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How to Spot A Conservative in Pre-School

Apparently I must have been a real trial as a kid. At least that's the theory of one of Prof. Leiter's new co-authors, whose latest post is summed up best by Mike Rappaport: "Conservatives are not only evil, they're ugly too."

I guess the Social Sciences are feeling ignored again, because another psych prof has published a piece in the Journal of Research in Personality detailing exactly how psychologically imbalanced we conservatives are. It seems that Prof. Block tracked a number of Berkeley kids from their developmental years to their 30s and has found that the "whiny, insecure tattletale[s]" (Ms. Wilson's words) grew up to show Republican tendencies. For a certain kind of liberal, this is just the kind of Cheerios they need to find a smile in the morning.

Curiously, Ms. Wilson's source material--an article in the Toronto Star--is quite a great deal more circumspect and interesting than her own rantings:

The results do raise some obvious questions. Are nursery school teachers in the conservative heartland cursed with classes filled with little proto-conservative whiners?

Or does an insecure little boy raised in Idaho or Alberta surrounded by conservatives turn instead to liberalism?

Or do the whiny kids grow up conservative along with the majority of their more confident peers, while only the kids with poor impulse control turn liberal?

Who knows? Asking such questions wouldn't let Ms. Wilson get her licks in, so understandably she doesn't bother.

More amusing is the fact that between my reading her post and writing this response, she's taken half of it down. After catching some flack, she determined that her tantrum was a bit too bilious even for the Leiter Reports. [1] "[I]n blog posts, I go by the coupla hours rule: if I write something that I pretty quickly think better of, then I just get rid of it . . . ." Or as one of my blog-mentors once put it:

When in doubt; deny everything. When you're seriously up shit creek; Ctrl+A Delete.

Update: Link to Republic of T added after initial publication.

[1]: Expressing some dismay at the reaction to her original work, Ms. Wilson writes, "Honestly, though: U.S.-ers are entirely too lacking in tolerance for the appropriately inappropriate jibe... read some Will Self if you want to see how totally restrained I am." Will Self? I shall have to remember this line of argument in case I ever have trouble with St. Peter: "Carnal sins? C'mon, Pete, compared to Ron Jeremy, I'm a model of chastity!"


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The other (obvious?) possibility is that whiny poor kids become those particularly annoying liberals who think everyone richer than them is corrupt and the world owes them a living whilst whiny rich kids become those particularly annoying Republicans who think that every man for himself is a fine philosophy and anyone suffering hardship deserves it. Which leaves us with the following brief summary: whiny kids become really annoying adults. That seems somehow plausible. ;-) Dom.
I wonder how all these theories work for those of us whose political ideologies evolved -- I went from Republican to Ayn Rand libertarian to liberal between the 1988 and 1996 elections.
Am I crazy or did the journal article go from free to subscribers only in the last few hours? The link gave me the whole thing this morning!
It may be subscriber's only. It may be that if you are accessing it from within the correct academic domains--ones that subscribe to the proper service--you can see the paper.

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