Are social leftists really smarter than social rightists?

According to a recent study, the answer is yes. Does this mean anything, though? Photo: Bill Kerr Blog Spot - http://tinyurl.com/b9fkcfb

FLORIDA, November 22, 2012 — Sometimes, it seems that political differences are determined by far more than personal philosophy.

Back in February, I wrote that scientists at Ontario’s Brock University published a highly controversial study. It pertained to the IQ scores of social leftists and social rightists, delving deep into the cause and effect relationship between intelligence deficits and rightist surpluses. 

In a nutshell, children burdened with low intelligence are likely to develop prejudicial outlooks lasting into adulthood. As adults, they will find socially right-wing ideologies attractive because said ideologies encompass hierarchical relationship structures, absolutist moral certainties, and severe impediments to altering the status quo. 

When confronted with individuals or groups who are different, social rightists tend to become reactionary because they fear change of any kind. This can plausibly be attributed to the fact that rationally considering what change might bring is simply too complicated for a great many of them.

While my own personal experiences and extensive research on this subject lead me to agree with Brock’s study, I nonetheless refuse believe that being a leftist is some indicator of personal genius. Still, it is undoubtable that critical and lateral thinkers generally lean forward in their opinions. 

Taking all of this into consideration, I can hardly say that the garden variety socialist hippie in Haight-Ashbury is any smarter in the practical sense than a Bible thumping theocrat in the backwoods of Mississippi. It seems that political radicalism of any stripe is indicative of cognitive, and possibly emotional, problems.

In any case, and this is coming from a registered Republican, the men and women at Brock have given new insight to an age-old stereotype. Perhaps it actually is a lower measure of intelligence on the part of hardcore righties which leads to their popular branding as dolts. 

I mean, really, when you pit a left-winger against a right-winger, despite both being nonsensical dogmatists, the former is more likely to at least sound quasi-intelligent. When one hears rightists being interviewed at political rallies and other similar events, they often have a difficult time articulating their stances. Many resort to cheap talking points gleaned from partisan websites, televised shock jocks or radio entertainers. 

This does not sound like the discourse of especially acute individuals to me.

Oh, well. Sage or not, every American citizen has the right to participate legally and ethically in our country’s political process. Such awesome freedom does allow rabble from both ends of the spectrum to weigh in, but this gives the rest of us ample opportunity to document a truly unique kind of carnival. 

Honestly, I would not have it any other way. America is often called many things, but the term “boring” should never be among them. 

Much of this article was first published as Are You Smarter Than a Social Rightist? on Blogcritics.org


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Joseph Cotto

Joseph F. Cotto is a social journalist by trade and student of history by lifestyle choice. He hails from central Florida, writing about political, economic, and social issues of the day. In the past, he was a contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, among other publications. He is currently at work on a book about American society.

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