Conservatives: The Smartest (And Happiest) People in the Room

Barb Wire

A study now confirms what many conservatives have known for a long time.  Liberals are not as enlightened as they want everyone to believe.  The truth is that conservative, Tea Party-types actually tend to be the smartest people in the room.  Right-Wingers, as they’re often negatively referred, are typically the nation’s best and brightest, and we now have the statistical evidence to back up that claim.

Remember when the media and the Democrats had a field day lampooning the intelligence of President George W. Bush and, by association, the rest of his conservative Republican base?  Well, as it turns out, the joke is actually on them!  Now, we all get to poke a little fun at the expense of liberal ignorance.  Despite U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent ridicule of climate change “deniers” as “flat-earthers” during a speech to Indonesian students, civic leaders and government officials in Jakarta, a new report by Dr. James Lindgren reveals that the actual science deniers are, in fact, largely populating the Democrat party.  It’s time to get your own political, unscientific house in order, Secretary Kerry

Based upon a recent report of the National Science Foundation (2014) which drew data from the 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012 General Social Surveys, Dr. James Lindgren, Professor of Law at Northwestern University, examined the correlation between political/ideological affiliation and the following two indicators of scientific proficiency:  1.) Belief that astrology has a scientific basis and 2.) A knowledge that the Earth revolves around the Sun and that it takes a year to do so.

According to Dr. Lindgren’s report, “The results are weighted by adults in the household and non-response.”  In a nutshell, here are the highlights (or the low-lights, if you’re a liberal) of his published findings:

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Belief that astrology is scientific by party:                                                             Republican:  36.9%  Democrat:  49.1%

Belief that astrology is scientific by ideological/political orientation:                  Conservatives:  40.1 %  Liberals: 45.5%

Knowing the Earth revolves around the sun and it takes a year by political group:       Conservative Republicans:  67.3%  Liberal Democrats: 64%                                      Republican:  61.1%  Democrat 48.4%

Many in the media and academia have tried to creatively spin the analysis of Dr. Lindgren’s report by pointing to the economic edge that conservatives hold.  They contend that the findings of this study are merely a representation of the fact that children from conservative Republican households have better access to greater educational opportunities because they are more wealthy, have an unfair advantage over others of lower socioeconomic status, can afford the best colleges and universities, blah, blah, blah.   It’s just more of the expected liberal “class warfare” rhetoric.  Regardless of their excuses, the fact still remains, and this study confirms it, that conservatives are smarter, and it’s about time that liberals started giving conservatives the respect they deserve.  But I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

So, who’s happier?

Dr. James Lindgren is none other than the same professor who earlier discovered that conservatives are also happier than liberals on average.  In 2003, he wrote that “conservatives were more satisfied with their health, their friendships, their family life, and the city or place they live — all in all, a remarkably consistent picture.” There’s also a considerable amount of additional evidence to support Dr. Lindgren’s assertions.

A 2006 paper by the non-partisan Pew Research Center concurs with Dr. Lindgren’s report.   According to Pew, “Some 45% of all Republicans report being very happy, compared with just 30% of Democrats…This finding has also been around a long time; Republicans have been happier than Democrats every year since the General Social Survey began taking its measurements in 1972.”

Regarding this Pew study, Michael Medved also noted in his article Who’s Winning the ‘Happiness War’?:

The GOP happiness advantage stems from the party’s popularity with people who are married, religious, and well-to-do — because stable families, church-going and wealth all produce more positive attitudes. Nevertheless, Pew reports that even controlling for these factors, Republicans still hold ‘a significant edge,’ with poor Republicans more cheerful than poor Democrats, and single GOPers reporting more satisfaction than their opposite numbers in the Donkey party.

A 2008 follow-up Pew study confirmed their earlier findings.  In the Republicans:  Still Happy Campers report,  “Some 37% of you [Republicans] say you’re ‘very happy’ with your lives, compared with just 25% of Democrats who feel the same way.”  These statistics caused David Montgomery, Washington Post Staff Writer, to label the two parties:  Doomacrats and Republigrins. Finally, the Gallup organization came to the same conclusion in January 2004, reporting “that Republicans may have found the keys to happiness, even after taking marital status and income levels into account.”

Taken together, Dr. Lindgren’s two studies (on who’s smarter and who’s happier) do definitely call into question the conventional wisdom of “ignorance is bliss.”  For although the Liberals are racking up the ignorance points, they are at the same time scoring quite low on the “Bliss Quotient.”  So, if that’s what it means to be “progressive,” you can certainly count me out…not that I ever considered the possibility in the first place.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Jeff Allen is both a senior editor and columnist for BarbWire. He also serves as senior pastor in a mainline Christian church in Indiana. He is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene. Jeff is involved in several community ministries.

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