For liberals, the health care debate apparently boils down to the psychological qualities of the two sides. Nice people want socialized medicine, and mean, selfish people don’t. Last week, blogger Amanda Marcotte declared that an individual’s support for the public option—including taxpayer-funded healthcare for illegals—depends on whether that individual developed “a sense of empathy in early childhood.” (Yes, she really said that.)
As long as liberals are going to play psychologist and turn a serious policy debate into petty speculation about their opponents’ emotional states, they should read “Makers and Takers” by Peter Schweizer. Afterward, they might just shut up about liberals being nicer and more generous than the rest of us.
As the American Spectator’s Richard Kirk wrote, Schweizer presents “peer-reviewed sociological data that show liberals are generally more selfish, more focused on money, less hardworking, less emotionally satisfied, less honest, and even less knowledgeable about politics than their conservative counterparts.”
By studying the highly regarded General Social Survey, Schweizer found that conservatives were much more likely to say they get happiness from putting other’s needs ahead of their own (55 percent to 20 percent), and that they would “endure all things for the one they love” (55 percent to 26 percent).
What was that about “empathy” again?
Conservatives also proved to be less selfish in questions relevant to the health care debate. While 71 percent of conservatives said that they had an obligation to care for “a seriously injured spouse or parent,” only 46 percent of liberals agreed.
No wonder they want the government to do it.
The General Social Survey consistently finds that conservatives give more of their time and money to the less fortunate. For example, conservatives are more likely to volunteer for charitable activities than liberals (27 percent to 19 percent). Arthur C. Brooks, author of “Who Really Cares?” found that charitable donations average $2,210 for conservatives and a paltry $642 for liberals—and that’s after excluding donations to churches and other religious organizations.