Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Okay People, We're Officially Aberrants

For many years now, conservatives have secretly feared the day when science would identify us as aberrant. Sadly, that time has come. Found in in the pages of the liberal-leaning Mother Jones Magazine is  and a story about yet another attempt by scientists to chronicle the pathology of conservatism.

by John Kass
"Thanks to learned scientists, I’ve discovered that I suffer from the mental problem afflicting millions of Americans. It’s not really a disease. It’s more like a peculiarity, one that irritates polite society yet may be corrected with surgery to the frontal lobe.
According to research from professor John Hibbing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, conservatives and liberals react differently to certain stimuli. Hibbing and his team have determined that conservatives dwell on negatives and have a stronger “disgust sensitivity” than do liberals.
This problem, researchers believe, could be genetic.
“So, if you have a negativity bias, and you focus more on the aversive and disgusting, then the world seems more threatening to you,” says the Mother Jones piece. “And thus, policies like supporting a stronger military, or being tougher on immigration, might feel very natural.”
Conservatives, perhaps foolishly, are the glass-is-half-empty people, always worrying about the Russians and China and what will happen to the Republic when the money runs out. As if.
And conservatives are anxious about the craziest things. For example, conservatives worry about Americans who use loud and chirpy voices to insist that they “have nothing to hide” and really don’t mind the National Security Agency snooping on every aspect of their lives.
Liberals focus on happy thoughts. One day it’s ballerinas, another day it could be the prospect of Congress doubling the federal income tax, or President Barack Obama being sworn in for a fifth term.
In 2002, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley (no bias there), studied the “psychology of conservatism.” According to a university press release, they found “the core” of conservatism is a “resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality.”
Does that mean conservatives are drooling racists? Or does it mean that they support the quaint American notion of meritocracy, which by definition leads to unequal outcomes?
Does it even matter anymore? "

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