Patterico's Pontifications

5/7/2008

Conservatives are Happier than Liberals

Filed under: Miscellaneous — DRJ @ 7:51 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

New research says conservatives are happier than liberals because they accept life has inequalities:

“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 person’s tendency to justify, or explain away, inequalities.

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.”

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, one’s social class attainment, whether upper, middle or lower, would be perceived as totally fair and justified.”

The authors said inequalities take a higher toll on liberals “apparently because liberals lack ideological rationalizations that would help them frame inequality in a positive (or at least neutral) light.”

Liberals may add this study to their list of examples of heartless conservatives but, if so, that’s unfortunate. It’s impossible to give everyone exactly the same benefits and opportunities. We do our best to treat everyone fairly and we work to improve how people are treated.

– DRJ

52 Responses to “Conservatives are Happier than Liberals”

  1. It strikes me that conservatives tend to own responsibility for their own happiness, to old concept of the pursuit of hapniness. Liberals on the other hand, i.e. Michelle Obama, need to recieve happiness stamps from the government.

    DavidL (0d999a)

  2. DRJ – This is nothing new, most studies show conservatives are happier than liberals.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  3. Yes but I’ve never seen a study that gives this reason.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  4. DRJ, the whole point of being a leftist is rage against the system.

    Take a look from a viewpoint of history, if I was to give you an activity, in a game of free association, please give me an immediate response with either “leftist” or conservative.

    1)Angry protest march

    2)Burning the American flag and dancing on it

    3)Stating that the country is a land of oppportunity

    4)Stating that America is imperialistic, mean, slothful and racist

    5)Saying you are proud to be American for all that she stands for and against

    6)Saying that you are not proud of America for all that she stand for and against

    7)Going to a 4th of July picnic wearing a flag lapel pin and putting your hand over your heart during the National Anthem

    8)Thinking that 4th of July picnics are off-putting, and that a flag lapel pin is the “wrong” kind of patriotism, and putting your hand over your heart is a sign of jingoism

    9)Pointing out that America has spent billions here and abroad fighting AIDS

    10)Suggesting that America invented AIDS to kill people of color

    If you live your life in a protest, anger, rage, deceit, bile cesspool…why would you be happy. The whole raison d’ etre for your existence is to “prove” how “bad” your own country is, the people in it are not who you want to associate with, and you survive on negative energy…like the primordial slime in Ghostbusters.

    They aren’t happy, because being unhappy…energizes them. They aren’t happy, because being unhappy galvanizes them. They aren’t happy unless they’re unhappy.

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  5. DRJ – I agree with DavidL that liberals cede responsibility for their happiness to others or powers beyond their control, hence the culture of victimhood and the need for an overarching nannystate to look after them to set things right. Politics is personal on the left, for many serving as the only and most important identifying characteristic of individuals, helping to explained the unhinged actions and vitriol stemming from that side of the spectrum.

    I don’t have to allow others to be responsible for my happiness. If I do, they are just taking up space in my head rent free.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  6. Liberals should be happy that conservatives are not as angry as they, or all Hell could break out.
    As a resident of the Peoples Republik of Kalifornia, and a Conservative, it is difficult to keep life on an even keel – and it is getting more difficult with each passing year.
    Beware!

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  7. cfbleachers – I believe you and I are on the same page. I was just trying to be succinct.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  8. Social Justice—To each according to his achievements.

    Bar Sinister (3c44d0)

  9. cfbleachers – I believe you and I are on the same page. I was just trying to be succinct.

    Ouch! LOL…ok, this one is shorter…

    1)When is the last time conservatives organized an angry protest march of any size against leftist politicians or politics?

    2)Which side of the political spectrum do you associate with riots, violent demonstrations, bombing dances, murdering judges, …in the name of peace and anti-war activities?

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  10. The Left must remember, that though conservatives (Jacksonians) have a very high threshold for anger, once you’ve pushed past that point, your ass is grass!

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  11. Michelle Obama is still seething about her low SAT scores.

    (and of course this study will piss off libs even more)

    Tom (eae57d)

  12. though conservatives (Jacksonians) have a very high threshold for anger, once you’ve pushed past that point

    Always amazes me that the Left pushes so hard, after ll, conservatives are the ones with the guns!

