They say misery loves company, and that may be why liberals always want to extend their control over everyone and everything—because they are miserable people. Thomas Byrne Edsall covers some of the survey evidence about the misery and unhappiness of liberals in a New York Times article back in October:
Two similarly titled papers with markedly disparate conclusions illustrate the range of disagreement on this subject. “Why Are Conservatives Happier Than Liberals?” by Jaime Napier of N.Y.U. in Abu Dhabi and John Jost of N.Y.U., and “Conservatives Are Happier Than Liberals, but Why?” by Barry R. Schlenker and John Chambers, both of the University of Florida, and Bonnie Le of the University of Rochester.
Using nationally representative samples from the United States and nine other countries, Napier and Jost note that they
consistently found conservatives (or right-wingers) are happier than liberals (or left-wingers). This ideological gap in happiness is not accounted for by demographic differences or by differences in cognitive style. We did find, however, that the rationalization of inequality — a core component of conservative ideology — helps to explain why conservatives are, on average, happier than liberals.
Napier and Jost contend that their determinations are “consistent with system justification theory, which posits that viewing the status quo (with its attendant degree of inequality) as fair and legitimate serves a palliative function.”
Need I point out that Napier and Jost are far-left? Thus we shouldn’t be surprised that the issue of “inequality” shows up for heavy work here. I suppose it makes some sense, given how the super rich are skewing left these days, and must be unhappy with guilt about this.
But let’s continue with a paper less enslaved (see what I did there?) to leftist ideology:
A very different view of conservatives and the political right emerges in Schlenker, Chambers and Le’s paper:
Conservatives score higher than liberals on personality and attitude measures that are traditionally associated with positive adjustment and mental health, including personal agency, positive outlook, transcendent moral beliefs, and generalized belief in fairness. These constructs, in turn, can account for why conservatives are happier than liberals and have declined less in happiness in recent decades.
In contrast to Napier and Jost’s “view that conservatives are generally fearful, low in self-esteem, and rationalize away social inequality,” Schlenker, Chambers and Le argue:
Conservatives are more satisfied with their lives, in general and in specific domains (e.g., marriage, job, residence), report better mental health and fewer mental and emotional problems, and view social justice in ways that are consistent with binding moral foundations, such as by emphasizing personal agency and equity.
There’s a lot more in Edsall’s long survey of academic literature on this subject, and as a liberal himself Edsall resists drawing the sensible conclusion that conservatives are generally much happier than liberals because of their conservatism.
But if you want to see a great example of the essential miserableness of liberals, take in this piece of work from MSNBC:
By Hayes Brown, MSNBC Opinion Columnist
I’d prefer we end the tradition because it’s about time that we decoupled St. Nick from the world’s most powerful military. American culture is saturated with a desire to associate the military with the saccharine. We get videos of soldiers returning home to their pets or children but never questions about why they were deployed for so long or what threat they were fighting; military jets flying over NFL games give us an injection of jingoist testosterone before more regionally focused battles of testosterone are played on the field; and we get the Netflix movie “Operation Christmas Drop,” a seasonally themed rom-com that cheerfully seeks to boost approval for America’s military base in Guam. . .
I suppose we should be glad that between the existential threat of climate change, which is urgent, and the threat to democracy from the “insurrectionist” right that nearly toppled our Constitution on January 6, some liberals still have the bandwidth to worry about NORAD’s Santa tracker.