Skip to comments.Sorry, Liberals ó Conservatives Donít Mindlessly Follow Authority Any More Than You Do
Posted on 06/30/2014 1:50:57 PM PDT by nickcarraway
U.S. President George W. Bush addresses reporters during a press conference in the briefing room at the White House July 14, 2008 in Washington, DC. Bush addressed oil prices and energy policy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the economy, among other topics.
Conservatives, many people will tell you, like authority. They like the idea of someone telling them what to do, lest society break down into chaos. Liberals, on the other hand, are a bit more skeptical of authority and quick to challenge it. But a new paper in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin suggests that this common belief is wrong that liberals and conservatives have the same views on authority, but differ only when it comes to what kinds of authority they respect.
The conservatives-like-authority thing isnt just folk wisdom; its also a well-known finding among those who study political differences. But the authors of this new paper, from the University of Manitoba, argue that this is the result of confusion and poorly designed past study questions: The word authority has cognitive baggage, so when we hear it we tend to think of authorities such as soldiers or police officers that are perceived as upholding conservative values. Its no wonder, then, that if you ask people whether they think authorities should be heeded, that youll tend to find conservatives are more in favor than liberals.
Control for this, as the researchers did by getting a bit more careful and specific in their questioning of study participants (What happens when the authority figure in question is an environmentalist? A civil rights leader?), and those differences disappear:
The findings suggest that obedience itself is not ideologically divisive. Counter to the intuition that obedience itself is a mode of conduct that conservatives preferentially champion, these data suggest that liberals and conservatives have the same sentiments about obedience. Conservatives only favor obedience when they perceive the authority to be a conservative. Liberals also favor obedience when the authority shares their ideology.
It's an early study in a new avenue for this sort of research, but it certainly helps explain what has happened since George W. Bush left office. When Obama is an authority and Glenn Beck a rabble-rouser, conservatives suddenly get a lot less concerned about the dangers of dissent.
How odd....I’ve always thought of it as liberals who like authority.
“Conservatives, many people will tell you, like authority. They like the idea of someone telling them what to do, lest society break down into chaos. Liberals, on the other hand, are a bit more skeptical of authority and quick to challenge it.”
Actually, it is the exact opposite.
Conservatives do believe in rule of law and order and rationality, logic, consistency etc...
But that is not the same as authority.
New York Magazine I have noticed is a direct outlet for Obama administration propaganda.
Liberals only like authority if they’re the ones in authority
Especially if it causes harm to someone they don't approve of.
What was Nancy Pelosi’s quote about how terrible it was to be against the government.
Leftists do blindly follow their “leaders”
I believe that “authorities” need to be heeded as long as they operate within the rather strict limitations placed upon them by the United States Constitution.
Once they start operating outside those parameters they can and should be told to go fornicate themselves.
Conservatives believe in individual sovereignty and liberty and limited government.
So-called liberals (actually totalitarian leftists) believe in unlimited power of centralized government authority to regulate every aspect of individual lives (except who you sleep with and whether you have an abortion). Of course, that could change, if the angels who are granted the government power to regulate society should happen to change their minds about who you sleep with and whether you have an abortion.
Once the unlimited power of government that “liberals” advocate is unleashed upon the people, the only certain outcome is that the few in power will impose their whims and will upon the people.
Conservatives, many people will tell you, like authority. They like the idea of someone telling them what to do, lest society break down into chaos.
Conservatives want a few things: 1) consent of the governed, that is, authority with limits, and 2) consistent application of authority, meaning equally applied to all (don't give one party a pass). Apply the rules with consistency and society will not break down in chaos.
Liberals, on the other hand, are a bit more skeptical of authority and quick to challenge it.
Except when Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, or Hillary Clinton are involved.
I kinda like the authority of the U s Constitution to limit leftist JBTs.
Liberal Progressive Leftists are herd animals incapable of independent judgment. There are no greater enforcers of conformity in America. That’s what PC is.
The author is confused.
Global Warming is the Perfect Example
Liberal argument for: Consensus, 97% of scientist agree. In other words —> appealing to authority
Conservative argument against: Pause in temps over 17 years, record sea ice, failed computer models & predictions: In other words —> Relying on facts to reject authority
At least Bush gave press conferences, Bammy gives oratories when he actually condescends to address the people he supposedly works for.
And liberals a lot less concerned about the police state.
It is liberals who love authority. They want a government big enough and powerful enough to control every aspect of your life. And they want to be in charge of it.
Conservatives like social order established according to proven moral values, reward for hard work and playing by the rules. If authority establishes rules that work against sound moral order, which is what liberals routinely do, then we rebel against that authority.
Proven moral values as perceived by a conservative impute power to the individual operating in self-interest which,in proper context, recognizes that consideration of the well-being of our fellow man IS part of that self-interest. Hence, the stronger individuals become, the stronger society becomes.
