A liberal sent me an article that was published a few years back about how liberals are more intelligent than conservatives. He wanted to know what I thought of it.
I’ve read similar studies and opinions before, ones concluding that liberals are smarter. I think it is true that liberals tend to have more education, but more education, especially in today’s school system, tends to mean less learned. Liberals are told how things are; conservatives experience how things are. Liberals are taught; conservatives learn. That’s what I’ve observed.
One of the article’s main arguments is that liberals are more intelligent because they are more altruistic. And therein lies the source of this study’s flaw. Liberals, such as the person who wrote the article, do not understand conservatism. They think they do, but they don’t. To wit, the supporting argument for liberals’ being more moral is that they “usually support…social welfare programs and higher taxes to finance them, and conservatives usually oppose them.”
What relation does this have with altruism at all? All that this tells me is that liberals are unwilling to donate their money directly to help the needy, and that conservatives are opposed to government-sponsored theft. Studies have shown that conservatives are more charitable than liberals (two articles on this matter are here and here). The reason conservatives oppose (most) welfare is because it’s unconstitutional and they believe not only in the rule of law, but also in empowering people. Helping someone become independent of an economically enslaving government is moral; helping the government enslave someone economically is immoral.
The person who wrote the article claiming liberals are smarter already had a conclusion in mind, and then he devised reasons to fit that conclusion. He worked backward. And he did so very incompetently, because he could not even correctly identify the conservative viewpoint. Any study with a misunderstanding of its subjects, and a definition of its subjects based on that misunderstanding, is a flawed study.
The reason he, like most liberals, does not accurately define the conservative viewpoint is because he does not have the remotest understanding of what the conservative viewpoint is. And that is because liberals are rarely faced with any opposition in society, both because they stick together, congregating with equally liberal people in equally liberal big cities, and also because pop culture inundates us with liberal ideology from Day One. We conservatives were independently minded enough not to be influenced by the liberal values invading every facet of our lives every single day of our lives. Because liberals’ beliefs are so rarely challenged in life, they rarely get practice in defending them. That’s why liberals cannot define the opposite of their beliefs: conservatism.