Keller @ Large: Can 4th Of July Celebrations Affect Kids’ Future Political Views?

BOSTON (CBS) – It’s shaping up to be a great holiday weekend. So, if you take your kids to a fireworks show, are you influencing how they vote in the future?

A new study says yes, which may set off some early fireworks for some people.

The report published by Harvard’s Kennedy School said that sharing the fireworks with your kids may have a big effect on their future political leanings.

Using elaborate data analysis, researchers found that being at even one Fourth of July celebration before age 18 can increase your likelihood of voting Republican later on by as much as four percent.

WBZ’s Jon Keller is at large:

Funny, around here we make a bigger deal of the Fourth than just about anywhere else, and yet we’re the most staunchly Democratic state in the nation.

So, we decided to do an unscientific study in the capitol of American liberalism, Harvard Square.

“I dont think patriotism has a party. It’s not a red or a blue, its a red, white and blue,” said one woman.

“I have been attending 4th of July celebrations since I’ve been in Boston for 35 years, and I remain a Democrat and my kids are the same way,” said another woman.

As one guy told WBZ-TV, even a Communist can share equally in the spirit of a July 4th celebration.

What do you think of the study?

More from Jon Keller
  • Jan Simmons

    The artuce mentioned me being here 35 years and attending the 4th oif July celebrations and remaining a Democrat, I’m a wioman not a man

  • Keller @ Large: Can 4th Of July Celebrations Affect Kids’ Future Political Views? | Local Voter News

    […] to a fireworks show, are you influencing how they vote in the long term? Jon Keller is at large. CBS Boston Tags: affect, Celebrations, Future, July, Keller, kids’, Large, Political, views Posted in […]

  • FireGuyFrank

    Even if the study is spot on, a four percent increase in voting Republican later in life is nothing. In fact, it might not be the fireworks but the folks presenting the display that have a greater influence.


    This is ridiculous. I am an independent. I was a democrat for years. I became unenrolled because of differences in ideals and policies. I’ve been to many 4th of July activities at the Esplanade in my life. Patriotic celebrations do not influence party affiliation, only pride and, hopefully, the desire to be involved in keeping this great country a great place to live.

    • tsal

      Totally agreed. It is ridiculous.

    • mikey


      • willow

        I absolutely agree.

    • MJ

      I absolutely agree. I’m a proud American, I love my country, I don’t care for either political party anymore. I’m like you only I used to be a Republican, but am Independent now because I feel that neither party is in line with my values 100% and neither party is out to serve middle class and working class Americans.

  • MJ

    I was a republican for years, and now consider myself independent because I feel that NEITHER party represents regular working class and middle class Americans, but hold onto my conservative values and remain extremely patriotic. I celebrate 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day as well as reflect and mourn on 9/11 anniversary and December 7th because I love the United States of America, not any political party. Both parties are out of control, but this country remains wonderful.

  • jaygee

    Harvard must have plenty of time on it’s hands to do a study on the effect of fireworks on family values. Since it’s not April Fool’s Day, I guerss this story is a real one. I’m quite sure that there are millions of adults who saw plenty of 4th of July celebrations who proclaim their love for God & Country while there are millions of others who don’t trust their government and are atheists. So much for the study!

  • blackbear1

    How can you even bother to print such a stupid “study”?? Don’t you screen or filter the material that comes across your desk.?? Did someone actually get paid for this??

    • Willow

      I think this story actually brought about some great comments keeping with the holiday weekend. It has given folks a chance to express their feelings about the two parties that are dividing our country, as well as express their patriotism. Whether it was a worthwhile study, I don’t know, but this story is a good one.

  • DrStrangelove

    Harvard’s “study” (bunch of drunken students sitting around a bar and trying desperately to come up with a study idea for a paper due in 6 hours so they “poll” the barroom) specifically says attending fireworks MAY influence later political tendencies. MAY NOT, too. WOW! I am soooo glad we have so many intelligent students at Harvard, and, boy, doesn’t this study just shine s light all over them. And imagine the dope professor who allowed this study to be published. Just shows ya that money really CAN’T buy an education… but it CAN make you look like a total idiot amongst your peers. (Law students, per chance?) How about this study – Attending fireworks MAY affect your hearing for a few hours afterward, so it would be great if all politicians gave their speeches immediately after a particularly boisterous display so none of us would have to hear them blab.