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  13. And, we know how to use them!

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  14. It’s a shocker to learn that people who hate everthing about the country they live in, and hate the people who work and pay the taxes to feed them are unhappy. That could explain the massive use of drugs by left wingers (aka democrats). They just don’t want to be unhappy.

    Scrapiron (c36902)

  15. When you spend your life posing as superior – but deep down knowing the awful truth of your own mediocrity – you tend to:

    1. be unhappy; and

    2. support a poser philosophy.

    yoda the bartender (fc54bb)

  16. This goes far to explain why so many of their policies, while completely ineffectual and often producing the oposite outcome than desired, are started and continued solely on the basis that they make them feel good for doing something.

    Perhaps if they did something that worked, their outlook would improve…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  17. we need a study on which group has better sex lives.

    assistant devil's advocate (f82fd6)

  18. > 1. be unhappy; and
    > 2. support a poser philosophy.

    You have just summed up the Gaius Baltar plotline on Battlestar Galactica.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  19. we need a study on which group has better sex lives.

    LOL.

    I think leftists win in the category of variety, conservatives however are less likely to want to get rid of the evidence…including offspring.

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  20. Reality bites! There’s a good chance we’ll have a Marxist Potus in ’09 and an rubber stamp socialist Congress. Hope! Change! What’s the worst case scenario? The economy devastated? A few big cities in ruins? A world-wide depression? I don’t think it is chicken little thing to suspect that the far left is capable of screwing up everything far worse than Carter ever did.

    Living here in middle of moonbat land S. Fla. has its vices and virtues. Guess I don’t have to worry about heat in winter and things grow well year around. Plenty of rednecks with guns. Plenty of ancient geezers who demand what they consider their due. Plenty of unwed mommies popping out endless welfare cherubs. Lots of foreclosures with a real estate market off 50% from highs in many developments. At least I don’t have kids to worry about. I have my guns, but not much on sanctimonious organized religion….not bitter, but see things going to hell in a handbasket soon enough. Legalize the illegal immigrants and forget about anything other than socialism ruling things. It is a sad state of affairs. Pompous phony windbags like the Goracle, Lurch, Rosie, Hollywood glitterati, politicians and the fancy talking heads in media all have their bling and the rest of us can go pound sand.

    madmax333 (138e7f)

  21. ada,

    we need a study on which group has better sex lives.

    Those have been done already and indicate that conservatives have the better sex lives: more frequency, happier with them, etc.

    ras (fc54bb)

  22. Scott Jacobs #16 – I think you’re really on to something here, this point about emotion.

    For example, Patterico’s latest postings regarding the DNA article in the times show that the left intends well, but because of their generally emotional and irrational nature, they end up failing to solve complex problems and issues, and actually make them worse by confusing irrelevant variables with important ones.

    They become worked up regarding the “innocent” people “wrongly accused” in the DNA hits rather than realistically appraising what the hits mean and how to present them as evidence, thereby clouding the issue and endangering people who could be exonerated from the correct application of DNA evidence. The exact opposite of their stated goals.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  23. “We do our best to treat everyone fairly and we work to improve how people are treated.”

    And there’s the rationalization.

    stef (7cc81b)

  24. stef, I’ll take my conservative rationalizations over your liberal delusions any day.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  25. Are they rationalizations or observations?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  26. Okay, stef. State your position.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  27. Let’s say that this thread is just summing up for self described cons and libs.

    I think libs are less happy because deep down they blame themselves or “the system” (ie. giant and unfixable) for things not being the way they think they should be.

    Cons are happier because they know who to blame for all their and their societies problems….The “liberals” of course

    People with someone to blame are always happier.

    EdWood (06cafa)

  28. It strikes me that conservatives tend to own responsibility for their own happiness

    That, and I’ve pondered the possibility Conservatives are happier since they tend to believe that helping your community and giving to charity begins with them personally and not with the government; I, myself, have noticed how much happier I am since my conversion and I began sending donations to the charity of my choice. Now I feel like I am actually making a difference rather than before when I sent in my quarterly tax payment I felt like my money was suppose to go to helping my community however all I kept hearing for most of my life was how miserable and hopeless everyone was; it made me bitter knowing my good intentions ended up in a black hole of government misery.

