Conservatives Are Neanderthals (And so is your mom)


cavemanThat’s supposedly what a new study says, and some liberals are getting pretty excited about it.

According to liberal outlet Mother Jones, the study claims that your political views, rather than being shaped by what you learned in school or through life experience, are determined by an inherent genetic predisposition to see things a certain way.

In short, you’re a conservative or a liberal because you’re wired that way, and that’s it.

Eh, maybe.

But what really has the Left giggling is the apparent discovery of a “negativity bias” on the part of political conservatives.

Uh-oh.  Sounds scary.  As the Mother Jones article puts it:

[The authors of the study] marshal a large body of evidence, including their own experiments using eye trackers and other devices to measure the involuntary responses of political partisans to different types of images. One finding? That conservatives respond much more rapidly to threatening and aversive stimuli (for instance, images of “a very large spider on the face of a frightened person, a dazed individual with a bloody face, and an open wound with maggots in it,” as one of their papers put it).

Okay, just so I’m clear:

If I jump when I see a large spider, a person with a bloody face, or an open wound with maggots, then I must be…a conservative?  Wow, they have me pegged.  But I don’t know, I guess I always assumed the response to these things would be pretty much universal regardless of political leanings, at least among those of us who aren’t criminally insane.

But now I have to ask – if my tendency to give a little “whoa!” makes me a conservative, then how the hell does a liberal react to those things?  Not being born to such privilege, I can only guess –  “Can we find a way to tax the spider until it dies?…That bloody face needs more funding, then maybe a bandage, but only if approved by the proper bureaucracy of course…Hmm, open wound with maggots – George Bush and the Catholic Church must have caused that.”

In any event, the authors conclude that the conservative “negativity bias,” which we are told accounts for the commitment to a strong military and gun rights, is likely a genetic holdover from the Pleistocene, when it would have come in handy to avoid being killed.

And there you have it:  Conservative = caveman.

It’s good for giving the Left a smug little snort, but it’s pretty old copy.  This has been the liberal narrative for years – conservatives are paranoid, frightened, evolutionary sophomores who see threats at every turn and seek refuge within the confines of their narrow minds.  Guns and religion, anyone?

Liberals on the other hand…Well, as we all know by now, we’re lucky to bask in the glow of their dazzling intellects.  They are wise, compassionate, and oh so reasonable.  And while the typical conservative cowers behind his Remington and his Bible, a pathetic reject of natural selection hopelessly incapable of appreciating the onward march of progress, your average liberal is the very picture of reason and empathy, seeing every issue from every viewpoint, making the tough decisions for the rest of humanity, and bestowing his benevolence upon us in cool, measured doses in between sips from his kale smoothie.

Don’t like it?  Take it up with the scientists.

Or better yet, blame your parents.



Categories:Humor Politics

  • CH

    The thing is, this study showed that we reacted negatively to negative stimuli. If liberals didnt react in at least a similar way, it would seem to imply that they have trouble differentiating between positive and negative as clearly. Obviously, they knew that spiders on a frightened person is a bad or scary thing. How could they not? So what is it thet were measuring? Id like to read the study, sometime.

  • Donna

    Hmm…are liberals really compassionate? The study proves they do not respond to other peoples pain in a compassionate manner as conservatives do.

  • Antonio A. Badilla

    I was a liberal Democrat in 1968 and a conservative Republican now. Do I fit the study? I think not!

  • Harry Smith

    “Can we find a way to tax the spider until it dies?…” VERY FUNNY!

  • Michael

    I’ll have to type this response, as my dictation software is having trouble deciphering my grunts.
    They used eye trackers, eh? The way I read this, conservatives look at the problem head on, while liberals look around for someone from the government to come and help.

  • James

    The problem is that the study combines a reasonable observation with a value judgment.

    The key difference between a liberal and a conservative is how one views fences. (Note: NOT a Democrat and a Republican. Try to ignore the US political situation.) Liberals would be more likely to see them as restrictive barriers, while conservatives would be more likely to see them as useful boundaries.

    The world needs people to build fences when they are needed and to tear them down when they are not. That’s why different people have different personalities.

    The implication that tearing down a fence is somehow superior to building one is foolish nonsense.



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