    • friendofeducation

      I happen to have several friends who are Harvard graduates and I’m quite sure they make more money then you and I combined. How stupid is that?

      • DrStrangelove

        Hahahahaha You WISH! But I’m retired now. Thanks for the laugh, and you forgot a comma in your diatribe… stupid.

      • friendofeducation

        Dr. S, YOU wish! You know what to do with your diatribe.

      • tsal

        I knew another Dr. Strangelove who used the word diatribe often and was also insulting but isn’t retired. What are the odds? Either way and no matter where you go, you will find bad eggs. Even in the education system – students and educators – but on the whole I’d say Harvard turns out some people that we can be very proud of. That is not discounting state schools but I’d love to see the percentages of top level business people from both.

        No one knows the reason behind the study but it sure is easy to pretend we do in order to criticize it and those who took part in it.

  • Willow

    Maybe if the fireworks were placed under the butt of a few politicians, both parties, perhaps it would make a great difference in some political views.

  • hojo

    Just another example of the junk “science” that is passed off as valid. Assuming this study is valid, the Republicans should spend a lot of money funding fireworks displays to keep the Dems out of office.

    • tsal

      Perhaps the republicans have been promoting firework displays. When I knew him Mugar was an active member of the republican party. He must be one of those idiots that proves money can’t buy an education. He is a graduate of Babson. If anyone thinks students at the elite colleges are stupid, it would be a good idea to take a stroll through the corridors of the executive conference center at Babson and look at the hundreds of photos of their graduates in Babson’s hall of fame!

  • fred

    There is an old saying – you can always tell a Harvard man but you can’t tell him much. Seems like they had this study concluded before they conducted it. Just because a person receives and education doesn’t mean they know how to apply it. There are plenty of entrepreneurs who didn’t go to elite schools or college at all who are successful and provide jobs and create wealth for others and society So just because some Harvard grad makes more money than i do – so what. From Hravard we get lawyers, professors, and community activist that are drag on society and produce nothing – but they do have that degree to show us how smart they are. I know Harvard produces doctors and business people but look at the influence of academia on this current administration – they are mostly a bunch of supposedly high intelect types who have never done anything outside of a controlled environment – and their lack of the ability to understand things in the everyday world is very apparent.

    • friendofeducation

      Well, Fred, that is true of any person from any insititution of higher learning. Dumb is dumb whether you’re educated or not, but to say that Harvard graduates produce, “nothing.” isn’t a very inteligent statement either. Not every Harvard graduate becomes a worthless politician.

      • DrStrangelove

        Two words: Professor Gates (I believe the prosecution rests.)

      • friendofeducation

        I think you need a rest.

      • BostonIrish

        Well, friendofeducation, not everyone that’s a worthless politician is a Harvard graduate. That’s obvious. But this study is ridiculous. That’s been the point from the beginning. The fact that it came out of Harvard is just funny.

      • friendofeducation

        BostonIrish, I would agree with you that the study is foolish, but to demean all Harvard students was a bit much by some of the previous posters.

  • kg

    When I first heard this story live on Fridays 7-1-11 morning ‘news’ my jaw hit the floor. The announcer said, “Coming up, how visiting a 4th of July Celebration can SLANT (my caps) your political views”.

    To me, the use of the word ‘SLANT’ was clearly designed to cast a sinister pall over being patriotic or attending said events. I knew immediately where this was going. WBZ and the other ‘mainstream’ ‘news’ outlets all carry water for the liberal Democrat side of the aisle and they all worship Obama, Patrick, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and all they stand for. The use of the word ‘slant’ and resulting ‘story’ was nothing more than the shaping of viewers’ opinion.

    Let’s get back to real news and real journalism. Less of your SLANTED ‘news’ and views.

    • tsal

      Interesting how things are viewed. To me BZ “slants” right – not like FOX because nothing is like FOX. Seriously, if anyone doesn’t watch whatever stations he feels give various perspectives of the news and only focuses on one station, he’s in trouble to begin with.

  • emom

    4th of JULY, It’s a celebration of our country, It signifies our freedom, what our ancestors did for us. That is what I learned growing up, It never dictated any party for me it only showed me that many folks fought for this country and gave us our Independence. RED, WHITE & BLUE. Rockets red glare. A celebration of our freedom. Why in heck do they believe this is any kind of Political grouping… It sure seems a bit bias on their part. Wonder if they are republicans. They are crazy to believe this.

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