Latest Survey Confirms: Conservatives Remain Significantly Happier Than Liberals Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, February 24 2022
Biden’s unprecedented collapse in public approval neatly parallels the latest rise in liberal unhappiness. Their aspirations of government competence are dashed on the shoals of hard reality as they itemize problems to solve, then proceed to make them worse, then suffer deepening frustration at the results.

The results are in, again:  Conservatives are happier than liberals.  

That shouldn’t come as any surprise.  Liberals literally idolize Anthony Fauci and canonize former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, only to watch such authoritarian figures disgrace themselves as their folly becomes undeniable.  

Sweet dreams and fling machines in pieces on the ground, as James Taylor might sing.  

Since 1972, the University of Chicago has conducted a broad populational study known as the General Social Survey (GSS) with the stated purpose of providing “politicians, policymakers, and scholars with a clear and unbiased perspective on what Americans think and feel about such issues as national spending priorities, crime and punishment, intergroup relations, and confidence in institutions.”  

The New York Times labels it the “gold standard” of surveys, but its readers likely won’t enjoy its substance.  

Specifically, liberals are half as likely as conservatives to label themselves “very happy.”  

Nor is this a new phenomenon.  Back in 2010, as just one example among many, the left-leaning Pew Research Center acknowledged the longstanding and growing gap in happiness:  

This big GOP edge in life’s happiness sweepstakes is not a new phenomenon…  Republicans have always been happier than Democrats.  But the current gap is among the largest on record…  [T]here is a growing body of scholarly research, not just in this country but around the world, which supports the basic finding of these Pew surveys:  that Republicans (or conservatives) are happier than Democrats (or liberals), and that these gaps persist even after basic demographic factors have been controlled.  At least in the United States, this partisan happiness gap has widened in recent years.  

Myriad potential factors explain this well-established and widening disparity, and liberals often offer an “ignorance is bliss” rationalization, claiming that conservatives blind their eyes to festering societal problems.  Liberals care more, you see.  Never mind what we’re witnessing across America and the world in terms of which side engages in “Cancel Culture” tactics.  

A better and more encompassing explanation exists in the fact that liberals place greater faith in government, which more often exacerbates existing problems and creates new ones. That fuels a vicious cycle that only multiplies societal misery and frustration because problems only seem to increase, not disappear. Ronald Reagan often captured that cycle with his trademark humor, perhaps most effectively with his 1986 quote, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’”  

For their part, conservatives tend to view history as cyclical, captured in the Ecclesiastical passage, “There’s nothing new under the sun.”  They believe that man’s problems tend to be caused by recurring follies, and take greater comfort in the assurance that established, tried-and-true solutions like individual freedom and limited government exist to avert or solve them.  

Liberals, in contrast, tend to believe in historical determinism, captured in Barack Obama’s pet adage that, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”  

But if that were the case, wouldn’t the 20th century stand as history’s most peaceful and just?  Instead, it was the deadliest, without rival.  And the reason that it was the deadliest is obvious:  because of faith in coercive and frequently cruel government mandates, aiming toward humanity’s perfection via sheer government force.  Recall Josef Stalin’s willingness to break many eggs in a grand attempt to build a utopian social omelet.  

Speaking of Obama and further illustrating the point, wasn’t he supposed to solve the world’s problems via “Hope and Change”?  

In any event, liberals more often parrot a moderated version of Marxist determinism, that human history is a story of linear progression toward some sort of utopia.  They deny “human nature,” and instead believe that humans can be perfected through technocracy and government force.   

Joe Biden’s first year in the White House, with his party controlling both houses of Congress, offers a moderated and more recent illustration of the futile pursuit of government activism.  

Recall Biden cantankerously lecturing Americans at the beginning of his presidency that, “Look, we know what we need to do:  Tell the truth, follow the scientists and the science, work together, put trust and faith in our government to fulfill its most important function, which is protecting the American people.”  

Trust the government?  Where do we stand one year later?  More Americans have died under Biden’s watch than his predecessor whom he relished blaming.  Places like New York affirmatively worsened citizens’ lives while failing to stifle the pandemic.  Working Americans suffer destructive inflation unseen in their lifetimes due to government policies, increases in murder and violent crime beyond 2020’s record rise, chaos and lawlessness at our southern border, a catastrophic retreat from Afghanistan, social discord and dangerous international instability.  

Biden’s unprecedented collapse in public approval neatly parallels the latest rise in liberal unhappiness. Their aspirations of government competence are dashed on the shoals of hard reality as they itemize problems to solve, then proceed to make them worse, then suffer deepening frustration at the results.  

Wash, rinse, repeat.  

Meanwhile, conservatives prefer the proven superior alternative of more limited government and individual focus that brings greater well-being in places like Texas, Florida and Utah implementing it.  A system emphasizing limited government and individual rather than collective rights produced the most innovative, prosperous nation in human history.  Conservatives tend to realize that no person or society can be perfected, but by constraining government and reducing man’s ability to inflict evil upon his fellow man, greater happiness results.  

There’s indeed nothing new under the sun, and we’re re-learning the lesson of liberalism and its illusions once again today.