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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Political differences are funny things. Especially examined by people like Dennis Prager, who treats said differences as a doctor would psychological trauma in his latest for the National Review. Citing a couple polls that he doesn't link and a two-year-old book, Prager presents his new finding: conservatives, quite naturally, are happier than liberals.

Then rather than asking a liberal for a response, he conjures one:

Liberals respond this way: “If we’re unhappier, it’s because we are more upset than conservatives over the plight of those less fortunate than ourselves.”

Pivoting off this invention, the column is fascinating in one particular respect. Prager's gig as a conservative radio host and syndicated columnist has no doubt given him exposure to any number of opinions from any number of Americans, but he tries to employ supposedly data-driven studies (who knows, since he doesn't link them) in the service of rhetoric that isn't based on anything but his own political assumptions and prejudices.

Witness his concern for African-Americans, and our happiness:

It makes perfect sense that a black American who is essentially happy is going to be less attracted to the Left. Anyone who has interacted with black conservatives rarely encounters an angry, unhappy person.


Because the liberal view on race is that America is a racist society. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, a black American must abandon liberalism in order to be a happy individual. It is very hard, if not impossible, to be a happy person while believing that society is out to hurt you. So, the unhappy black person will gravitate to liberalism and liberalism will in turn make him more unhappy by reinforcing his view that he is a victim.

He could've made his point so much more efficiently by simply writing Black + Liberalism = President Obama = ANGRY! = BOO! Perhaps that would've lacked the sophistication Prager's argument clearly possesses.

There's more, but Prager's argument isn't even original: essentially, this same column was written four years ago by George F. Will in the Washington Post. Maybe I can write this post again in 2014. Wonder if I'll still be this unhappy and angry then.

(Image: Huey Freeman of "The Boondocks".)

Cross-posted on The Maddow Blog.


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