Always interested in breaking down the dueling political dichotomies, I recently stumbled onto an old article from Life Science entitled, “Conservatives Happier Than Liberals”. Having spent a lot of time reading the left, even I was surprised at the blatant bias and backward reasoning the article attempted. The very first sentence gave me a glimpse into the Live Science Senior Writer’s mind; “Individuals with conservative ideologies are happier than liberal-leaners, and new research pinpoints the reason: Conservatives rationalize social and economic inequalities.” She’s attempting to prove that Conservatives on average are happier than Democrats due to their ability to overlook and/or rationalize inequality. Her view, along with many of the article’s commenter’s articulate an important point that still needs to be understood; Conservatives think Liberals are misguided or wrong, Liberals think Conservatives are bad or evil.
The article chooses to overlook the real reasons for Conservative happiness, instead focusing on the idea that, “Conservatives also scored highest on measures of rationalization, which gauge a person’s tendency to justify, or explain away, inequalities.” Totally overlooking the fact that inequality is subjective, it also used the term “supposedly” when referring to the idea that people can increase their social status through hard work and good performance, and that Conservative beliefs “justify gaps in status.” She cites a comment from Psychological Science saying, “…liberals lack ideological rationalizations that would help them frame inequality in a positive (or at least neutral) light.” So, Conservatives are only happy at the expense of others. Unbelievable. It ends on the note that women who highly value equality are less happy on average because, “… they are more troubled by disparities in domestic labor.”
The article simply reiterates decades of surveys that all say Conservative minded folks, on average, are more likely to be happy with their own lives or that they enjoy “greater life satisfaction and well-being.” You wouldn’t know that however, if you read the New York Times or watch MSNBC. There you find smugness and what I call misguided indignation, the tactic of reflexively assigning irreverence onto others in lieu of facing the real issue at hand. Rationalizing their own unhappiness or weak positions by blaming others, choosing to belittle or disparage instead of defending their own ideas. A clear example of this was the left’s reaction to the Justice Department’s decision to try the 9-11 terrorists in a Manhattan civilian court. We here at ThreeConservativeBros, along with millions of other Americans loudly voiced concerns at such a nonsensical idea. In turn everyone from liberal bloggers to Democratic Senators decided not to defend the decision but to demonize the Concerned as hypocrites, proponents of torture, and unpatriotic cowards. We see how this has played out as New Yorkers rightly revolted, and now the Administration as well as former liberal proponents are backing off the civilian terror trials.
These days, nearly all left-wing pundits tend to conjure up the stereotype of the angry, bitter American who’s traditional and “bigoted” views allow them to enjoy injustices perpetrated against the downtrodden. Remember President Obama’s claim about bitter Americans clinging to their guns and religion from the campaign trail? Have you seen any of the Tea Party coverage over the past 9 months?
There are many reasons why Conservatives are happier than Liberals. None of the reasons have to do with glee over inequality or discrimination, but they all have to do with values. Conservatives are overwhelmingly God fearing people who champion individual responsibility and limited government. They have a strong love of traditional family, fellowship and community, charitable giving, and adherence to the principles that our country was founded on. They believe that anyone in this country can make it through hard work and that equality of opportunity (not equality of results) is of vital importance to lasting happiness. In essence you have the ability to control you own destiny through hard work, family, and faith, instead of relying on outside entities and bureaucracies to manufacture it for you. As Dennis Prager puts it, “Liberals tend to put the onus of your success on society and conservatives on you and your family.”
Obviously no party or type of individual has a monopoly on happiness. But some inward reflection and critical thinking on the part of our unhappy liberal friends is desperately needed. The more you rely on yourself through the support of strong family and faith as opposed to that of faceless bureaucrats and childish pursuits of utopia, the more likely and closer you are to controlling your own version of happiness. Viewing yourself as a victim of an unfair world only manifests a lasting resentment towards others, a phenomenon of sad irony, especially considering the freedom and opportunity our fellow citizens of American enjoy today.