    I understand why Liberals have a difficult time being happy; they assume the government’s purpose is to take care of people while the government could care less about people.

    More than rationalization, I think Conservatives just have a better perspective on things.

    syn (1017f1)

  29. “This goes far to explain why so many of their policies, while completely ineffectual and often producing the oposite outcome than desired, are started and continued solely on the basis that they make them feel good for doing something.”

    Like abstinence education and creationism in schools.

    stef (87fe55)

  30. stef,

    You are making a habit out of poking holes in other people’s comments. How about stating your position for a change?

    DRJ (a431ca)

  31. Before you can believe in something, it is a good idea to actually know something.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  32. “You are making a habit out of poking holes in other people’s comments. How about stating your position for a change?”

    Poking holes? I’m reinforcing scott.

    stef (603c39)

  33. Like abstinence education and creationism in schools.

    Yes Stef. Years and years of sex ed – with demonstartions on how to put on the condom, and lists of BC options – did wonders for teen pregnancy and STD rates. Good show!

    And you’ll note, please, that we would like creationism (or intelligent design) taught along side evolution. We rarely try and forbid it’s teaching.

    Unlike the evolution side of the coin, who have anurisms whenever the possibility of teach both views is even mentioned.

    I would also point out that teaching creationism doesn’t actually DO anything. Unlike Welfare, Social Security, Medicare/cade, Public Education, Farm Subsidies, Affirmitive Action, or any of the other host of systems that get more and more money every year dispite being mismanaged, ineffectual, and ultimately wastes of time.

    Would you care to try again?

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  34. i believe that humans evolved from lower primates. i’m curious as to who here actually believes that they were created in seven days by a god, and what their explanation might be for this god creating a false, misleading fossil record to trick humans into unbelief so that we might end up in his hell.

    assistant devil's advocate (4a7b3f)

  35. ADA, well if one was a Scandanavian pagan, they’d say it was Loki who did it.

    And then how would you rebut that?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  36. I believe humans were created by God. The whole “seven days” bit is up to interpretation, even amongst Christians, because Biblical timeframes can be (intentionally) imprecise, metaphorical, or allegorical. As far as the fossil record (what there is of it, anyway) goes, I don’t believe that evolution and creationism are mutually exclusive concepts. It’s called “theistic evolution”; even Billy Graham believed signed onto the idea.

    As far as Darwin’s theory goes, it’s not the idea of “evolution” that I have a problem with, logically. It’s the idea that lightning struck a pool of water and somehow, spontaneously (and utterly accidentally), created life.

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  37. I agree with Leviticus.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  38. i believe that humans evolved from lower primates.

    Uh-uh. Humans have a common ancestor with lower primates. For all we know, today’s lower primates are lower primates because Angels did not find their great-great-etc.-grandmothers as attractive as “the daughters of Men”. See Genesis.

    As to the broader question, Darwin wrote “On the Origin of the Species” not “On the Origin of Life”. See a post by Brad Linaweaver at Big Lizards on the subject.

    nk (1e7806)

  39. “As to the broader question, Darwin wrote “On the Origin of the Species” ”

    Its actually “On the origin of species.” No “the.” He’s not talking about just one species, but speciation, an important idea to biology that we shouldn’t confuse kids about.

    stef (b022b7)

  40. I believe that evolution happens, I just also happen to think that someone/thing has had more than a casual hand on the process. Something, somewhere, gave it all a nudge…

    And if nothing else, even if it’s all 100% random chance and evolution… Where did the stuff that came from the big bang come from? Go back far enough, and it had to come from somewhere…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  41. “As to the broader question, Darwin wrote “On the Origin of the Species” not “On the Origin of Life”.”

    - nk

    Fair enough, and I understand the distinction, but I think there are a lot of people eager to equate the two.

