|War and Its Moral Equivalent||The Hard Choices Will Wait|
by Christopher Chantrill
June 30, 2008 at 12:04 am
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 Chicagos 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, Schweizers findings make sense.
Liberals are more materialistic than conservatives, he finds. Of course they do. 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 memorythe Clintons, Gores, Kerrys, and Obamasdont 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 dont 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. Schweizers 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 Kerrys 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. Heres the result of a political knowledge test conducted in 2000. A high score is good.
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.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable...
[1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006
No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, Letter to Lord Lytton
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel