, DC is unlike any other in the United States. The show, is administered by the National Park Service and it illuminates all of the monuments from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. Make sure you get to your location early because the show begins at 9:10 PM. The show lasts roughly 17 minutes and will be accompanied by live music from “A Capitol Fourth,” the concert held each Independence Day on the U.S. Capitol’s West Lawn. Whatever you political leanings are, make sure you get out and see the amazing show and celebrate the birthday of our Nation’s Capital!