misc. reading …

‘Conservatives’ may be more liberal than they let on

The researchers set out to better understand recent studies showing that self-described liberals are likelier than people who call themselves conservative to shield themselves from contact with their ideological out-group, including by blocking them on social media and cutting out would-be friends because of their views.

For example, data from the 2018 Cooperative Congressional Election Study corroborated the asymmetry between the groups, showing that liberals are more likely than conservatives to report both blocking and being blocked over political differences.

They were also more prone to cut friends out altogether when political differences arose, according to the study. 30% of liberal respondents said they ended friendships because of politics, while only 17% of conservatives said the same thing.

Shunning one’s political opponents generally isn’t healthy for democracy, Schildkraut told The Academic Times, as it throws up barriers to civic dialogue and frays the bonds of cooperation that make the system work.

While there are views that people rightly feel can’t be compromised on, “The point is that you can’t work on solving the problems of society without engaging with the other side,” she said.

Schildkraut and her colleagues could then make a more relevant comparison between liberals — who have been shown to have almost entirely consistent policy views — and “consistent” conservatives in particular. The gap in “bubble-seeking behavior,” or the tendency to surround oneself with like-minded individuals, shrank substantially compared to the broader liberal conservative match-up, showing that most of it had stemmed from the influence of conservatives with views closer to liberals.

the paper appears to be behind a paywall. a few misc. comments / notes coming from someone who’s struggled with trying to understand the “conservative” perspective on most topics.

  • there appears to be little in terms of consistency in conservative ideology making it much easier for self-proclaimed conservatives to adopt “liberal” policies when they stop to consider these upon presentation.
  • “conservatives” as defined by the GOP have more closely aligned themselves with morally questionable policies as defined even by their own purported moral standards and show a clear willingness to marginalize others.

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