We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
What I think what they mean is "Is being Conservative a mental ailment?" After all, people routinely change their political views with life experience. Anyway, in my view it's a stupid and pointless question.
This biological or psychic determinism -- the peculiar notion that fundamental political differences "don't really have anything in particular to do with politics" -- should explain liberals as well as conservatives. Most of its practitioners, however, seem to assume that liberal values such as fairness and compassion are, for lack of a better term, normal and that it is conservatives' beliefs and values that are different, even deviant, and thus in need of explanation... John Jost, a professor of psychology at NYU, sees conservative "aversion to ambiguity, a sense of threats, and disgust." Scott Eidelman, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Arkansas, says "conservatives generally crave closure, prefer to act quickly, choose instinctive solutions." Riley Dunlap, a sociologist at Oklahoma State, thinks the effort to be fair and balanced is misguided. "I'm not personally convinced that there is an equal balance of bias," he says. "I believe that we see things like authoritarianism, dogmatism, closed-mindedness, to be distributed currently more on the right than on the left
I wonder which gene controls the desire to live as a parasite on the resources of others? Is there a gene for the aversion to living with the consequences of choice that expresses itself as a tolerance for ambiguity?
Just the quote brought back a memory: Back in 1982 I was teaching printing one day a week at a Community Centre in Earls Court ( a district of London). The Community was going to hold a little summer fair, and the one paid worker on the project, a lady named Hilary, persuaded me to run a badge making stall.
So I showed up with my long hair in an African shirt I'd bought in thrift shop. I wasn't into doing this, but I thought I ought to make a splash if I was.
There was security guard on the site: navy pants, blue shirt, black tie, close cropped blond hair and a South African, so one of the great villains of the liberal world then.
As dusk fell at the end of a long summer's day Little Hilary got him and I talking. I think she asked him what he thought of my shirt. He was nervous. He said it was OK but he preferred a more conservative look as I could see.
Bang! I suddenly saw that my tastes were as unsettling to him as his were to mine. I saw that I might be being offensive, unintentionally, but offensive nonetheless. My mind opened.
Perhaps some of you might not like the idea of a liberal woman who works on a community project, but she earned her buck that night.
Those "scientists" in the article's excerpt who are making these judgements are in the fields of psychology or sociology, fields which are much closer to bovine excrement than they are to science. I would no more believe a sociologist or a psychologist than I would an astrologist or a witch doctor.