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WHY CONSERVATIVES ARE MORE HAPPY, GENEROUS, PURPOSEFUL THAN LIBERALS

Who’s happier, finds more meaning in life, and is more generous to the poor — liberals or conservatives? Liberals, right? Garrison Keillor voiced the conventional wisdom: “Liberalism is the politics of kindness.”

Liberals, Keillor and myriad others tell us, “stand for tolerance, magnanimity, community spirit, [and] the defense of the weak against the powerful.” In stark and horrifying contrast, the “people who call themselves conservatives stand for tax cuts, and further tax cuts, annual tax cuts, the only policy they know. [They] use their refund to buy a gun and an attack dog” to keep everyone away who is not like them. We all know it’s true, right?

Well, not if you go by what serious scholars have found when they investigate this question. Conservatives have happier families, find more meaning in life, are generally happier overall, and donate far more money and time to the needy than their liberal peers.

Also, it’s not just general conservatism per se that makes the difference. The more socially conservative people are, the happier and more content with life they are. And party affiliation matters significantly. Conservative Republicans outpace conservative, moderate, and liberal Democrats. When picking your neighbors, regardless of your politics or beliefs, conservative Republicans are who you want.

Conservatives Are Satisfied with Their Family Lives

New research released by the Institute for Family Studies (you should bookmark them!) demonstrates that conservatives tend to be much more “completely satisfied” with their family lives compared to their liberal friends and neighbors. Forty-one percent of both liberals and moderates report being “completely satisfied” with their family lives, while 52 percent of conservatives do.

Conservatives are also vastly more likely than liberals to believe marriage is essential in creating and maintaining strong families. They are also much more likely to actually be married, 62 versus 39 percent, thus benefiting from all the ways marriage improves overall well-being and contentment, personal happiness, economic security, long-term employment, longevity, better physical and mental health, and more.

These scholars explain that regardless of other basic life characteristics such as family income, marital status, age, educational attainment, race/ethnicity, and church attendance, being a conservative increases the odds of being “completely satisfied with family life” by 23 percent, a considerable positive impact given the centrality of these other life factors. Married men and women who believe “marriage is needed to create strong families” have 67 percent greater odds of being completely content with their own family life than married couples who do not believe this.

This data demonstrates the real and positive consequences one’s beliefs have in establishing and maintaining family contentment, among the central and deepest parts of most people’s lives.

Conservatives Are Happier than Liberals

Second, a much larger body of research has long demonstrated that, all things being equal, conservatives tend to be happier overall than their liberal neighbors are. This is truer for social conservatives than for fiscal conservatives, and the more conservative a conservative is, the happier he or she seems to be. That’s not nothing.

A massive study published earlier this year, involving five different data samples from 16 Western countries spanning more than four decades, adds more meat to this topic. These scholars from the University of Southern California found, as they put it, “In sum, conservatives reported greater meaning in life and greater life satisfaction than liberals.”

Of course, both qualities are much deeper and richer than happiness itself. This was the robust and consistent finding in the 16 distinct countries examined. It was generally truer for social conservatives than their fiscal brethren, and the greater-meaning-in-life “slope spiked upward among individuals who were very conservative.”

These scholars explain in their academic parlance that this was true for conservatives “at all reporting periods (global, daily, and momentary).” This is a significant finding. Conservatives experience greater meaning in life across their lives generally, but also daily and at most given moments throughout the day. The researchers conclude these findings are “robust” and that “there is some unique aspect of political conservativism that provides people with meaning and purpose in life.”

Multiple studies consistently show this difference in overall happiness and contentment is not affected by whose party or ideological partisans are in the seats of power in the White House or Congress. It seems as if the beliefs themselves matter most. A good many studies in peer-reviewed journals have found the same thing over the last few decades, such as hereherehere, and this one.

This last study, published in 2012 in the Journal of Research in Personality, explains the important specifics of greater happiness and meaning among conservatives:

In four studies, conservatives expressed greater personal agency (e.g., personal control, responsibility), more positive outlook (e.g., optimism, self-worth), more transcendent moral beliefs (e.g., greater religiosity, greater moral clarity, less tolerance of transgressions), and a generalized belief in fairness, and these differences accounted for the happiness gap.

Another very interesting angle on this topic comes from the folks at the Pew Research Center. They reported in 2010 that it wasn’t just conservatism where the happier folks are found. It’s political party identity as well. Republicans are the happiest, and conservative GOPers are happier than moderate or liberal ones. Conservative Republicans tend to be significantly happier than conservative Democrats, and moderate/liberal Republicans are happier than liberal Democrats.

On top of this, Republicans’ much higher levels of happiness are constant across all income levels, including those earning less than $30,000 annually. So it’s not just the so-called money-grubbing fat cats. And remember, the social conservatives find more meaning in life than the fiscal folks. Money can’t buy happiness, but clearly ideology and party affiliation have something to do with it.

Likewise, regular church attenders are nearly twice as likely to say they are “very happy” than those who seldom or never attend, and this is consistently well-founded in a vast body of literature. So church-going, Republican conservatives are just some of the happiest, most contented folks around.

