Thursday, February 23, 2006

George Will on Why Conservatives are Happier

George Will doesn's always get it right, but he's a good and interesting writer and this piece is a gem:

Liberalism is Not Conducive to Happiness

Aside from the fact that I think liberals are generally wrong about almost everything, I sometimes feel that they can be a real drag to be around in any case. Why? Because there is this big cloud of miserable chip-on-shoulderness which seems to follow them everywhere. Maybe its the whole guilt-is-life thing, or maybe its that the US is so evil and bad, or that most exalted people in their estimation are the needy - but - well anyway, go read it! Here's a snippet:

Conservatives' pessimism is conducive to their happiness in three ways. First, they are rarely surprised -- they are right more often than not about the course of events. Second, when they are wrong they are happy to be so. Third, because pessimistic conservatives put not their faith in princes -- government -- they accept that happiness is a function of fending for oneself. They believe that happiness is an activity -- it is inseparable from the pursuit of happiness.

The right to pursue happiness is the essential right that government exists to protect. Liberals, taking their bearings, whether they know it or not, from President Franklin Roosevelt's 1936 State of the Union address, think the attainment of happiness itself, understood in terms of security and material well-being, is an entitlement that government has created and can deliver.


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