    “And if nothing else, even if it’s all 100% random chance and evolution… Where did the stuff that came from the big bang come from? Go back far enough, and it had to come from somewhere…”

    - Scott Jacobs

    David Hume argued that point through Demea, in the Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  42. Conservatives also scored highest on measures of rationalization, which gauge a person’s tendency to justify, or explain away, inequalities.

    Hilarious.

    DRJ, I genuinely give you credit for a certain degree of anti-political bravery. I would expect conservatives reading this article to either bury it, or else stridently announce it as itself an example of liberal bias. “Look, this guy is accusing conservatives of not caring about inequalities! He’s stereotyping conservatives! Just another conservative-hater!”

    You have taken option C: forthright acceptance as scientific fact that conservatives tend not to care about inequality and are thus happier. Props to your bravery.

    Now for:
    We do our best to treat everyone fairly and we work to improve how people are treated.

    I’m sure you perceive yourself that way, but I suggest that you do a poor job of observing your other thoughts and actions and searching for contradictions. Besides, the second sentence is so broad as to be literally meaningless. How who is treated? Liberal politicians? Immigrants? Criminals? Environmentalists? Journalists of the LA Times? You do your best to work to improve how who is treated?

    In reality, you do your best to work to improve how your personal tribe is treated. You’re not alone or exceptional in this regard, but I’d like to see your record of advocacy for universally neutral (for example) legal processes.

    Here’s a great example for you:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/07/us/07execute.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    The NYTimes has a great article today demonstrating how public defenders’ offices around the country are a haven for the lowest bidders, drunks, fools and the heartlessly indifferent. Why don’t you demonstrate some interest in “working to treat everyone fairly” and run some articles encouraging genuine changes in the slow starvation of public legal aid in the US? As it is, poor people are fish in a barrel in US courts.

    glasnost (4b51cd)

  43. Just a thought on this thread…
    I, as a Conservative, am responsible for my own actions, thoughts, and circumstances.
    I am not responsible for what others do, or think.
    I can teach a man to fish, but I can’t fish for him (unless he is physically unable, then I am indulging in charity, which is an act of my own choice).
    I cannot save the World, I can only point out that certains paths do not lead to Valhalla, and I try to not take them. If others wish to, it is their business, and their responsibility.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  44. glasnost,

    You have taken option C: forthright acceptance as scientific fact that conservatives tend not to care about inequality and are thus happier. Props to your bravery.

    Now for:
    We do our best to treat everyone fairly and we work to improve how people are treated.

    My “forthright acceptance” is that I realize inequality is a part of life, not that I don’t care about it. In addition, the “we” I was referring to included all Americans, not just conservatives. If you’d prefer that I exclude you from that statement, consider it done. And thank you for proving my point that liberals love to make conservatives look heartless.

    As for your public defender example, I’m not surprised the system is faring poorly. It’s poorly designed.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  45. It seems such a study would only serve to make Liberals mad.

    Thank you for your time.

    The Outlander (5d6328)

  46. LOL,
    Perhaps the validity of a survey regarding happiness and political belief has an element of bias built in depending on the political situation at the time of the survey. I certainly have been living a more serene life in the age of Bush than I did during the eight years prior.

    Amused Observer (3bc861)

  47. conservatives tend not to care about inequality

    No, we care a lot about it…

    We just know it isn’t Our Fault that it exists

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  48. You are making a habit out of poking holes in other people’s comments. How about stating your position for a change?

    DRJ, every time she does, the position gets annihilated

    Paul (266a05)

  49. Can I post yet?

    Levi (76ef55)

  50. Liberals spend too much time at night worrying they wont be able to get up the next day becuase the last specked tootie fly went extinct and they cant afford to get tires for their sissy pink bicycle becuase theres no more squeaky monkeys

    krazy kagu (161f77)

  51. Hahahahahahahaha… What the hell!? That may be kagu’s best comment ever.

    Leviticus (ed6d31)

  52. The choice of the word “rationalization” implies that what the conservatives believe is wrong, that it is obviously wrong to an objective observer, and that it is a sort of psychological defense mechanism. It doesn’t sound like the people who did this study were at all objective, which calls the study into serious question even if you like the results.

    Doc Rampage (01f543)


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