Friday, February 3, 2012

Study Claims Conservatives Less Intelligent Than Liberals, But We've Seen This Nonsense Before

February 3, 2012 - by Tom Mannis - Every couple of years or so, some "scientific study" claims to "prove" that conservatives are less intelligent than liberals. 

It's always ridiculous, for so many reasons that it's hard to know where to begin.

The liberal Huffington Post is just one of hundreds of media outlets that wrote about a recent study published in Psychological Science that claims to prove that conservatives have lower intelligence than liberals.  The study was done at Brock University in Ontario, Canada. Its primary author is one Gordon Hodson, Department of Psychology.

This story, of course, is being reported gleefully by chuckling liberal sycophants everywhere. Huffington Post contributor Rebecca Searles is one of them, and she began her article about the study by asking, "Are racists dumb? Do conservatives tend to be less intelligent than liberals?"

I'll agree that racism and racists are dumb. I don't need a politicized "scientific study" to tell me that. But hold on a minute: Notice how, right off the bat, Searles not-so-subtly equates conservatives with racists? (We'll revisit that point momentarily.)

Gordon Hodson, Genius
Her report continued:  "A provocative new study from Brock University in Ontario suggests the answer to both questions may be a qualified yes," and that it "showed that people who score low on I.Q. tests in childhood are more likely to develop prejudiced beliefs and socially conservative politics in adulthood."

This is laughable, of course, because there are plenty of intelligent people, stupid people and those in between in both camps. It's also laughable because the way liberals tend to abuse science toward their own propagandist ends is criminally amusing. From Al Gore and his climate science by consensus to Trofim Lysenko and his bizarre Soviet science, liberals (leftists, progressives - call what you will) have been politicizing science for a long time.

The result, of course, is not actually science but propaganda that pushes a viewpoint all dressed up in the guise of legitimate research. The point here is that science is often hijacked and twisted in an effort to reinforce purely political views and propaganda. Such is the case, I believe, with this latest "scientific proof" of how dumb conservatives are.

Hodson's Brock University study is not the first time this kind of nonsense has been presented as science. For example, in February of 2010 Science Daily happily ran a story about a study by Satoshi Kanazawa, an  Evolutionary Psychologist at the London School of Economics, which came to conclusions similar to those of the 2012 Hodson-Brock University study. That is, liberals are smarter.

Satoshi Kanazawa, Genius
"More intelligent people are statistically significantly more likely to exhibit social values and religious and political preferences that are novel to the human species in evolutionary history," gushed Science Daily on Feb. 24. "Specifically, liberalism and atheism, and for men (but not women), preference for sexual exclusivity correlate with higher intelligence, a new study finds."

A month later, columnist Neil Reynolds ripped apart the Kanazawa findings. Writing in The Globe And Mail, Reynolds questioned the assumption that liberals are more intelligent than conservatives.

"Perhaps," he wrote, "although you can't prove it from the dubious evidence provided by evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa." Kanazawa got his 15 minutes of fame after "proving" that, and liberals everywhere chuckled giddily as they heralded Kanazawa as a minor Hero of Leftist Propaganda.

Liberals were not so happy with Kanazawa, however, when it soon became apparent that Kanazawa was a bit too nutty for them. Scandal surrounded Kanazawa when, in May of 2011, he published an article in Psychology Today with the unpleasant title "Why Black Women Are Less Attractive Than Other Women." That was part of his ill-fated blog at Psychology Today, which was called "The Scientific Fundamentalist: a hard look at truths about human nature."

"In his incendiary piece, which has since been taken down," wrote Nanjala Nyabola in The Guardian (UK), "Kanazawa discussed the scientific basis for 'why black women are less attractive than any other women'. Note that Kanazawa did not claim to have discovered why black women are perceived to be less attractive, or why he believed that black women are less attractive." Psychology Today fired Kanazawa and removed his blog within weeks of the piece about the attractiveness of black women.

The selective hypocricy of liberals and their willingness to tolerate pseudo-science as long as it agrees with their political preconceptions shines brightly through the Kanazawa scandal.

On June 5, 2011, Anissa Ford wrote on that "Kanazawa’s blogs, for as long as Psychology Today has published them (a little over five years now) have always been controversial, racist, sexist, and unfounded. Most of his blogs are hypotheses on human nature (or why men and women do the the things that they do). Readers are drawn into Kanazawa's ideologies because his notions offer one explanation for human behavior in our contemporary culture and its current setting."

Remember that the Kanazawa study that "proved" the superior intellect of liberals was published in 2010, well within the five year lifespan of his Psychology Today blog mentioned by Anissa Ford. Kanazawa, a liberal, was a popular blogger for the liberal Psychology Today.  Kanazawa's mad science was tolerated only until it caused such a firestorm with piece about black women that he could no longer be forgiven. Even liberals can only take so much craziness.

Are there conservatives who are racist? Of course. There are also plenty of liberals who are racist. (Some of the most racist people I know profess to be liberals, although most just call themselves Democrats.) As for low IQs, no political group holds exclusivity on that. It must be said, however, that low IQs seem spectacularly more prevalent among Democrats and liberals in the U.S. Congress than on the other side of the aisle.

Remember Congressman Hank Johnson? He was the shining example of liberal genius who worried aloud that the island of Guam might tip over if more military personnel and equipment were placed there. He was actually re-elected - by a whole lot of brilliant liberal voters. Watch Johnson's amazingly stupid-but-funny performance here

Another stellar example of liberal genius is Peggy Romo West, 12th District Supervisor and 2nd Vice-Chair on the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. In a 2010 discussion of a possible boycott of Arizona in protest of its controversial SB1070 legislation, West revealed that she did not even know that Arizona and Mexico share a border.

"If this was Texas," she said, "which is a state that is directly on the border, with Mexico, and they were calling for a measure like this, saying that they had a major issue with, you know, undocumented people flooding their borders, I would say, I would, I would have to look twice at this. But this [Arizona] is a state that is a ways removed from the border, and, uhm, it just, it doesn't make sense to me, that, when, you Google this subject, if you put in 'Arizona SB1070' that you see a picture of the governor of Arizona meeting with President Obama..."

Here's a story about the preconceptions and prejudices held by many liberals about conservatives. I used to be a regular at a nightclub in Rogers Park. Often, I was the only conservative in the room. The crowd is ethnically diverse. I often played pool with a group of regulars and I would be the only white guy near the table. Anyway, there was a young man whom I shall refer to as Jim (not his real name), who was from downstate Illinois who called himself a progressive liberal.

One day Jim and I were having a conversation. I said something, I can’t remember what, that prompted him to say, "Gee, Tom, you sound like a conservative!" I said, "That's probably because I am a conservative, Jim." He said, "I'm shocked." I asked him why.

Jim's mind numbing response was, "Well, uhm, I mean, because I see you talking to black people in here!"

I was stunned by his ignorance and by how thoroughly he had bought into the Big Lie that to be a conservative just automatically requires racism as part of the package.

Poor Jim, with his utter lack of critical thinking ability, had gotten through 26 years of life assuming that all conservatives are racists who never speak to black people.

Jim's delusions were happily fed by left-leaning media and politicians, of course, who endlessly "remind" the dim-witted of the evil nature of stupid conservatives.

I have no doubt that "Jim" - like millions of other imbeciles - will use the Hodson-Brock University study as "proof" of their own superior intelligence. Unlike so many liberals who are intellectually dishonest, I can admit that there are racists and idiots who live in my own conservative camp. The liberals, however, blind themselves to the same kind of people within their own ranks and seem to believe that those types are exclusively conservative.
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