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The “Science” Proves It: Conservatives are Happier Than Liberals

AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott

pelosi-biden-unhappy

In the lead-up to the one-year anniversary of the January 6 Capitol riots last week, the American left worked themselves into a frenzy of manufactured moral panic and indignant outrage. CNN ran an entire special live from the Capitol. The New York Times published an op-ed bizarrely insisting that “every day is January 6 now.” Joe Biden and a host of other elected Democrats gave breathless speeches lamenting how democracy is still “under threat” from anyone who dares support the Republican Party or doesn’t submit to their attempted federal takeover of elections. But while analysis of the left’s alarmist and, at times, absurd statements is certainly warranted, the coverage of the event also underscored one broader observation about the American left that often goes unremarked: today’s liberals are a generally miserable bunch.

Steven Hayward at PowerLine reminded us of this fact late last month. As he detailed, conservatives generally derive greater pleasure and joy from their professional, personal, and spiritual lives by a wide margin. Contrary to the caricature liberals often promote Republicans as bitter, angry, “old white people” with an ax to grind, the data suggests that, in fact, that may be a mere projection.

In the past, left-leaning academics have dismissed this notion by asserting that conservatives’ greater happiness is a byproduct of their willingness to ignore the pain of others. According to one outdated but highly referenced study, which Hayward takes to task in his post, conservatives’ ability to “rationalize away social inequalities” is the source of their greater joy. The authors of the study, John Jost and Jamie Napier of New York University assert that conservative ideology, with its emphasis on “individualism” and “hard work,” grants a sort of blissful “ignorance.” In other words, if someone is happy, it must be because he or she is callous and indifferent to the suffering of others. In the rendering of these “researchers,” happiness is a sign of moral corruption.  

The same study claims – in so many words – that liberals, by contrast, are simply too empathetic to be happy. Liberal ideology is overwhelmingly focused on collectivism and structural injustice. As a result, liberals are far more likely to see themselves less as individuals and more as the sum of whatever victimized race/class/gender structure they belong to – identity politics in a nutshell. According to the study, “conservatives (more than liberals) possess an ideological buffer against the negative hedonic effects of economic inequality.” The authors claim it would seem that liberals are just too kind-hearted and empathetic to tune out the pain of systemic injustice, and therefore their misery is a good thing.  

While this narrative may provide liberals emotional comfort, the facts are less convenient. A recent academic study investigated that conclusion and found far more fantasy than fact underpinning it. This newer study, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, noted that “Conservatives score higher than liberals on personality and attitude measures traditionally associated with positive adjustment and mental health, including personal agency, positive outlook, transcendent moral beliefs, and generalized beliefs in fairness.” Translation? A conservative worldview generally leads to a greater likelihood of living a healthy, well-adjusted life.

Furthermore, according to the new study, greater conservative happiness is grounded in “responsibility,” not “ignorance.” Conservatives believe in “the objectivity of moral principles,” and with “clear prescriptions for how to live, people can derive a sense of purpose and meaning in life.” Through a belief in self-reliance and moral clarity, conservatives feel more able to make positive change for themselves, their families, and their communities.

By contrast, the moral ambiguity and emphasis on systems of power that liberals have internalized diminish their ability to derive satisfaction from life. As the study states, “When moral codes lack clarity and promote flexibility, people may come to feel a sense of normlessness (lack of purpose in life) and alienation.” Liberal unhappiness, then, isn’t due to a greater sense of empathy. Instead, the study suggests that the ambiguity and lack of moral clarity with which most liberals perceive the world denies them feelings of power, purpose, and meaning in life.

Other studies seem to back this up. Last month, for example, a poll from Axios revealed that the most intellectually intolerant people in America are young liberals. 71% of young Democrats would not go on a date with someone who voted for a member of the opposite party, compared to only 31% of young Republicans. Over a third of young Democrats would also refuse to shop or work for a business supporting a cause they oppose. Lastly, 37% of Democrats outright refuse to be friends with someone from the opposite party, compared to only 5% Republicans. In short, it may be Democrats, not Republicans, who are really guilty of “intolerance.”

The left may be right about one thing – this country does need to find common ground and see past partisan divides. But the “science” shows that an important first step may be the need for the left to pause its systematic assault on the right long enough to look in the mirror and consider who may really be at fault for such divisions.

Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture. 


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Just me
5 days ago

I live outside of DC and one thing I’ve anecdotally known is generally, the Left doesn’t have a sense of humor. By that I mean the ability to laugh at yourself and your own foibles. Their sense of humor is generally bitter sarcasm born of unhappiness. I don’t think it’s a generational thing either.

