RIGHT-WING BLOG EXCORIATION
Sunday's Toronto Star cites a Berkeley study here that says whiny spoiled children grow up to be conservatives, and confident, self-sufficient children grow up to be liberals.
These 100 children were followed from the 1960s forward. I think this conclusion has more than a bit to do with the fact that the study was conducted in Berkeley, the incubator for fin-de-siecle liberalism. Naturally, in the hothouse of American liberalism, liberals WOULD feel confident and self-sufficient, buoyed up by such an enabling atmosphere. Someone who is a contemporary, independent thinker WOULD feel put-upon and paranoid in such an environment that does not welcome differing ideas. Seriously - for all their claims of open-mindedness, places like Berkeley are some of the most hostile environments to voice an opinion that does not fall in lock[goose]step with the herd.
Husband's comments on this issue:
I'm sure it was a double-blind totally objective study.
OTOH, if that's really true, then the future of our country is in great shape.
He's got a point - I see no end of whining children no matter where I go in the country. Yeah, even California. Then again, I'll be able to make a case-study about a California child in about a week-and-a-half. Film at eleven.
5 minutes later:
No wait, I just have to come back here and add a bit more, for my own sake. I am an artist, a free-thinker, and a wild person. I'm independent and have NEVER been a whiner - I don't even nag husband (he often says he wishes I would). I don't need alcohol or drugs to tap into my inner banshee - it's always there, just beneath the surface. I am open-minded and friendly, and non-judgmental of everyone I meet. I make fast friends to whom I'm devoted for life. Because of these traits, acquaintances generally assume I'm a liberal, and feel free to vent their paranoid ravings believing I'll agree with them.
Economically, however, I AM conservative. I think that some social services and safety nets for our communities ARE necessary, but I think that should be done at local and state level, and I think there are simply too many laws on the books at every echelon of US government. 60+ years of the New Deal have created an entirely new dependent class with no incentive to do otherwise than remain firmly clamped on the government teat. (Someday when I have more time, I'll tell you about my California relatives who enjoy the cyclical slavery legacy of our welfare system.)
And THAT, my dears, is why this study has me so cheesed off. No doubt, this bit of pap was funded by taxes confiscated from yours truly, and OK, NOW I'm whining. Let's see a comparably "objective" study made in an Indiana or Kansas farming community - backbone of our very nation - and I'll bet you'll see another result entirely.
I have a lot of stuff to do today, but I just had to vent. Don't be surprised if I come back and vent some more later, for my dander-she is up!
two hours later:
OK, I've had some time curled up with the wonderful diversion of a book, and now I'm calmer. Let me say this study infuriates me because it was conducted in the name of science and has been honed into a political spear. My blathering on about myself and what a study in contradictions I am makes the point that people are more complex than can be serviced by one political ideology, and the people who can be so straight party-line are not doing much thinking, in my opinion. In the John Lydon interview I posted a couple weeks ago, he said "Institutions will not ruin us," but to that I would add "unless we allow them to." This desperate need of the media to compartmentalize the populace into groups is a pat way to manage us and pretend to be addressing our needs and interests at large, when in fact, we as a society are more complex and differing. My balking at the implied "even-tempered cool" (Ted Kennedy? Cindy Sheehan? John Kerry? Really.) of liberals is based on my perception that it is a very liberal element of our society that is sullying freedoms I hold dear. I call it the hall-monitor mentality - the element among us who wants to prevent people from smoking, from plastering the ten commandments on public buildings while forcing us to turn to mecca at sunset, and who go see films like "Supersize Me" and the factually specious films of Michael Moore.
Mark my words: It is precisely this element that will be sifting through your grocery receipts looking for purchases of beer, twinkies and cigarettes to deny you medical services when you are in need late in life. Can a fat tax be far away? I think not.