In comments on another post, some of us were discussing how (generalising here) far-Lefties tend to be a pretty gloomy and angry lot. Whilst having full sympathy with the families involved in the recent HuffPo murder/suicide, it’s hard to avoid the question Confederate Yankee raises: “I wonder how much eight years of the self-induced hysteria we know as ‘Bush Derangement Syndrome’ and the requisite feelings of impotent rage and looming oppression fed into her existing problems. ”
Now in my inbox, courtesy of my little sister, comes this article from The Tennessean: “Republicans are happier than Democrats, study finds.”
WASHINGTON — Now the good news for Republicans: You are happier than Democrats. You always have been, and you probably always will be.
Never mind that your presidential candidate is sinking in the polls while your president plumbs historic depths of popular scorn and your free market squeals for intervention while your investments evaporate on Wall Street. You are not just happier than the other guys, but more of you are very happy indeed, according to new survey results published last week by the Pew Research Center.
The partisan happiness gap — unbroken for nearly four decades — is impervious to electoral ups and downs. It has something to do with worldview.
Government-funded researchers identified the happiness gap in 1972. Since then, the Democrats have been comparatively more bummed out not just during the tenures of GOP presidents Ford, Reagan, Bush and Bush. They were noticeably less joyful than Republicans even during the GOP fiasco of Watergate, and during the Democratic Carter and Clinton administrations.
This year, when things seem so rosy for Democrats, the joy gulch yawns wider than ever. The fraction of very happy Republicans has never been so much larger than the very happy Democrats.
The study found that Democrats are more likely to say that success in life is mostly determined by outside forces. Republicans lean toward thinking that success is determined by one’s own efforts.
Those who think they can control their destinies and that they themselves are mostly responsible for their own success are happier; those who think they have to depend on someone or something else outside their control to shape their destinies are less happy? Sure, it’s somewhat simplistic, but it makes sense to me.
That’s why, even if McCain-Palin don’t get up next week, I don’t think my fellow Republicans will sink into the same kind of mindless seething rage and self-induced hysteria that we saw take over so many Leftists during the Bush years.
Sure, if Obama-Biden are elected and the government starts doing stupid stuff which makes it harder for us to get on with our lives, it’ll be frustrating; but because for the most part we know that we as individuals and families and communities, and not Teh Gubmint, are responsible for making sure we go as well as possible, I think most of us will be putting our time and energy into getting on with things rather than spending the next four years in mindless hysterical BDS-type Obama-Rage.
What really gets me is that “This year, when things seem so rosy for Democrats, the joy gulch yawns wider than ever. The fraction of very happy Republicans has never been so much larger than the very happy Democrats.” Does that mean that even if they get their Messiah into the White House plus control of the House and the Senate and all that that entails, they’re still going to be unhappy, unpleasant grumps? Judging from the number of still-bitter, still-unpleasant, still-constantly complaining comments I see from Australian Leftists almost a full year after Australia replaced 11-1/2 years of conservative government with Kevin the “progressive Christian Socialist,” I’d say so.
UPDATE: And conservatives girls are prettier, too!