I talk to many conservatives who insist that the right cares deeply about the poor. Some even say the right cares more than the left does.
Well, Pew just put out a brilliant study on the actual attitudes, and they’re remarkable.
If you look at the left part of the chart, you see that conservatives think the poor have it easy.
That’s the first problem.
And on the right side you can see that they also think them being poor is their fault more more than the left.
These two combine to disable the right’s empathy towards those who are struggling. It doesn’t get much more obvious than this. Beliefs matter.
I am reminded of two ideas of mine:
- The empathy machine, which lets you experience the lives of those less fortunate, and
- Beliefs in free will affect your political beliefs
Basically, if the right understood that the poor have harder lives, not easier ones (that’s a data issue), and that people aren’t even really responsible for their lives anyway (philosophy and politics), they’d be far more likely to support things like public education, healthcare for everyone, etc.
But most conservatives don’t believe in evolution or man-made climate change, so I’m not overly optimistic on these fronts.
Anyway, highly revealing.