WASHINGTON -- To bemused conservatives, it looks like yet another example of analytic overkill by the intelligentsia -- a jobs program for the (mostly liberal) academic boys (and girls) in the social sciences, whose quantitative tools have been brought to bear to prove the obvious.
A survey by the Pew Research Center 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 to 47 percent of conservative Republicans. This finding is niftily self-reinforcing: It depresses liberals.
This may be the most commented on research in the blogosphere this week. However, I think not that conservatism causes happiness or contentedness. I think folks who are happy and content wish to maintain the status quo. Thus they would naturally be conservatives. Folks who think things are all messed up, and want to change the world, are bound to take a liberal bent.