Friday, February 24, 2006

Happiness Is a Warm Gun(-Rights Nut)

Fantastic news from the Pew Research Center, via George F. Will: It has been scientifically proven that conservatives are generally more happy than liberals. And it's not just hotter Congressional staffers, owning all three branches of government or having your very own news channel -- this fact has held true since 1972. Will throws out some his own analysis. His points go beyond what one expect -- namely, that groups of conservatives can rally around one or two bullet-points without many headaches whereas five liberals can often produce ten opinions -- and instead he talks about the dynamics of pessimism:

[C]onservatives acknowledge the Law of Unintended Consequences, which is: The unintended consequences of bold government undertakings are apt to be larger than, and contrary to, the intended ones. Conservatives' pessimism is conducive to their happiness in three ways. First, they are rarely surprised -- they are right more often than not about the course of events. Second, when they are wrong, they are happy to be so. Third, because pessimistic conservatives put not their faith in princes -- government -- they accept that happiness is a function of fending for oneself. They believe that happiness is an activity -- it is inseparable from the pursuit of happiness.

Whatever. Bottom line: George F. Will should stick to writing about baseball and I wish I hated gay marriage, the separation of church and state and the federal government. Sure wouldn't mind upping my happiness by 19 percent.


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