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Pej Haqshenas
Ms. Blandford
UWRT 1103
9 November 2015

Inquiry Paper
Whether its trying to sway public opinion one way or advocate for a
cause, literacies are playing an increasing role in todays politics.
Literacies can be used to differentiate between groups to see why voters
tend to vote the way they do. Some of these factors that notably
contribute to reasons why one acts one way include: gender, race,
education, and religion. My research will be using these literacies and
comparing them against regions in the United States. Comparing the
North to the South will provide the needed statistics to determine the
relationship of literacies and politics. I will also be looking into
participation not as a literacy but as a informational aspect.
Personally, my party affiliation is leaning Democrat however, Im
open to suggestion. My parents are both Democrats and have been ever
since Ive grown up. My closest friend group is also all Democrats but a
majority of my friends are Republican. I dont believe that politics has
ever caused a strain in my friendships. Personally, I have always been
interested in politics, which may be why social studies has always been

my strong suit in school. My personal belief is that politics related careers

are not worth pursuing so Ive turned politics into a hobby for myself. The
reasoning behind writing this paper was to determine why people vote the
way they do.
In regards to gender, the Pew Research Center claims that women
tend to lean more Democratic than men with a 52-36 gap compared to
the 44-43 gap by men. This gap actually shortens when you look into
married women and men and compare it to the unmarried ones. In fact,
Democrats actually have a significant amount of the unmarried adults in
the United States with numbers as high as 57% of all unmarried women
(Pew, 1).
I believe the gap exists because of the Republican Partys beliefs on
social issues regarding womens rights tend to vary from female views.
Some of the issues that they may disagree on include abortion and gay
marriage. The literacy behind this disagreement has a direct relation with
ones religious beliefs.
Religion, a literacy that shouldnt affect literacy views but does.
Politics has always been about keeping religion out of government for the
better of everyone. Through researching deeper into the role religion
plays on party identification, I found that theres a surprising statistic on
the two main parties. My personal belief, which was biased, was that
Republican voters were more affiliated with religion than Democrats,

which is untrue. Democrats in the North have a 48:42 ratio when being
compared to Republicans in the South (People, 1). This number however
is increasing in favor of Republicans, which indicates that Democratic
voters are becoming more unaffiliated with religion.

Race plays a massive role in defining ones literacy. It is the most

defining aspect in a persons identity. In the past, the South has had many
issues regarding race. This previous conflict has changed the views of
current day minorities in respect to the majorities. According to the Pew
Research center, the Republican Party has a major disadvantage amongst
African-American voters with a sheer 11-80 percent of them. I believe
these statistics were influenced by pre-cultural reasons which can be
related to the literacy of modern days African-Americans Republicans hold
a 49-40 lead over Democrats among party identification of whites (Pew,
2). This number is the highest for uneducated Southern men. I found this
to be an interesting fact because education is one literacy which I believe
is very influential on our decision making process. Throughout the past
thirty years, White voting rates have gone down significantly while most
minorities have increased (Census, 4). Looking more into this issue, I
would say there is a correlation between lowering academic grades and
voting rates.

The biggest literacy that you can control is easily education. You can
push yourself very far and youll never stop learning. As Nelson Mandela
once said: Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change
the world. Education is something most of our high standing political
officials have excelled in. I looked into both parties to see which party
would have a smarter voter and according to surveys from the Census,
the Republican party lacks a majority of post-graduate voters. Most of
their voters only have some college experience or a degree. This lack of
education leads to public policy that may not be beneficial for everyone.
The basic principle of citizenship states that when we vote we must also
consider the opinion of the minority to avoid a tyranny by the majority
group. When policy is not looking out for the benefit of everyone, you are
betraying the principles of citizenship. A solution to this issue, educate
yourself and devote some time to influence politics.
Devotion may not necessarily be a literacy however; I think that
ones determination to pursue what they believe shows what kind of
person they are. I find it important for people to express their opinion
whether it be through voting or protesting. According to the Department
of Political Science at The University of Florida, Southern states have a
lower voter turnout compared to Northern states, however; Southern
Republicans have some of the highest turn out rates seen across the
United States. I believe that Southern Republicans have this willpower to

go out and vote because of cultural literacies they have been taught.
They believe in the philosophy that their voice will and must be heard,
which is an excellent mindset. Throughout the United States during the
2014 election year, Republican voters (mostly Southern), went out and
voted to express their wants. The Democratic Party that year did not
manage to inspire their party voters to go out and vote which resulted in
a Republican house AND senate. My home state of North Carolina had a
much better turnout rate in comparison to the rest of the South. Based off
living here most my life, Ive learned that North Carolinians when they
want something, they go and do it. Although this forty percent turnout
rate is considered above average, it is something that needs to be
Throughout researching deeper into the Republican Party and
pointing out some of the differences between their views and my views,
Ive come to see why they think this way. Republicans use different
literacies than I personally do to express how they feel. They arent antiwomen (Trump may be an exception) because they vote for anti-abortion
regulation, but instead they are pro-religion. Ive learned that just
because I disagree with how they approach their topic; it doesnt mean
that their opinion is incorrect. Personally, I am a free-minded individual
who is okay with most things, even if I disagree with them. My motto is
that if I dont like it, just dont do it. Even after writing this paper, I still

feel as though my opinion is contrasting heavily with the ideology behind

the Republican Party. I have also learned some very fascinating
information about United States such as, the North and South were
actually vice-versa on their political views. This Other literacy voice was
much more open than my Self usually is. Both of my literacy voices took
a logical approach to this situation, trying to think about what others must
be thinking while writing this paper.
Some questions that I might have for future conversations about
this topic would have to be why some Republican minorities are so harsh
on immigrants. The reason I ask this question is because I feel like they
should be more understanding with their issue since they have been in
their shoes. In conclusion, this inquiry project has opened my eyes into
looking into things in life in a more literary type of way. It has helped me
with drawing up conclusions on some situations that I used to just assume
answers with, such as the Republican Party.