CONSERVATIVES ARE happier than liberals? That’s the analysis offered here.
Wrong. Scholars on both the left and right have studied this question extensively, and have reached a consensus that it is conservatives who possess the happiness edge. Many data sets show this. For example, the Pew Research Center in 2006 reported that conservative Republicans were 68 percent more likely than liberal Democrats to say they were “very happy” about their lives. This pattern has persisted for decades. The question isn’t whether this is true, but why.
[...] Whatever the explanation, the implications are striking. The Occupy Wall Street protesters may have looked like a miserable mess. In truth, they were probably happier than the moderates making fun of them from the offices above. And none, it seems, are happier than the Tea Partiers, many of whom cling to guns and faith with great tenacity. Which some moderately liberal readers of this newspaper might find quite depressing.
The snapshot analysis goes through it all, religion, marriage, you name it, seeing the misfortune in the world (liberals) versus believing getting ahead is possible in America’s capitalistic market (conservative), and on and on it goes.
Interestingly, the Occupy crowd is happier than the moderates who scoff at them. Yep, extremists are happier than moderates, which makes me smile, especially when rifling through the Obama fan base chatter you see here and around the web.
As for the Tea Party syndrome making people the happiest, perhaps it’s about the strong convictions behind their beliefs that lead to action that’s based on lack of doubt. Changing the world, including here at home, brings angst, right? Nope, that’s not it either, though it would make liberals feel better if it were.
I’m about as liberal as you can get and have been dedicated to the purpose of changing my little corner of the world my entire life and don’t know anyone happier than me. But then, I have followed my bliss my entire life, regardless of the hellish path it’s often led me down and the tumultuous challenges I’ve faced for decades.
It has absolutely nothing to do with being liberal or conservative. It’s about courage to follow your own path, stand up for your beliefs and engage yourself fully on a course you believe in, no matter what you hear in your ear.