Big "L," small "l," it doesn't matter, liberals, whatever their stripe are an unhappy lot. Conservatives on the other hand, are generally happy, well adjusted people.
Liberals are by definition socialists. They want the government to provide everything, and yet perversely they detest that very government and resent it's "interference" in their lives. Lefties as a group eschew hard work and do as little of it as possible - and thus deny themselves the satisfaction that comes from a job well done. See, liberals are generally lazy and because they work as little as possible they have a lot of time on their soft hands, time to think about all their ills and everything that's wrong in their lives. They dwell on it. And because liberals are generally a godless bunch, and thus have no higher power from which to draw strength, they have no direction in their pitiful lives. As a result liberals seek out causes. Liberals always have a cause, they're always out saving the whales, or aborting babies, or screaming about climate change or chaining themselves to trees and nuclear power plants. Liberals just can't seem to live and let live. And as a result of these things they are unhappy and dissatisfied and miserable.
Conservatives are different. First and foremost conservatives are proactive. They're problem solvers. Conservatives know that work is the key to true happiness. They love to work, and the harder the work the better. Putting food on the table, providing for their families, paying the bills - those are the things that give true satisfaction and bring real happiness. Conservatives don't expect the government to provide; conservatives make their own way in the world and are happier for it. Conservatives don't resent government in their lives, because they know that strong government provides for security and stability. And ultimately conservatives have God on their side. Their faith is a source of strength and happiness and purpose. Conservatives know that things will work themselves out and they don't worry about it, secure in the fact that they are God's chosen ones and that the world's problems can be solved with a suitable application of military force.
How do I know these things are true?
Easy, CNN's Glenn Beck told me so.
Had you going there for a moment, didn't I?
Now, just for the record I don't make a habit of watching Rush Junior, eh, uh, sorry Glenn Beck. But I do watch CNN Headline News in the morning before I take my kid to school. I do this because I am a creature of habit - and I'm stuck with a habit leftover from when CNN was actually a news channel, from before they became the gum snapping, tractor pulling, fluffy puff pastry American Idol station. Yesterday, I left the tube on when I left to take the kid to school, and I when I got back I went directly to the shop and never went back into the house. I came in around 1400 to check my email and Glenn Beck was on. Now normally I'd just hit the mute button and move on, but Beck was "interviewing" some constipated looking twit on the subject of Arthur Brooks' new book Gross National Happiness - it might actually have been Brooks himself, I didn't catch the introduction.
I put "interviewing" in quotes in the previous sentence because Beck was doing what he usually does, i.e. rant and scowl and grin and bob and talk about himself and use the interviewer only as confirmation of his own squalid opinions. And he was basically spewing the nonsense that I said in the first two paragraphs of this post. The difference being that I had my tongue firmly in my cheek, Beck meant every word.
Now, Glenn Beck has never had an original thought in his entire life. He fastens lamprey-like onto whatever topic will generate the most hate mail and happily cashes the checks. He claimed that "lefties" are a miserable group of people. He stated, on the other hand, that as a conservative he is happy and satisfied and that most conservatives are the same. I thought this was a fairly funny statement, coming as it did from a guy who's conservative mother committed suicide, who's conservative brother committed suicide, who spent a significant part of his life addicted to drugs and Jack Daniels and who's wife left him because he was such a miserable asshole. Frankly, I watched this sorry blowhard for an hour yesterday and if he's an example of conservative happiness, I'll take a pass.
But it got me thinking. And a little looking about confirmed that Beck is just, as usual, parroting the right-wing viewpoint. There seems to be this widespread idea amongst conservatives, neatly summarized in Gross National Happiness and supported by a 'scientific' report in the Economist, that liberals in general are miserable, unhappy people - or at least more unhappy than conservatives anyway. Take a look in the comments section of any conservative blog and you'll see this "fact" stated over and over.
As usual in these cases, and being neither self-identified as liberal nor conservative, I have a somewhat different opinion. Most of the liberals I know are reasonably happy folks, so are most of the conservatives I know - and I know a lot of people.
It's the extremists on the far sides of both camps that seem to be miserable. Take the extreme left for example, two weeks of sitting chained to a tree branch in the pouring rain outside of Seattle in order to protect the Snowy Snail Darting Yellow Breasted Sap Sucking Spotted Owl Vulture tends to make your organic hemp underwear and birkenstocks chafe, man. That would make anybody crabby. Then there's the extreme right: a good God fearing republican ought to be able to cruise the airport restrooms for a little wide stance relief or shoot a few Planned Parenthood doctors without all the hoopla from the liberal press. All that yabbering about rights and the Constitution, that would piss anybody off.
Seriously, a lot of you folks are liberals, both big and small "L" and a number of you are conservatives - are you happy? And do you think your happiness is related to your politics?
Now, if you'll excuse me I'll be out in the shop, because sawdust, it makes me happy.