Study: Conservatives Are Shallow Bigots, Liberals Are The Exact Opposite

A while back, the Pew Research Center conducted a poll about political attitudes and how they correlate to how we live and they found something we’ve suspected for a while; Conservatives are shallow bigots more concerned with appearances and being surrounded by the “right” kind of people than anything else:

Would you like to live in the kind of place where the houses are relatively small and close together but the schools, stores and restaurants are a short walk away? Or would you prefer the kind of community where the houses are large and far apart, but the amenities several miles off?

With disquieting predictability, 10,013 adults — respondents in the largest survey the Pew Research Center has ever conducted on political attitudes — answered according to their ideology. Seventy-seven percent of “consistently liberal” adults went with what sounded like the urban milieu: the dense neighborhood, the compact home, the “walkability.” Fully seventy-five percent of “consistently conservative” adults went with the polar opposite.

The Washington Post tries to solve this riddle but it’s not terribly complicated: Conservatives are forever chasing a past that wasn’t while liberals are more concerned with living in the here and now.

Remember, to the average conservative, “real” America is living 30 miles from your job in a large house with a white picket fence and the wifey in the kitchen cooking apple pies in a dress, high heels and pearl necklace. Think Pleasantville but with even less diversity.

The Post struggles on:

If you don’t have your own back yard, you’re probably in favor of public parks spending. If you can’t afford your own car because your rent’s too high (or you simply can’t find a place to park it), then you’re more likely to support public transit, and taxes to pay for it. If you regularly encounter the poor, you may be more concerned about inequality.

Likewise, do conservatives settle in the exurbs and beyond because they want room to stretch out and a fenced-in yard? Or does having those things make you value privacy and individualism — and the ideology that defends them?

Ehhhh…..sort of? Conservatives are motivated by the philosophy “I got mine, screw you” so a city-bound right winger supporting public parks and public transportation wouldn’t make them more liberal, just motivated by the usual self-interest. The difference is that a liberal would support the parks and trains even if they didn’t use either.

I’ve found that conservatives like their big houses (and big cars) because they think that’s the best way to show their success. My sister’s very conservative husband insisted on a huge house in the middle of nowhere with a couple of acres of backyard. It was gorgeous. It was fantastic. It had a breathtaking view. It was hardly used. Most of the split level basement was big enough to be its own studio apartment and was mostly empty and wasted. The ginormous backyard just sat there growing grass. Utterly pointless. Although, to be honest, the view alone might have been worth it.

But why did he insist on such a house? Because he was “supposed” to have a big house. My other conservative (at the time) brother-in-law did the same thing. A very expensive house in a very expensive neighborhood. Why? Again, because he was “supposed” to.

But aside from the shallow trappings of “success,” there’s the inherent racism of conservatives. Again, the Post tries to explain this and misses the mark:

To complicate matters just a little bit more, many of us are also sorting our homes in search of each other. Half of consistently conservative adults in the Pew poll said it was important to live in a place where most people share their political views. Just over a third of the consistently liberal said the same.

Let’s be clear here: “share their political views” means: “share their skin color.”

Am I being unfair? Perhaps. But honestly ask yourself if the average white conservative would be comfortable in a mostly black neighborhood even if his neighbors were all hardcore right wingers. The honest answer, of course, is not a chance in hell.

It’s also a product of white flight, that curious phenomena where white people move away as quickly as possible when one or two black families move into the area. It’s not that they’re racist, they’re just afraid of black people. Ahem.

Liberals, on the other hand, are a diverse lot and generally don’t care about living in a diverse area. Most of us live in large cities already and love being able to experience other cultures, even in a watered down, second-hand way (like Taco Bell!). Other cultures are anathema to conservatives. We know that because they tell us that’s what they believe all the time.

I get that the Post was trying to be kind to conservatives but they’re not doing us any favors by sugarcoating their base motivations. If the right wing wants to be shallow and bigoted, they’re completely free to be that way, but let’s call a spade a spade. They certainly do.