So I know how this will play with liberals.
The healine on Mediaite: “Low-effort thought’ Promotes Political Conservatism, New Study Says.”
It’s a softball for the left: see, conservatives are stupid.
But when you take a look at the methods for the survey and what the data actually means, the opposite is true. In fact, the director of the survey, Dr. Scott Eidelman, said “Our research shows that low-effort thought promotes political conservatism, not that political conservatives use low-effort thinking.”
Let me explain what he means and why it makes sense.
If you were to send out a survey to liberals, conservatives, moderates and political atheists, you’d get common responses to the following questions:
“Are your taxes too high?”
“How big a role should the government play in your decisions?”
“Should the government have the right to make you buy something even if you don’t want to?”
“How important to you is personal freedom?”
Most people, even liberals, are going to offer similar answer to these questions.
The problem is, most people, especially liberals, don’t think about the ramifications of their political ideologies in this sense.
How many democrats do you know who vote on their abortion stance? Gay marriage?
These ultra-specific social issues are a fraction of what it means to be “liberal,” but because they’ve decided they’re Democrats, they start drinking the kool-aid.
When in reality, if you break down what government is, what it does, and how it interacts with people, most people are going to see it from a more conservative point of view.
The fact that this country is split down partisan lines speaks more to the incoherent and irrational nature of people’s political views.
Likewise, I think if you took specific questions, you’d probably get more liberal responses from the population. Questions like:
“How big a role should government play in taking care of the poor?”
“Should the government provide health care for seniors?”
When you take specific examples, the waters become a little murkier.
Low-effort thoughts, as the study calls them, are likely just big picture ideologies, of which, we’d expect more people to have.
In all fairness, one of the methodologies was to ask people questions after having alcoholic beverages…so let’s not jump to too many conclusions about what this study does or doesn’t prove.
On the other hand, I think there’s good evidence to suggest that this study is on the right track.
MSNBC will turn this into anti-conservative propaganda in 3,2,1…