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Why Liberals Are More Likely to Be Unhappy People

Depressed woman sitting in a bar and looking at her cell phone while waiting for a call from her boyfriend.

Did you know that for all the projection you get from liberals about conservatives being angry, unhappy, bitter people, conservatives are actually happier than liberals? Don’t take it from me; take it from Arthur Brooks in the very liberal New York Times:

Scholars on both the left and right have studied this question extensively, and have reached a consensus that it is conservatives who possess the happiness edge. Many data sets show this. For example, the Pew Research Center in 2006 reported that conservative Republicans were 68 percent more likely than liberal Democrats to say they were “very happy” about their lives. This pattern has persisted for decades. The question isn’t whether this is true, but why.

Now, there are a variety of theories that help explain why conservatives are happier. Could it be because percentage wise, more conservatives are married or religious? Arthur Brooks had something to say about that:

Whether religion and marriage should make people happy is a question you have to answer for yourself. But consider this: Fifty-two percent of married, religious, politically conservative people (with kids) are very happy — versus only 14 percent of single, secular, liberal people without kids.

He also added this, which many liberals may agree with:

An explanation for the happiness gap more congenial to liberals is that conservatives are simply inattentive to the misery of others. If they recognized the injustice in the world, they wouldn’t be so cheerful.

Is it that conservatives simply don’t see all the injustice in the world or could it be that conservatives do see it, but the attitude they have about that misery is different? Conservatives generally believe in making a better world, but they have very little faith that the government can make things better; they don’t believe you can make utopia here on earth and they have a pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps philosophy. Charity? It’s a good thing and something that we should all strive to do, but it’s not owed to you. In other words, everybody has problems, but it’s your job to take care of YOUR problems. Are we all in this together? Sure, in a broad “We wish all fellow Americans well and will do what we can to create an atmosphere where they can succeed” sort of way, but if you fail or succeed at life, that’s on you as an individual, not society.

Liberals do not tend to look at things this way. In fact, they tend to politically approach life the way liberal comic book aficionado Seanbaby imagines that Superman must look at the world,

Superman has got to be jaded as hell. Besides the crap he has to put up with from Aquaman every day, he can hear the death screams of orphans for thousands of miles in every direction. That kind of thing would get to get to you. When I hear about dynamite ninjas blowing up the president, I don't feel guilty. There's nothing I could have done; I don't know how to defuse a ninja or even where the president lives. Not Superman. He can take every single obituary personally. He can go through the paper and say, "Let's see, this was the bus that fell off the bridge when I was in the bathroom... and here, I was playing ping pong when this family suffocated under tons of rubble... Oh! And I could barely get to sleep while this former skydiver was screaming for help! Ha ha ha!"

I'm surprised he even cares when the Trouble Alert goes off. I'd expect him to say, "Sorry your government building got shrink-rayed, Congressman, but I can hear a baby being circled by vampire hippos right now. Do you want me to let it get torn apart becau-- oh, there. It's dead. Good job, Congressman Selfish @sshole. How about you don't call again until there's a real emergency like poison ivy or a leg cramp?"