Filed under: conservative, conservatives, democrats, happiness, inequality, liberal, liberals, republicans, survey
This is something I’ve always suspected. Very interesting story from FOXNews about liberals, conservatives and happiness:
Individuals with conservative ideologies are happier than liberal-leaners, and new research pinpoints the reason: Conservatives rationalize social and economic 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.
Couldn’t have said it better.
If your beliefs don’t justify gaps in status, you could be left frustrated and disheartened, according to the researchers, Jaime Napier and John Jost of New York University. They conducted both a U.S.-centric survey and a more internationally focused one to arrive at the findings.
“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.”
Bingo. But these are just the results of one study, right? Not quite…
The results support and further explain a Pew Research Center survey from 2006, in which 47 percent of conservative Republicans in the U.S. described themselves as “very happy,” while only 28 percent of liberal Democrats indicated such cheer.
Not a bit surprising from what I have observed over the years. I’ve met only a couple of liberals in my lifetime who I would say are pleasant, calm, rational people. The rest , by and large, I have found to be bitter, cynical, sarcastic, unhappy folks who absolutely live to be offended. They actively seek inequality and injustice so that they can further confirm to themselves that the deck is stacked against them. Now that I think of it, they’re not a lot unlike those cavemen we see in those GEICO commercials. Constantly offended. If you’re reading this and are one of the “happy” few who are both happy AND liberal, then congrats. You are a rarity.
That is why Obama’s campaign has done so well with his promise of “change”. Change to what? Liberals don’t know or care. They just know that they are unhappy, are sure that Bush has something to do with it, and will not rest until their valiant knight comes galloping in to make things right. Not able to find happiness in front of their eyes, they embrace any candidate who peddles the all-magical “change” — even if they have no idea what that change will be.
So what about us conservatives? Aren’t we always angry? Nope. Don’t we always rant and rave in blogs or talk radio? Sometimes. But we’re not chronically angry people. We leave it on the desk when we go home. We have the ability to enjoy life outside of politics and enjoy the company of others in social situations regardless of their beliefs. Basically, anger is not a way of life for us and — here’s a deep dark secret — even when we are ranting and raving we are actually having a lot more fun than you may realize.
But don’t us conservatives get mad or unhappy at things going on around us? Sure we do. It’s just that we have a better ability to put things in perspective and get on with our lives. We don’t believe that our happiness or quality of life depends upon government. We don’t rest our hopes and dreams upon who takes office in 2008. We don’t take every bit of unsavory news as evidence that the world is going down in flames. We don’t lug our anger around like an albatross and — most importantly — we don’t look outside of ourselves for our own happiness.
And therein lies the heart of the matter — only YOU have the ability to make yourself happy. No person, place or thing can do it. No politician, political party, musician, activist, artist sage or guru can ever bring it to you. Infinitely wiser folks than I have recognized that happiness comes from within.
So why then do “happy” conservatives like myself become active in politics? Because liberals are becoming too powerful in society. We recognize the happiness that we inherently enjoy may someday be snuffed out as our freedoms become increasingly scarce due to social conditioning, consumer activism, political correctness and this unending quest to “level the playing field” (translation: if that guy next to you is miserable then YOU have to be miserable too). We recognize it and we do our part in speaking out against it so that our children will enjoy the same freedoms we had.
And in speaking out we offer an alternative: find your own happiness. The Founding Fathers called it a “pursuit” and it is this RIGHT to that pursuit of happiness that truly makes us all equal.
That’s the truth as I know it and I am HAPPY to report it to you.
“What are you smiling at?”