Yup
5 days ago
Reply to  Just me

Living a little further outside DC as well…my ex-wife is very left and the bitter sarcasm is right on the money eventually beating me down until I became “Walter Mitty”. Free of those chains, I have become the man I always thought I was…happy, healthy and prosperous. This year meeting a conservative woman who’s father worked in the Reagan White House…it is great when we can laugh at ourselves instead of just me.

Fred O'Neal
5 days ago

Here is a super-over-the-top-generalization: there are two types of people in America today, those motivated by the 4 “F’s” (faith, family, friends, and fun) and those motivated by “CRASS” (career, resume, and social status). Basically, the first type is “other-directed,” meaning their concentration is on the welfare of others. The second type is “self-directed,” meaning their concentration is on their own welfare (advancing their own career, building or feathering their own resume, gaining social status for themselves). Politically, the first type looks around and decides which policies to support based on how those policies will affect their faith, family, friends, and fun. The second type looks around and decides how advocating certain policies will advance their own career, build their own resume and gain social status for themselves. In practice, that means, for example, that unless the people around you know you are 100% woke, you’re not going to advance your career in academia or corporate America today (which also means you won’t be feathering your resume). Additionally, the more woke you are the more social status you will gain with people around you also motivated by CRASS. In fact to CRASS people, the whole point of having political viewpoints is to achieve moral superiority, i.e. to be able to look down at people who have different viewpoints, to create a moral separation between yourself and others or put more simply, to achieve relative moral superiority. From the perspective of how people view life and others, 4 F people have very little in common with CRASS people. Neither group likes to interact with or be around the other. So, in short, “Houston, we have a problem.”

ibsam
5 days ago

This article is very interesting because it proves something that we all know is true. It will only get worse for the poor miserable democrats because they have allowed themselves to become spiritually enslaved to the woke cult and its sick ideology of sexual and racial hatred. We all see how they all seem to say the same ridiculous slogans, such as “saving democracy”, to justify their evil power grabs. They are terrified souls who now find themselves unable to transgress certain boundaries of thought and feeling. Science means nothing to them if it doesn’t accord with their woke ideology. The woke cult appeals to weak souls who feel that they need the protection of the cult to defend themselves against the ever-present accusation of racism. Of course, the irony here is that the woke cult is the most racist organization that has ever been burped up from the mass subconscious. And as everyone should have realized by now, the woke cult strives to suck all love, joy, and humor from American life. The woke cult only spreads pain and misery, and ruins things the American people love, such as women’s athletics, which according to their perverse rules no longer exists. Because disciples of the woke cult only breath the air of ideas within their cloudy fart bubble, they turn themselves into the most stupid and cowardly of souls. Take Barack Obama as a prime example. He started out life as cool smarty pants, but victim ideology turned him into a dishonest dufus. He ruined the democratic party with his sissy crybaby victim routine. And now he goes about mouthing the hyper-partisan spin that is constantly issuing forth from the demon that ensouls the woke cult, a demon that has been exposed, and is now running naked in a desperate panic, because the angels that guide this nation have it cornered. Now it’s only a matter of catching the slippery rascal, holding it down, ramming the white-hot rod of truth up its bunghole to hold it in place, and then nipping of its head with one stroke of sword of justice, with a swing reminiscent of the great Ernie Banks. The idiocy and insanity of the woke cult will not survive. Democrats are miserable because they put their faith in a weirdo ideology that is temporal and untrue. Republicans are blessed with happiness because they are not afraid to live their lives based on principles that they regard as reflecting the truth of the universe, i.e., not afraid to put their hope and faith in the will of God and HIs angels for courage in the eternal fight for truth, justice and liberty.

Prospector
5 days ago

It’s a scientific fact that we have better sex, too.

angel
4 days ago
Reply to  Prospector

..nd our women are better looking

Ian
5 days ago

Not only are conservatives happier and more well-adjusted than liberals, they are also more generous. This isn’t a question of wealth status, as less-affluent conservatives give a higher percentage of their money and time to charity than do less-affluent liberals. It’s more related to faith, as religious Americans of both left and right are more generous than non-religious, but the religious are much more likely to be conservative. Of course, if you’re a leftist, you can sound generous when you demand that the government (i.e., other people) take care of the poor and needy, without having to actually do anything yourself.

