Those Mean-Spirited Liberals

Every now and again our learned scholars in the liberal university come up with a study, financed by taxpayers' money, that concludes what every liberal already knows.  Conservatives are rigid and not very intelligent.  In fact, as one study by two Berkeley professors claimed, the  the "whiny, insecure kid in nursery school" probably grew up to be a conservative.

Of course two can play at that game, and so conservative Peter Schweizer took a look at the University of Chicago's General Social Survey and a few other generally available opinion surveys and came to the opposite conclusion in his book Makers and Takers.  He found that conservatives are the good guys and liberals are the whiners.

Maybe he got different results because the General Social Survey covers the whole United States while the Berkeley professors only studied a single school in Berkeley, California.

Either way, Schweizer's findings make sense.

Liberals are more materialistic than conservatives, he finds.  Of course they are.  Believing in equality, differences in material things are very important to them.  Not surprisingly, when they discover material differences in society, liberals are offended.  There is a word for this feeling of offence: Envy.  And so it is that liberals are more envious than conservatives. 

Liberals celebrate anger.  No, we are not just talking about Bush Derangement Syndrome. "Since the sixties, modern liberals have embraced anger as a sign of genuine commitment to the cause," writes Schweizer and their political rage leaks into their personal lives.  The General Social Survey shows that liberals are more angry than conservatives and "three times more likely (17 percent to 6 percent) to have actually done something to get back at someone who had hurt or offended them in the past month."

Liberals are stingy with their money.  Again, this is hardly surprising.  Liberal political philosophy says: People Have Needs, and the government should provide.  Thus liberals, when they actually spend money on anyone other than themselves, give money to the activist organizations that advocate for bigger government.  Conservatives, on the other hand, give money to organizations that actually help people.  Schweizer shows us that the headline liberals of recent memory-the Clintons, Gores, Kerrys, and Obamas-don't give much.  But headline conservatives like Bush, Cheney, and Limbaugh do give, and give generously.

But then they would.  Conservatives believe that people should help people, and governments should stick to the stuff that governments do best, defending society against enemies, foreign and domestic.

Liberals are less honest than conservatives.  Peter Schweizer compares liberals and conservatives using the World Values Survey and the National Cultural Values Survey.  Liberals admit that they don't value honesty as much as conservatives.  They are more willing to sell "Aunt Betty a car with a bum transmission" than conservatives, and "twice as likely as conservatives to say it is okay to get welfare benefits they were not entitled to."  Schweizer's poster boy for welfare cheat is billionaire George Soros, who once "tried to get a Jewish charity to give him money while also receiving public assistance."

Did you know that liberals are not just angrier but whinier than conservatives?  Peter Schweizer samples liberal Whine Country  using the Clintons, Bill and Hillary, as representative varietals.

But at least liberals are smarter than conservatives.  Everyone knows that Calvin Coolidge was "weaned on a pickle," that Ike fumbled his syntax, that Reagan was an amiable dunce, and that President Bush is too dumb to be president.  But navy veteran Sam Sewell found one liberal dumber than President Bush.  Browsing presidential candidate John Kerry's website he happened upon the results of "an IQ-like qualifying test Kerry had taken in 1966." It showed that Kerry belonged in the 91st percentile on intelligence, a bit lower than President Bush in the 95th percentile. 

Conservatives also rank better on political knowledge, according to Schweizer.  Here's the result of a political knowledge test conducted in 2000.  A high score is good.

Strong Republican                    18.7
Independent-Republican           15.7
Strong Democrat                      15.4
Independent-Democrat            14.2
Weak Republican                     14.1
Weak Democrat                       13.3
Independent                               9.5

All this may be true, you will say.  But how mean-spirited must Peter Schweizer be to drone on for 200 pages about "why conservatives work harder, feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more, are less materialistic and envious, whine less... and even hug their children more than liberals?"

Conservatives had better hug their children more.  They have more children to to hug than liberals. Forty-one percent more, to be exact.

Christopher Chantrill is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. See his and usgovernmentspending.comHis Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.
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