Where Conservatives Come From

My favorite St.Louis columnist, Kevin Horrigan, has another excellent column. This time he tries to explain all those damn conservatives.

Mr. Horrigan writes –

This is the fourth in an occasional series of essays that attempts to answer the scientific question: “What’s up with all the conservatives around here?” The first one suggested historical reasons for Missouri being a hotbed of right-wing activism: Tea Partiers, conspiracists, militias, birthers, global-warming deniers, Ed Martin voters, etc. It’s because activists tend to sprout in places where lots of transplanted southern and rural white folks come face-to-face with a modern urban environment. The second one suggested that it’s really not conservatives’ fault that they’re the way the are. Some people just don’t have a certain chemical receptor in their brains, so they can’t absorb oxytocin, a brain chemical important for empathy. The third one quoted an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics whose theory is that liberals and atheists are farther along the evolutionary scale than conservatives and religious believers. I stress that all of these merely are theories. I just pass them along in the interest of enlightened public discourse. But every time I write one of these, I get a lot of angry mail from conservatives. But conservatives will like this fourth theory of explaining why they are the way they are, even though it’s based on evolutionary theory, a concept in which many conservatives don’t believe. Jacob M. Vigil of the University of New Mexico reports that Republican sympathizers in a 2008 study group reported having more “good friends” in their social circles (an average of 12.91) than Democratic sympathizers (9.46). This can be explained by the fact that conservatives are oriented toward dominant behavior, he says, so they’re not afraid of having a lot of friends and associates.

Continue reading HERE.

 

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