>Surprise! Conservatives are more generous than liberals | The Daily Caller

NotAGolfer
5 days ago

Additionally, conservatives donate much more money per income level than liberals, and much more of their time in services. The money donation is backed by an old article in the NYT called “Bleeding Heart Tightwads.” It’s about15 or so years old, but likely reflects current trends. In the version I first read, the numbers were stunning. Even when you disregard all religious donations, conservatives donated like 70% more, on a per-income-level basis. And donation of time is just my observation. The people who help others as a weekly habit (in nursing homes, helping neighbors) and during catastrophes (in boats rescuing flood victims) are largely conservative.

NotAGolfer
5 days ago
Reply to  NotAGolfer

So the point is… the idea that conservatives are happy because callous doesn’t correlate with all their giving of time and money. Whereas the left wants government to force everyone to give, conservatives want to give by their won volition.

Blake Eremo
5 days ago

The left is comprised of people with serious mental disorders. Something is broken in them. I fear it will take violence to make them leave us alone.

Michael
5 days ago

The Lefties are always angry about everything. Nothing is fare to them, America is evil, and they are jealous of everyone. Why do you think 80% of Leftist Commies are single.

Nick
6 days ago

If you’re so happy maybe stop buying so many guns. It doesn’t quite square.

Michael
5 days ago
Reply to  Nick

Guns are fun

taek kenn
5 days ago
Reply to  Nick

Hunting, target shooting, skeet shooting. Why else do they have 15 separate shooting events ( men and women) in Olympics? You may consider watching some of those events to see the skill required to win.

DrZ
5 days ago
Reply to  Nick

But almost all of the gun violence is done in Democratically controlled urban areas in gang or drug warfare. I think it’s safe to say that these people killing each other, and innocent bystanders, are not Republicans.

Bob
5 days ago
Reply to  Nick

The logical question is not “who buys the most guns.” Rather it is how are they acquired and what are they used for? Certain acquisition methods and uses do not promote happiness!

Blake Eremo
5 days ago
Reply to  Nick

Sorry fascist we will not disarm. We will kill you if you do not leave us alone

John S.
5 days ago
Reply to  Blake Eremo

Nice! Careful when attacking libs though – this site tracks IP addresses of all comments.

Brandon Von Putzo
5 days ago
Reply to  Nick

We could get them for free by jacking gang bangers…is that better?
Oh wait…where do gang bangers get guns? Oh thats right we conservatives give them guns and drugs. I forgot

Chris
5 days ago
Reply to  Nick

We may have need of those guns.
Liberals are dangerous.

Ruprecht
5 days ago
Reply to  Nick

In fact it does square. Guns are a tool for defense of yourself and family. They are essential if you are going to take responsibility for the safety of yourself and those who depend on you. When they are kept and used according to objective moral principles, the entire community becomes safer.

teresa
7 days ago

that’s obvious – the dums are just nasty, angry, insecure people. like children who don’t get their way. look at all the nastiness they did to conservatives, during the Trump years

JJ Johnson-Smith
7 days ago

The thing is, Conservatives are generally people of Faith. We believe in Traditional Families and Marriages, male-female relationships, Truthful History, Constitutional Law, Freedom, Law and Order, Clean Elections, Enforcement of Border and Immigration Laws, Adoption over Abortion, Accountability and Responsibility, Honesty, Gratitude, Hard Work, Self-Protection, Self-Reliance, and we value our Military and our Patriotic Traditions. We do not take offense at ethnic or Racial jokes, we support the right of everyone to choose their own direction in life even if we disagree with it, and we can laugh at each other and with each other. Of COURSE we’re happier! Liberals are the opposite of all these things and all these views and as a result, live in misery. They hate us, because they’re NOT us.

teresa
7 days ago

Everything you said was very powerful – great comment! the dems don’t have common sense or what it takes, to care about all that we preserve! they want to tear down every thing that is good, in our country! end of story!

Nick
6 days ago

That all sounds like so much fun.

DrZ
5 days ago
Reply to  Nick

It’s not fun, it’s the happiness that comes with personal freedom and responsibility. It beats tyranny and repression.

MariaRose
7 days ago

Too emphatic to be happy, I had to chuckle about that statement. One can be aware and sympathetic for others who are suffering but in order to help others, you have to first get yourself in the best state of mind. You can’t give joy to others if you are negative about everything.

Barbara L
7 days ago
Reply to  MariaRose

The second great commandment is to love thy neighbor as thyself. In other words, if you don’t have a clear sense of self and self-worth, and love yourself, it is impossible to have a clear sense of others and their worth, or to love them. With liberals putting all their worth in the latest cause, and with that cause ping ponging from day to day, it is impossible to have any clarity or truth in one’s own life to find any joy or happiness in it..

