(Page 2 of 2)
It should come as no surprise that liberals don’t score as well as conservatives on honesty, since leftists frequently subscribe to a “higher” morality that covers a multitude of stained blue dresses. As radical organizer Saul Alinsky put the matter, “Ethical standards must be elastic to stretch with the times.” Such flexibility is certainly helpful when it come to rationalizing the biographical liberties taken by poet Quincy Troupe, Professor Edward Said, and Yale Professor Paul de Man — to say nothing of the dialogical liberties taken by Robert Reich in his recent “memoir.” Not surprisingly, this ethical flexibility only extends in one political direction.
ON ANOTHER STATISTICAL front, Schweizer provides data that show Michael Douglas’ angry character in Falling Down should have been a liberal with a UN-WORLD license plate. It turns out that “very liberal” folks are three times more likely to “let fly” than corresponding conservatives. That lamp-shattering stat corresponds with another from the General Social Survey that shows extreme liberals six times more likely than extreme conservatives to have reported a mental health problem (30-5%). Schweizer notes that the left’s emphasis on victimization contributes to this psychic distress — as does the idea that individual initiative counts for nothing against a “lottery of life” rigged by and for conservatives. Beyond those political factors, the left’s sympathy for philosophers like Jean-Paul Sartre also contributes to the frustration of folks who find an absurd universe mentally taxing.
Probably the most distressing assertion in Schweizer’s book, for liberals, is the claim that conservatives generally know more about politics. Indeed, the gap between the political knowledge of strong Republicans and strong Democrats, based on the calculations of George Mason law professor Ilya Somin, equals several years of formal education. “Independent” and “weak” Republicans also scored higher on Somin’s scale than their ideological counterparts. So much for Thomas Frank’s assumption that folks in Kansas are too dumb to know what’s good for them.
Perhaps the most unexpected findings in Schweizer’s statistical and anecdotal compendium were those related to the paranormal: that liberals are more likely to believe in ghosts than conservatives (Gallup, 42-25), that they are more likely to believe in communication with spirits (CBS, 43-29) and that they are significantly more likely to say UFOs have visited the earth. Actually, those ratios shouldn’t come as a surprise — given Hillary’s chats with Eleanor Roosevelt and Dennis Kucinich’s stated views on extraterrestrials. (Note to aliens: Dennis is ready for beaming.) Schweizer explains this data by noting that many liberals, absent a belief in God, have gravitated toward superstition, thus confirming G. K. Chesterton’s assertion that those who don’t believe in God will believe in anything.
In sum, Schweizer has created a compact sociological tour de force that is destined to meet the same fate among the MSM as Dr. Brooks’ book on giving — malign neglect. I suspect that those few leftists who deign to acknowledge its existence will focus on methodological flaws that are bound to exist in any large collection of social science data. But then, what else would one expect from a group of thin-skinned, stingy, ill-informed, and mentally unstable journalists?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?