Skip to comments.New Study: Conservatives are Happier Because They Hate Everyone
Posted on 05/08/2008 7:00:29 AM PDT by Ouderkirk
There is a news report starting to make the rounds amongst the MSM on a study that claims to have discovered why conservatives tend to be happier than liberals and it is just the sort of bilge that the MSM loves to promulgate. We may see more of it over the next several days because, while it is titled Conservatives Happier Than Liberals, it is basically saying that the reason conservatives are happier is because they just dont care about other people. This purported research claims to pinpoint the reason conservatives are happier and it is because they have theirs and they dont care if everyone else is poor and downtrodden. In contrast they claim liberals are less happy because they care more about people and are all heartbroken that people suffer inequalities.
Yes, they are telling us that if youre a happy conservative, its because you are a hateful, meanie. Thank you New York University.
The two researchers, John Jost and Jaime Napier of New York University, claim an interest in understanding why religious extremism is connected to conservatives. Both have interests in political conservatism and religious fundamentalism wherein they seem to assume that conservatives are but fascists in deed if not name. On her webpage, for instance, Napier says that she is interested to explore the relationship of political conservatism to system justifying ideologies, such as opposition to equality, fair market ideology, economic system justification, and right-wing authoritarianism. Why are conservatives fascists? Jamie wants to know.
Obviously these two researchers have predetermined that conservatism is an evil, oppressive ideology and they have set out to prove their thesis. With this in mind we can turn to the results of their recent research that claims that conservatives are happy because they hate everyone else.
Even though Jeanna Bryner of livescience.com puts a happy face on the story with her headline, the text following clearly casts conservatives in the worst possible light. Her very first line provides the context of the research upon which she reports.
Individuals with conservative ideologies are happier than liberal-leaners, and new research pinpoints the reason: Conservatives rationalize social and economic inequalities.
In other words, conservatives are happy because they ignore the economic inequalities of their fellow citizens and dont worry themselves over others troubles. They just dont care about other people. This is exactly what this research claims.
Lets look at the key word they use as the fulcrum of their study. Heres what rationalize means:
-to bring into accord with reason or cause something to seem reasonable: as
a: to substitute a natural for a supernatural explanation of
b: to attribute (ones actions) to rational and creditable motives without analysis of true and especially unconscious motives ; broadly : to create an excuse or more attractive explanation for
-to provide plausible but untrue reasons for conduct
In other words to rationalize is to lie to oneself and everyone around you, to explain away reality with a false but reasonable seeming explanation.
This is what Bryner, Jost and Napier are positing that conservatives do: lie. And that lie makes them happy. Not a very noble action is it?
However, the very notion that conservatism is all based on a lie proves that open minded is not a phrase that one could possibly associate with the work of these people. They start out at the beginning with the premise that conservatives are bad people. All subsequent results are geared to prove that thesis.
Bryner goes on
Regardless of marital status, income or church attendance, right-wing individuals reported greater life satisfaction and well-being than left-wingers, the new study found. Conservatives also scored highest on measures of rationalization, which gauge a persons tendency to justify, or explain away, inequalities.
So, conservatives merely explain away the fact that some Americans are poor? They shrug their shoulders and just happily ride off into the sunset. Oh, mean, nasty old conservatives.
Even the questions of this study are skewed to get a predetermined result.
The rationalization measure included statements such as: It is not really that big a problem if some people have more of a chance in life than others, and This country would be better off if we worried less about how equal people are.
Of course, this very question is divorced from any REASONS that some have more of a chance than others, doesnt it? It seems that the researchers simply take at face value that inequalities is simply an obvious evil, quite despite why these inequalities might or might not exist. This study completely discounts any explanations as but mere rationalization which completely reveals their own rationalization and makes the lie to any pretense to scientific research and places this thing itself squarely in the camp of pure justification.
Thomas Jefferson was one of the most widely recognized liberals of his day and one of his most formative concepts is that there is a natural aristocracy among men, by which he meant some people will simply be better at some things than others. Some may end up with more in life because of these natural abilities that others may lack. In fact, this reality undergirds our entire system of liberty by which we are all free to exploit our own abilities to succeed. But Jost and Napier obviously discount this philosophical idea as an evil from the outset.