Liberals seek to impute power to the state and individual freedom and discretion has to be severely limited to vest that power in the state.
To characterize conservatives to be generally compliant or anti-authority is an inaccurate, over-simplified generalization.
And you know those conservative demonstrators taking over state capitol buildings and making a mess of things and making it difficult for average citizens to exercise their rights. Oh wait, that's liberal protesters doing that.
The truth is conservatives have much more respect for the rule of law than liberals. But conservatives simply don't accept anybody telling them what to do unless they feel the authority has justifiable cause.
Uooohhh, nuance and detail are SO incovient.
Uooohhh, nuance and detail are SO incovenient.
Oh, I know . . . and Democrat spin-meisters are usually illogically and incoherently nuanced.
>> Name one. <<
I'd put the anti-17th amendment crowd in that category (the founders wrote a clause back in the 1780s saying professional politicians should pick our Senators FOR us, therefore it MUST automatically be the ONLY way to run our Republic! If individuals are allowed to make that choice, our nation is DOOOOOOOOOMED!!!).
They also like to think their view is the majority view among conservatives, but I'd be surprised if 30% of conservatives agreed with them. (which is probably why Mark Levin never cites polls showing everyone agrees with him)
We brainwash real good, don't we!
Why would ending the 17th Amendment help? If we did that all Republican Senators would be Lincoln Chaffee and Charlie Crist, and no Ted Cruz or Mike Lee’s.
Exactly. Those who favor abolishing the 17th amendment are willing to mindless trust authority to appoint the “right” people to the federal government. They trust powerful elites to make that decision over individual citizens.
It’s not mindless trust in authority, it’s recognizing the fundamental differences between Senator and Representative.
The latter is supposed to represent the people themselves, the former is to represent the States-as-institutions.
C'mon. Give him credit. He's saying that's not true. You don't even have to read that far into the article. It's in the title.
Which they do with or without the 17th amendment in place. There's a reason why Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas will NEVER be Senator Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas -- the state of Texas as a whole has a completely different political ideology than the people of her district. With or without the 17th, she has zero chance of becoming a United States Senator.
That being said, the 17th amendment leaves it up to all Texas to determine who represents the interests of their state, but the abolishment of the 17th amendment leaves it up to an elite few authority figures to determine who represents the interests of their state.
The question is thus whether conservatives feel individuals of a state or the political elite authority figures of a state are better suited at determining their state's relationship with the federal government. Those who hold the latter view oppose the 17th amendment, believing that a select few authority figures holding power in their state government can be trusted more than we the people as a whole to decide their state's relationship with the federal government.
The people of the states are “the states” as far as I’m concerned. The state governments can go to hell, most of them suck, even the GOP ones.
In the minds of the anti-17ers the state legislators of both parties “oppose federal power”, which is too ridiculous a suggestion to even be called “laughable”.
While I am somewhat inclined to agree with you, the courts say differently (and there is a bit of a point here) and as we are now talking about things in a legal arena the legal aspects must be considered. — We know that the people-of-the-states is different than the states themselves because the USSC denied hearing the Prop 8 case citing the people themselves lacked standing (I thoroughly disagree, as this asserts that the State's supreme court cannot certify standing and places the States in an utterly subservient position to the federal government).
Were we to repeal the 17th, I would like to have the process for appointing [and removing/recalling] the Senator to be up to the States themselves.
The state governments can go to hell, most of them suck, even the GOP ones.
If you're talking the people in political positions, I agree.
If you're talking the Constitution / structure of them I disagree; there's a lot of good stuff in the various state constitutions.
(Given the GOP comment I assume you meant the former.)
I'm not sure this is the case; look at how McCain
becomes conservative every so often for re-election.
Removing the populism would remove a lot of the incentive to appeal to the general-public — when the Senators don't have to worry about re-election they can devote energies to representing the State.
I was yes, even in our best states, unfortunately. The House Speaker in Texas is a RINO. Utah couldn't find enough votes to override the Republican Governor's veto of a bill allowing constitutional carry. Alaska is practically a 3 party system, RINO/RAT/Conservative.
Paraphrasing Mark Twain: Respect your authorities...if you have any.
I know. My post was not saying that conservatives "mindlessly" follow authority. My post was saying that conservatives will follow authority if the authority is legitimate.
I was reacting to the "mindless" part.
And when compared to liberals "mindlessly" following authority, it's the opposite. They mindlessly rebel against authority (OWS), or they go blind to the misuse of authority when they wield it (my point #2 on what conservatives want from authority).
Try Bush, Cheney and the WOT. Recall the difference back then compared to know in tone on FNC and talk radio.
Sure, now they repeat the word ‘freedom’ over and over but 10 years ago many of them were saying ‘These laws are keeping us safe, if you have nothing to hide then you are safe’
but now they are assaults on our freedoms.