I suspected it all along, that hard-core conservatives are psychologically disturbed. And now here’s a study to confirm it. Well, the U.C. Berkeley study doesn’t say exactly that conservatives are psychologically disturbed, but it isn’t hard to draw this conclusion from the findings. I mean, if at “the core of political conservatism is the resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality,” that doesn’t sound like the person I’d like to be, or have living next to me.
As anyone can tell from listening to talk radio, conservatives can’t tolerate ambiguity very well, so they tend to see and state things in terms of absolute black and white, right and wrong, good-doers and evil-doers. The researchers are careful to say that this doesn’t mean that conservatives are simple-minded, but it seems to me that you sure could draw that conclusion. After all, they also say that “this intolerance of ambiguity can lead people to cling to the familiar, to arrive at premature conclusions, and to impose simplistic clichés and stereotypes.”
Regardless, the most interesting thing about this study is that it suggests that people’s political opinions can be largely explained by their personality. Liberals tend to have a certain personality that is more compatible with the tenets of liberalism, and conservatives’ personality is more compatible with the tenets of conservatism. Yet, most of us believe that we freely choose our political leanings, whereas it seems that those preferences are largely determined by all the genetic and experiential influences that have gone to make up our present personality.
So, I guess I shouldn’t be so judgmental about Michael Savage and the other conservative talk-show idiots. They can’t help being simple-minded; that’s just the way they are. Gosh, for a brief moment I’m feeling so compassionate about people who suffer from the malady of conservatism, I’d contribute to a “Find a Cure” fund, if such existed.