Conservatives & Liberals Are Happier Than Moderates

smiley face balloonOh how Republicans and Democrats can squabble. We argue over policy. We talk about the constitutionality of Obamacare, the compassion for immigrants, the merits of school choice, and just about everything in between.

Not content to stop our competitiveness on the validity of our belief systems, we turn to which group is smarter. Or which possesses the more collective open mind. Who’s more content, we ask ourselves, in an endless race to prove our validity. It turns out, both groups are happier than the moderates.


From the New York Times:

People at the extremes are happier than political moderates. Correcting for income, education, age, race, family situation and religion, the happiest Americans are those who say they are either 'extremely conservative' (48 percent very happy) or 'extremely liberal' (35 percent). Everyone else is less happy, with the nadir at dead-center 'moderate' (26 percent).

Interesting. Moderates are always touting about how ‘balanced’ and ‘fair’ they are -- shouldn’t that make for happiness? What about the angry tea party member that growls, “You can pry my shotgun from my cold, dead hands”? How is that guy likely to be happier than the average hippie, and how is Sandra “Pay For My Birth Control” Fluke happier than the average wishy-washy moderate?

I think it comes down to faith and convictions. Liberals and conservatives have picked sides. They may be willing to hear the other side out, and even agree with them on a point or two, but they know their beliefs. Conservatives believe in Americans, and liberals believe in government. They fight to help Americans the best way they know how.

Conservatives work to lower regulations so that employers are free to hire more people and expand their business, or entrepreneurs are able to start their own. Liberals like to implement as many safety regulations as possible to address every possible hardship that might occur on the job. Both believe they are helping America.

But what do moderate believe? Where is their conviction? Do they float aimlessly about the political sphere, never knowing quite what to believe or where to put their faith? Are they confused? Is that why only one out of four of them is “very happy,” compared to one out of three liberals and one out of two conservatives?

Does political influence have anything to do with overall happiness, or are these statistics coincidental?

Image via Candy_N/Flickr

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