More proof of their own bias is in the next paragraph of Bryners piece.
To justify economic inequalities, a person could support the idea of meritocracy, in which people supposedly move up their economic status in society based on hard work and good performance. In that way, ones social class attainment, whether upper, middle or lower, would be perceived as totally fair and justified.
Notice the obvious assumption that people really dont move up in economic status when she writes, in which people supposedly move up Whats with the supposedly? If people really didnt move up the economic ladder due to their hard work, then wed all be making the same amount we made when we first joined the work force as teenagers or young adults! Obviously people DO move up the economic ladder and it can only be because of their personal efforts.
Next we get the words of the researchers further revealing their bias.
Our research suggests that inequality takes a greater psychological toll on liberals than on conservatives, the researchers write in the June issue of the journal Psychological Science, apparently because liberals lack ideological rationalizations that would help them frame inequality in a positive (or at least neutral) light.
Ah, we see. Those liberals are so loving and caring that they just cant stand to see someone in need and it just tears them up inside. They cant explain away those darn ol inequalities and frame them in a positive light as the uncaring conservatives are able to do.
So many things wrong with just one little paragraph.
First of all, conservatives dont explain away inequalities and go off on their merry way unconcerned over the plight of their neighbors. Conservatives do feel there is no way around a certain amount of inequalities, but no conservative is happy because of inequality and they also have no particular interest in fostering it among others. Further, they do not see inequality in any positive light. Inequality lacks any moral value in this instance. It just is. It is also, on an individual basis, not a permanent state. Inequalities can be changed by individual effort as far as conservatives are concerned. This is where some level of satisfaction comes in for conservatives. The notion that it is within the power of the individual to change inequality brings a hope for the future that cannot help but cause a sunny outlook. And this is also a good reason why liberals are unhappy. After all, liberals wallow in a victim mentality, they assume everyone is against them and nothing can be done to address inequalities in life. How can such a dark view of the world not make them unhappy?
But, to explain why their central assumption that liberals care more and that they get more upset about inequalities is wrong headed thinking, one only needs to look at the statistics of charitable giving. Conservatives give far, far more to help people out than liberals. It begs the question that if liberals are so torn up inside about people doing badly, why then dont they try to do anything about it by trying to help others like conservatives do? And if conservatives can so easily explain away inequalities why do they bother to give so much of their money and time to help others? If there are any lies being told, it seems that liberals are doing it more often than conservatives.
There are substantive reasons why conservatives believe as they do but this study relegates any reasons to automatic assumptions of evil and moves on from there. Unfortunately for any efforts at science, this particular study is so bound up in preconceived notions that any results are useless to any greater understanding of why conservatives are happier than liberals in the U.S.
But, since it makes liars and uncaring louts of conservatives everywhere, the MSM should love this badly skewed research. Thus far it has appeared on Fox News, Yahoonews and MSNBC as well as its original source, livescience.com, so we just might be seeing more of this report.
Well, to be fair, it's easier on us. With them, there's a lot less TO understand.
Actually, you may notice I directly contradicted myself in post 28.
Not at all: it's the appropriate apportionment of responsibility.
The way liberals see it,though, is that other people's lives are thier responsibility, is psychological codependency. They are the dysfunctional ones.
Conservatives believe in FREEDOM.
With freedom comes responsibilities and consequences.
Conservatives understand that one is free to make good or bad life choices. That with bad choices come the negative consequences.
Liberals believe that all choices are equivalent and should yield positive outcomes.
Their unhappiness grows out of their inability to reconcile negative consequences from bad choices, since all choices should yield a positive outcome.
My B.S. detector just went off the charts.
As a general rule, I've stopped arguing with Liberals. Their willful ignorance of the way things work just makes my head hurt. I had a Lib recently tell me...in all seriousness...that the cold winter we had was a result of global warming. I played dumb and said "So, if things get warmer, it's Global Warming, and if they get colder, it's Global Warming?"
