Conservatives Deconstructed

Conservatives Deconstructed by Joel Bleifuss

Numerous studies have also shown that conservative policymakers entertain less cognitively complex thoughts than their liberal or moderate counterparts. ...The authors write that the fact that conservatives are "less tolerant of ambiguity, less open to new experiences, and more avoidant of uncertainty. may help explain why "congressional Republicans and other prominent conservatives in the United States have sought unilaterally to eliminate public funding for the contemporary arts." From an early age, conservatives demonstrate a personal need for order and structure. One study has shown that conservative teens are more likely to say they are "neat, orderly and organized" than are liberal adolescents... "framing events in terms of potential losses rather than gains leads people to adopt cognitively conservative, as opposed to innovative, orientations." Of course, the greatest personal loss is death. Studies demonstrate that the people who most fear death are the most conservative. More generally, the fear of death and the resulting protective posture that such a threat engenders cause people to become conservative and to strongly "defend culturally valued norms and practices" and "to distance themselves from, and even to derogate, out-group members to greater extent."