It is worth mentioning here that Pew says pet owners are no happier than non-pet people, and dog owners are no happier or sadder than cat owners. So there’s that.

(Excerpt from The Federalist. Article by Glenn Stanton.)

Take a minute to leave a comment with some of the reasons why you find contentment and satisfaction in life. It’s always a good time to give thanks and praise to God and you might encourage someone else.

 

154 People Prayed
597 People have read this article

9 Replies to “WHY CONSERVATIVES ARE MORE HAPPY, GENEROUS, PURPOSEFUL THAN LIBERALS”

  1. I dare to take GOD at His word— The BIBLE.
    When GOD is your source of Hope, you have happiness—Gratitude for ALL He has given me is the key. For if I choose to delight in him, he will give me the desires of my heart. And that is also a promise for those who make a decision to claim him as Saviour and follow Him as LORD.💕

  2. Throughout the more than sixty years of my life, whenever I have most closely followed God’s pattern for living, I have been the happiest, and whenever I have allowed myself to drift from the sure mooring of His Words, there has been grief, pain, and chaos. I have seen these principles reflected throughout every aspect of American culture. It causes me grief to know that the cultural chaos represents personal chaos of individuals who are not following God.That knowledge has prompted my presence and my prayers here. I have a deep sense of satisfaction, peace, and joy at the end of every day when I can look over it, knowing that, with His help, I’ve done my best today, and that there’s bright hope that tomorrow’s ups-and-downs with be met with the same sure guidance that He provided today. And even when I haven’t done my best, the opportunity for confession and forgiveness is only a breath away. So very thankful, so very humbled to be so very blessed by His salvation and continual presence in my life.

  3. A dear old mentor of mine says that the very definition of insanity is rejecting God. I made Jesus Lord of my life a long time ago but I still remember before that always wanting to know what was right and true but looking for it in the secular world and (naturally) feeling deeply depressed, despondent, and really in a sort of “insane” state. Having Christ as my North Star means having all the Wisdom and Resources I need to navigate this life!!! Further, I think the greatest source of peace is listening to that Still Small Voice of the Holy Spirit — and not dismissing Him. I know people who call themselves Christians, and may be, yet they refuse to be led by the Holy Spirit and reject His promptings and warnings, etc. and they strike me as some of the most conflicted people of all. I would say that the closer you follow Christ and the Holy Spirit, the greater your peace and happiness.

    I also rebuke that lie that I’ve heard my entire life and believed until I was filled with the Holy Spirit that Democrats, liberals, etc. are so loving and kind, etc. There is nothing kind about taking advantage of needy people and making them dependent on you instead of God and as we’ve seen happen in the black community and when Democrats coerced new immigrants from Europe into ghettoes promising them all kinds of goodies but in fact they stripped these people of their God-given need to exercise initiative and work, get married, save, etc. in exchange for a perpetual voting bloc. Conservatives promote life, liberty, and happiness (the freedom to use your God-given gifts, talents, and abilities). Father God, by the power in the Name of Jesus and in the Power of the Holy Spirit I pray and decree the obliteration and final destruction of these satanic lies that have destroyed lives and which are now destroying this entire nation. I pray for a revival of humility before God and man and a revival of Biblical Principles and True Liberty and Justice for all. Amen.

    1. Wonderfully stated truths about the reality of life before and after Jesus! O what peace and deep joy He brings to those who align themselves, body, mind, and soul with Him. Thank you for your words and the witness of your life. Very grateful you are my sister-in-Christ. Blessings!

  4. O Lord how wonderful You are and how grateful I am that You chose to save me! You are so merciful, so patient, so long suffering, and You know my thoughts and needs better than I do. How wonderful to open this story, as I has just thanking God while cleaning up the evening kitchen tasks. I am so truly happy, so content since 2015 when The Lord began a mighty work. I was water baptized in 2000, but continued to live my life with Jesus as an add on. Ugh, oh how I repent! Oh what an awful life of guilt and shame living monday through Saturday for myself, but dressing up for my sunday face. Thank You Lord for showing me Your Holiness, that You would not allow that life to continue. Thank You Lord for Your Revelation in Scripture, You are Who You say You are and You will do what You say You will do, including never leaving nor forsaking me. Thank You for Your kindness as an heir to Your kingdom the importance of keeping Your commandments, and loving others in truth and forgiveness. To have peace is to know the Prince of Peace Christ Jesus! Thank You my Lord Jesus!
    Amen

  5. When we had been married for just a few years we made the switch from “born and raised” Democrat to Republican. Then we got saved. Based on 51 years of marriage, we can agree with this article. We are socially and fiscally conservative. We have been blessed to know Jesus as our Savior, and our two children and twelve grandchildren are all serving the Lord. There have been some very rocky times, but God has never failed us. We have the solid foundation of the Word of God, and we give him all the glory for all he has done for us and our family.

    1. Yes LORD we give YOU glory for coming to seek and to save the lost. Thank You for MaryAnn & Ed and family for seeing them through and all of us in Your family. You never let go and we can rejoice in that!

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