To be fair, Will thinks that the conclusions of this Pew Research Center study showing conservatives are happier than liberals is suspect, but it doesn't really stop him from running with his crackpot theory.
Will's contention is that conservatives are happier because they are pessismists at heart. Yep. I know that's a paradox (maybe even a contradiction?). Will knows it too. But, he's game:
Let me get this straight. Conservatives believe the world is a cruel place, full of unjustifiable evil imposed on them by governments. Is that what he is saying? Or, is he saying that the world is awash in evil. And, if government tries to save you from some of that evil it will make things worse? Either way that is indeed a dark picture of humanity. In fact, if I held such a view of the world I would want to just kill myself right now. Shit, this is darker than Camus.
Will's recipe for happiness:
(1) Expecting the worst=happiness. That is a new twist on stoicism for you. The Stoics didn't think that accepting suffering would make you happier, just free from pain.
(2) Conservatives are even happier when the worst doesn't happen. They expect total disaster: billion dollar never-ending-war in Iraq, insane dictator from Iran looking for nuclear weapons, drunken V.P. shooting his buddy, United Arab Emirates operating our major ports, China keeping us financially afloat, ad nauseum. When that sort of shit happens, they are happy since they saw it coming. But, they are even happier when they don't wake up to Armageddon.
(3) Government doesn't guarantee your happiness. You have to go out there and earn it. Pursue happiness, that is lay waste to the environment, embezzle some corporate dough, get no-bid government contracts, help yourself to some K street money, buy lots of guns, don't forget getting yourself that big Hummer. Everyone knows that any government concerned with reducing health care costs, caring for the elderly and the young, protecting the environment, ensuring fair wages, or sexist and racist free environments is the stuff of misery.
Cross-Posted at Majikthise