Geraldine McGann
7 days ago

Democrats are like “Angry Birds”!
The “scoldings” from Biden et al, you’d think we are are all belligerent 3 year olds!
Ridiculous!

Anita Wasemann
7 days ago

That is exactly how they view We the People.

John
7 days ago

Liberalism is a mental disease

Robin Walter Boyd
7 days ago

It’s no surprise that overall, more conservative minded citizens are happier than more liberal minded citizens. Just look at the way Progressive liberals portray literally everything from a negative point of view. If it’s sunny out, look out for drought and skin cancer. If it’s raining, here come the floods. Heat waves are because of global warming. Cold snaps are caused by you guessed it, global warming. We all are somewhat liberal minded and somewhat conservative minded. The more we lean to the extreme in either direction, the less happy we are about things. Those who lean more to the left are more prone to be negatively affected by those who are to the extreme left. Those who lean more to the right do not tend to be taken in by those to the extreme right. In wanting things to be better for everyone, liberal minded folk tend to believe in pretty much extremist Progressives tell them, which is all negative. The more liberal minded we are, the more we depend on having faith in others who have made their way into government agencies and political positions. Those who lean more to a conservative view of life tend to have faith that the Universe is of an intelligent design, and we are best served by nature when we work with nature rather than claiming to be able to control nature.
Honestly, I am a bit liberal minded with social issues and quite a bit conservative when it comes to politics and business. It would make me quite an unhappy person if I had to put my faith in government agencies that are controlled by other mere mortals like myself. We are part of nature. The more we understand nature, the better nature will serve us.

Anita Wasemann
7 days ago

First, we need to quit referring to them as “liberals”. Look up the definition…..they are anything but.
The Left is very good at putting pretty names on the most horrible things. If you call an ugly warthog a “pretty puppy”, it is still an ugly warthog.
I’m sure you can think of many examples of them putting the most high-toney names on the the most oppressive, power-grabbing legislation. Even them calling themselves “Progressives” is meant to be non-threatening, and we all know that “Democratic Socialism” is Socialism at best, leading to full-fledged Communism.
I used to give my husband “the look” when he would see a homely speaker on TV and say he/she was a liberal. After a few years, I figured out that it was mostly true – I could remember only one time he was wrong!
Do you think that possibly when you are ugly inside it starts to show over the years? Or could it be that being considered “ugly” has embittered them? Miserable people want everybody to be miserable. That seems a contradiction, yet it is human nature.

Tim Toroian
7 days ago

All that is required to see that is one look at Nancy’s sour, dour not so nice-looking face.

MariaRose
7 days ago
Reply to  Tim Toroian

You mean her newly “lifted” startled high eyebrows look from her latest face lift.

HocasPocas
7 days ago
Reply to  MariaRose

I’d say that she’s had so many by now that her rear end is stretched up over her head

Rick
8 days ago

Of course conservatives are happier, they don’t have to worry about having to
compose lies and then having to sell them to the public as truths.

Morbious
8 days ago

Ive found that leftists are invariably angry. Often the rage is buried so deep theyre barely aware of it as a driving force in their lives. Leftists have been hurt but choose unhealthy responses to being hurt. Instead of dealing with their issues head on, they project onto others the responsibility for their pain. Most are deeply immature; adults with the pysches of children. For the most part when conservatives are angry its at what unbalanced leftists are trying to do to them.

Bob
7 days ago
Reply to  Morbious

Well said.

Spade David
8 days ago

If the Marxist Democrats are so unhappy, maybe it is because they follow losers in their own party. Maybe they have a guilt complex because of the moral corruption of their fellow Marxist Democrats who lie, cheat, and reap hatred toward others who don’t think exactly like they think. Happiness tends to be in the DNA of folks who use common sense, lead decent lives, support those who really need help, love their families, and have forward looking thoughts that positively promote all of those things just mentioned.

Jack Lloyd
5 days ago
Reply to  Spade David

The term “Marxist Democrats” has an analogy: “Fascist Republicans.” Not a term I would use, because, what’s the point, other than provocation? As Sylvester Stewart pointed out, “We got to live together.” After two sentences, though, you come to your senses: “Happiness tends to be in the DNA of folks who use common sense, lead decent lives, support those who really need help, love their families, and have forward looking thoughts that positively promote all of those things just mentioned.” Very true, and many of those folks have been known to vote for Democrats.

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