The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Conservatives are Happier--They Love Cars!

George Will in the Washington Post comments on a Pew Research Center survey which shows...
that conservatives are happier than liberals -- in all income groups. While 34 percent of all Americans call themselves "very happy," only 28 percent of liberal Democrats (and 31 percent of moderate or conservative Democrats) do, compared with 47 percent of conservative Republicans. This finding is niftily self-reinforcing: It depresses liberals.
Will says it's not winning or losing elections that explains this happiness inequality.
Republicans have been happier than Democrats every year since the survey began in 1972. Married people and religious people are especially disposed to happiness, and both cohorts vote more conservatively than does the nation as a whole.
As an example of liberal malaise, Will points out that liberals can't even enjoy their automobiles...
But, then, conscientious liberals cannot enjoy automobiles because there is global warming to worry about, and the perils of corporate-driven consumerism, which is the handmaiden of bourgeoisie materialism. And high-powered cars (how many liberals drive Corvettes?) are metaphors (for America's reckless foreign policy, for machismo rampant, etc.). And then there is -- was -- all that rustic beauty paved over for highways.

Now that's sad. Really sad. I've been a lover of cars since I was a child, and I still enjoy driving cars, looking at them, admiring their beauty. I'm going to do a post sometime about my membership and competition in the General Motors Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild (as a teen I designed and built model cars out of wood for entry in this competition) and how that changed me.

It's maybe a little crazy and is by no means the primary factor, but my love for automobiles may be another reason why I became a conservative.

I always felt conflicted about this passion when I was a liberal for the very reasons Will mentions. I don't feel that way anymore. Although I've never owned a Corvette (I've lusted in my heart for them though), in the late 60's I did own a 400 cubic inch 1968 Pontiac GTO with a four speed manual transmission. This beautiful beast was a metallic dark turquoise in color with a black vinyl top, black leather interior, and redline tires. Sweet Car. The GTO in the first pic is a '68 like mine except for its color (green) and its lack of a vinyl top. The second pic is of course a Corvette. Now that I'm a conservative instead of a grumpy old maternalistic liberal I can fully enjoy cars again. That makes me very happy.


  1. Maybe you always liked cars because you never really were a liberal.

  2. Pat, There's truth to what you say. I was raised by very conservative parents(socially and politically). So, much of my early liberal acting out in my early twenties was to rebel against my them. Then came the "fitting in to academia" period. But the truth is I was always a little uncomfortable with the liberal line. The anti-capitalism stuff especially bothered me. My parents worked hard and raised their standard of living considerably over their lifetimes. I'll do a post on this later and go into more detail.