In a New York Times Opinion article by Arthur C. Brooks on July 7, 2012 gives his viewpoint on why conservatives are happier than liberals. You might want to check it out to see how many of his “links” connect with any information. One of them did, and I read the Abstract of the study. It seems Mr. Brooks has a slightly different take-away from the findings than I did.
For those of you who (as I do) get too many WTF moments reading Abstracts, I will focus on the Discussion parts of the Study, or the Findings. If you enjoy reading these, please go to the link and do so.
Discussion (vol. 19 - Number 6) Page 567 The results from Study 1 offered initial support for our predictions using a nationally representative sample of American voters. *Above and beyond the effects of church attendance, income, marital status, and other demographic variables, there was a significant effect of political orientation on life satisfaction; the difference between conservatives’ and liberals’ satisfaction with life was explained at least in part by conservatives’ stronger tendencies to rationalize economic inequality.
The study continues by adding 9 other countries to get a clearer picture of the conservative mindset.
In Study 2, we addressed several limitations of Study 1 and obtained strong additional support for the hypothesis that rationalizing inequality—for example, by seeing it as emerging from a fair, legitimate, and meritocratic system—serves a palliative function not only in the United States, but in nine other countries as well. *That is, right-wingers report greater happiness and satisfaction than left-wingers around the world, and most especially in countries where the overall quality of life is relatively low. The endorsement of meritocratic beliefs is also associated with subjective well-being in these countries.
“However, our research suggests that inequality takes a greater psychological toll on liberals than on conservatives, apparently because liberals lack ideological rationalizations that would help them frame inequality in a positive (or at least neutral) light. This could explain, in part, why conservative governments tend to increase inequality more than liberal governments (Bartels, 2004).”
In other words, to feel “happy” and good about yourself, you just need not care about others. I just thought ignorance was bliss. It’s not in political affiliation, but in one’s basic moral value system as to whether or not you feel (or give a crap) about the pain and/or injustices of other human beings. Liberals tend to feel the pain of others, hence the conservative’s reference to “Bleeding heart liberals.”
How can the people, aka “Right-Wingers” claim any moral high ground when at their core they are apathetic and callous toward the plight of others? If that’s what it takes to be happy, no thanks. I’ll refill my Prozac prescription.
As an aside from the clinical studies conducted as to the level of happiness, or perceived happiness between conservatives and liberals; I have an additional theory. It must give one a good bit of personal satisfaction to believe that you are RIGHT all the time. Not only that you are Right, but Righteously Right. Wow, how good must that FEEL? If you combine that mind-set with not caring about inequality or injustices around you; why it’s a little slice of heaven right here on this god-forsaken planet. A planet which is easy to destroy with a conservative mind-set, since it belongs to all of us, and that is no doubt some form of socialism.
Let’s take a look at some of the bumper stickers displayed by some of these “happy” people.
I can read your bliss. No thanks.