Thursday, February 23, 2006

Conservatives and Happiness

So the Pew Research Center has determined that conservatives are happier than liberals. Duh.

The recent survey they conducted shows this happiness gap exists accross the entire socio-economic spectrum, therefore the argument "well, conservatives are richer, so of course they are happier" is a non-issue.

This kind of research driven by rejecting the null hypothesis drives many scholars crazy. The idea is that in order to be noticed, you have to prove the obvious. It's like conducting a poll that asks "do you think guys with a lot of money get more girls?" Is there a conservative equivalient bumper sticker to "if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention?"

Everything is an outrage to liberals. Of course they aren't happy. They make it abundantly clear around every corner.

My truck is an outrage, petroleum companies profits are an outrage, Dick Cheney's delay in talking to the press about his hunting accident is an outrage and the list goes on and on.

Republicans and conservatives are rarely surprised by the crazy ideas that become policy these days, so any time they are actually able to maintain something that looks like freedom, they are content.

This quote from George Will's article today may also account for some of it:

"The right to pursue happiness is the essential right that government exists to protect. Liberals, taking their bearings, whether they know it or not, from President Franklin Roosevelt's 1936 State of the Union address, think the attainment of happiness itself, understood in terms of security and material well-being, is an entitlement that government has created and can deliver."

For lack of a need to make the argument more conplicated I am a "consrvative" and I am basically happy. Sure, I wish I had a cooler car and a flatter stomach, but I live in the most tolerant, most free country man has ever produced.

So it's on to the next big study that is begging to be conducted-- "The need for hair and eye color on Chinese driver's licenses. An empirical study."


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