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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Thankful, Conservative Mindset

Not to make this place "Dennis Prager Central" or anything, but when someone knocks several articles out of the park in succession, then my hat's off to them. Today's article by Prager explains why it's more than just a generalization to think of Leftists as whiney, complaining types who do little to improve things...

"According to polls -- Pew Research Center, the National Science Foundation -- and studies such as Professor Arthur Brooks' Gross National Happiness, conservative Americans are happier than liberal Americans.

Liberals respond this way: "If we're unhappier, it's because we are more upset than conservatives over the plight of those less fortunate than ourselves."

But common sense and data suggest other explanations.

For one thing, conservatives on the same socioeconomic level as liberals give more charity and volunteer more time than do liberals. And as regards the suffering of non-Americans, for at least a half-century, conservatives have been far more willing to sacrifice American treasure and American blood (often their own) for other nations' liberty.

Both of these facts refute the liberals-are-more-concerned-about-others explanation for liberal unhappiness."

This is nothing new and the same can apply to the atheistic mindset. Indeed, as far back as 1855, for all of their complaints about Christianity, according to an article in The New York Observer, "Infidelity makes a great outcry about it's philanthropy, but religion does the work". It is as true today as it was back then.

Prager goes on to note some other differences in the opposing views that can affect one's happiness...

"Utopians will always be less happy than those who know that suffering is inherent to human existence. The utopian compares America to utopia and finds it terribly wanting. The conservative compares America to the every other civilization that has ever existed and walks around wondering how he got so lucky to be born or naturalized an American.

..imagine two Americans living in essentially identical socioeconomic conditions. Both earn $45,000 a year, both have the same amount of debt on their homes and both have the same number of dependents. One seeks governmental assistance wherever possible; the other eschews any governmental help. Which one is likely to be the liberal and which one is likely to be the happier individual?

This is not a question only an oracle can answer. The one who yearns for governmental help is the one who is likely to be both liberal and less happy. Conservatism, which demands self-reliance, makes one happier. The more one feels that he is captain of his or her ship (as poor as that ship may be), the happier he or she will be."

All of this paints a picture of insecure, inward-directed people who feel that Big Government should be taking care of them. I personally despise governmental tyranny and want to deal with it/rely on it as little as possible. Perhaps if the current (US) congress does what it was elected to do, there will be less intrusion into people's lives and self-reliance might be seen as the virtue that it can be and not some odd sort of anamoly that it is more commonly being viewed as these days.


Froggie said...

So, you allow opinins of some people and not of others?

Where is the data?

You're lumping liberals with atheists now?
I know some atheists who are so fiscally conservative they make Rand Paul look like a lefty.

Jquip said...

Prager's argument works only if we define "Conservative" to mean those that find *current* America a Utopia already. That's true for what it's worth; but I don't think that's the commonly held notion of what Conservative means.

JD Curtis said...

You're lumping liberals with atheists now?

No. But then I wouldn't take a characterization of a small section of a group and then try to argue that it applies to all of them. I'll leave that to a certain other blogger.

It's been my experience that most atheists I encounter on the 'net are to the left of the political spectrum. Even the conservative sounding Gun Toting Atheist. Look at some of his recent entries.

Prager's argument works only if we define "Conservative" to mean those that find *current* America a Utopia already.

I don't know if Conservative and America currently being a Utopia are necessarily inclusive. Your thoughts please.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!