Jewish World Review July 28, 2003 / 28 Tamuz, 5763
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Have you read about the university study that purports to show psychological links among Ronald Reagan, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Rush Limbaugh and other "political conservatives"? There's so much here, where should I begin?
The study was conducted by four American university researchers, and its findings were reported in an article in the American Psychological Association's Psychological Bulletin, titled "Political Conservatism as Motivated by Social Cognition." The enlightened professors concluded that certain psychological motivations characterize conservatives, including "fear and aggression, dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity; uncertainty avoidance; need for cognitive closure; and terror management."
"From our perspective," wrote the professors in a press release, "these psychological factors are capable of contributing to the adoption of conservative ideological contents, either independently or in combination."
Liberals have often hinted there was something deeply wrong with conservatives, but now they have "academic" support for their position. Conservatism is symptomatic of deep-rooted negative psychological character traits.
Most amazing is the professors' manifest ignorance of political theory, upon which they base their conclusions. To suggest that Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini were political conservatives is pathetic. Since the '60s, liberals have been getting away with calling conservatives "nazis" and "fascists," but Nazism and Fascism are, in essence, socialistic systems. Such systems are the logical conclusion of big-government liberalism, not free-market conservatism.
And don't talk to me about conservatives being proponents of a police state, either. There is nothing inconsistent between conservatives' advocacy of law enforcement and their championship of individual liberties.
Like most good liberals, these professors believe that the thought processes of conservatives are less nuanced and more black and white. One of them, Jack Glaser of UC Berkeley, said, "[Conservatives] are more comfortable seeing and stating things in black and white in ways that would make liberals squirm. … The latest debate about the possibility that the Bush administration ignored intelligence information that discounted reports of Iraq buying nuclear material from Africa may be linked to the conservative intolerance for ambiguity and need for closure."
Surely the professor can do better than that. This example tends to demonstrate the liberals' lack of nuance more than the conservatives', as do many other examples I'll give you. Can't these paragons of complexity understand that Bush's words were at most ill advised based on disputed, not phony intelligence? Don't they understand that a lie involves the intent to deceive, not just arguably erroneous information? Further, can't they grasp that this was not even one of the major reasons we used to attack Iraq?
Let me give you a few other examples of the liberals' seeming inability to make intellectual distinctions. They seem too narrow-minded to understand that:
Were it not for the destructive influence of their jaundiced ideas we should feel nothing but sympathy for these misguided professors. But they and their ilk are helping to poison the minds of America's next generations of leaders. Or is that too simplistic for us to understand?
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