Her answer? "Yes. You're not one of those crazy Global Warming Deniers, are you?" No thought, no nothing. Just parroting the party lie.
How do you argue with people who are unwilling or unable to think for themselves?
They make many wrong assumptions about conservatives:
That we’re all greedy (rich)
That we all hate gays
That we all hate minorities
That WE are the elites (they can’t possibly be because they don’t come from money)
“party lie” = “party line”. But I think I might like my first Freudian Slip, better.
So have I. "Willful ignorance" is right -- they confuse facts with wishful thinking.
A couple of months or so ago, the adult (at least chronologically) daughter of one of my fellow synagogue members started screeching at me when I mentioned (in an otherwise polite group discussion about politics) that Clinton is the candidate for POTUS that I like the least. This woman who never met me before literally got in my face and demanded to know if I "have something against strong women." You don't want to know how she reacted when I calmly and factually pointed out why I don't think Clinton is a strong woman at all.
That statement is believable. How could a liberal possibly be happier than a conservative? How could anyone shouldering the constant and unrelenting gloom and doom burden each day be happy? How could anyone spend each day seeking the womb to tomb care they feel they so richly deserve be happy? Im surprised they are even able to sleep at night.
Also, if I recall correctly, in cases of public giving in a crisis, a recent study showed the highest per capita amount donated came from RED states, most notably the Deep South.
I suppose that if ambition and success make me a greedy elitist, then I'm guilty. :-)
Truly, the only hardcore racists that I've met have all been Democrats. My wife's Aunt and Uncle (committed Dems, both of them) gave me the advice when my wife and I were buying a house to stay away from neighborhoods with lots of (quote) "Niggers. Because they're shiftless and will steal you blind.".
I live in a mixed neighborhood, and the only problem that I've had with anyone is with the 60s-remnant hippies that live next door to me, along with their six #$@%#%^&%^$ dogs that bark all the $#%%#$^ time.
My wife's friends (all Dems...all of them) sat up one evening at oue beach house not too long ago catagorizing all of the people that they hung out with by race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. They wanted to be sure that they had a good mix, and that they should "collect" (their quote, not mine) other races, genders, etc that "they didn't have yet".
All along I've been picking my friends based on common interests and whether or not I liked them....and to hear that I've had it wrong all this time.
I'm sure that there are Republican Racists out there, I just haven't met any of them yet.
This has been the party line since Hofstadter’s work in the 1950s.
Sounds like many of the Democrats in my family. Remember, however, that many of these folks will become "McCain Democrats" simply on the racial issue alone.
Yep. I'm looking forward to watching a number of my in-laws bend over backwards looking for reasons NOT to vote for Obama.
Or, what I figure is less provable but more likely...that they'll keep their mouths shut, their wallets buttoned up, and just vote for McCain in the general election.
Liberals ate unhappy because they are irrational. The source and means of knowledge for them is empathy which is equivalent to emotionalism rather than reason.
Conservatives do care about many things, such as the morals of their children, the rights of the unborn, what is taught in our schools, the victims of crimes, the effects on our society of sex, drugs, and violence, and the protection of our rights against foreign forces who want to harm us.
Proof of the thesis is all the private charity that is indulged in by conservatives. If they actually cared about other people they would tax away all peoples’s assets and income to redistribute to everyone in a fair allocation as determined by properly educated experts.
“If everyone followed these rules, thered be a lot less needy in the first place.”
But not everyone follows those rules. Do they get what is coming to them?
Don’t get me wrong, I agree with you in principles. It is just that in practical terms, what you say is cold hearted.
Cold hearted? If you look at it from a liberal point of view, perhaps.
The problem we’re seeing today is that there is no incentive pressure to follow those rules.
Heck, if you don’t work and take care of yourself, you just go down to the welfare office and get a check.
So, considering this, do you think we’ll have MORE or LESS “needy” if there are no consequences for behaving in a way that makes you “needy”?
The needy should be taken care of in exactly the manner that I described, VOLUNTARILY by those who have made the decisions to be secure. And there SHOULD be stigma involved in having to accept this charity.
As I stated, if there are no consequences for bad decisions, there will be more of those bad decisions.
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