Conservatives seem to be opposed to protesters, and admittedly a lot of that comes from people on the right who would rather we all just sit down, shut up, and take what we’re given. Liberals, on the other hand, tend to have a more ‘make your voice heard’ mentality, and they’ll fight for what they believe is right by marching and protesting on the streets. Obviously, there have been a wave of conservative protests in the last few years: Charlottesville, The 2017 ‘March For Live’: a pro-life march held just weeks after the Women’s march, and the Boston ‘free speech’ rally which was met by a sweeping force of liberal counter-protesters just weeks after Charlottesville (Bozel, Graham 1).
Conservatives tend to have a group of specific personality traits, and Liberals tend to have another. I’m not talking about one being inherently more talkative, or the other inherently more flirtatious, or anything superficial like that: they each tend to have a specific set of values which dictate how they interpret the world.
Scientists have proven that there are psychological differences between a conservative and a liberal (Scientists 1). For one thing, fear makes people more conservative . When people’s safety is threatened they become more conservative: this happens with liberals, conservatives, and people across all ends of the political spectrum (Scientists 4). This is why the whole country found itself shifting to the right in the wake of 9/11 (Hersh 1). Psychologists have found that conversely, when people feel more empowered, they become more liberal (Laber-Warren 2). Studies in 2011 and 2013 have found that by making people feel safe and insulated from changes you can make people more liberal (Yale 2). The researchers asked participants in the study some political and economic questions including: “would be reluctant to make any large-scale changes to the social order,” and whether “it’s okay if some groups have more of a chance in life than others.” Liberal participants in the study didn’t shift their opinions at all, but conservatives did change their opinions to more liberal ideals on social issue, but not on economic positions (Yale).
All of this information makes sense, given in the context of the right winged ‘sit down, shut up’ mentality. Liberals are essentially more emotionally and psychologically empowered because they know themselves: they’ve searched the deeper and darker parts of their soul, and have come out on the other side stronger and more ready to ‘let Jesus take the wheel’. This is why we lean towards moral relativism, or at least we’re less ingratiated in the ‘black and white’ mentality than our conservative counterparts. But if this is the case, then why isn’t liberalism the ultimate evolution of political ideology? Shouldn’t we be working towards a safer, more egalitarian world where we all feel like Superman anyway? Most of the time when I hear people (even on the left) advocate for a more conservative idea, it feels like its out of fear. “Communism will kill us all,” “No, we as a society will never evolve past gender,” and “They want to take all our guns away” are just a few of the sentiments I’ve heard from people on the right and the left (except that last one, the gun thing is mostly a conservative sentiment): but isn’t that the ultimate evolution of humanity: to become like the god we liberals cast aside? I don’t believe it’s possible to ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ in our global economy, but isn’t that what we liberals secretly want? We deny that it’s possible to live by most of the conservative ideology not because it’s ‘immoral’, but because it’s simply not true. Isn’t that what we liberals secretly want, and are the only ones who possess the creative vision for: To make a real much of what the conservatives (falsely) claim is already true?
Bozell III, L. Brent and Graham, Tim. “2017: The Year Conservative Protests Are News”. cnsnews.com, CNSNews.com, 1 Feb. 2017, https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/l-brent-bozell-iii/2017-year-conservative-protests-are-news.
Bruek, Hilary. “A Yale psychologist’s simple thought experiment temporarily turned conservatives into liberals”. businessinsider.com, Business Insider Inc., 21 Oct. 2017, http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-turn-conservatives-liberal-john-bargh-psychology-2017-10.
Bruek, Hilary. “Scientists have discovered the key psychological differences that can make you liberal or conservative”. businessinsider.com, Business Insider Inc., 26 Feb. 2018, http://www.businessinsider.com/psychological-differences-between-conservatives-and-liberals-2018-2.
Hersh, Eitan D. “Long-term effect of September 11 on the political behavior of victims’s families and neighbors”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 9 Dec. 2013, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3876262/.
Laber-Warren, Emily. “Unconscious Reactions Separate Liberals and Conservatives”. scientificamerican.com, Scientific American, 1 Sept. 2012, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/calling-truce-political-wars/.