Are Liberals Really More Tolerant than Conservatives?

Let me start out saying this.  I’m a three percenter; a three percenter forever.  What does that mean, besides the rhetoric and the fight-to-the-death-for-liberty mentality?  It means that everyone has equal rights under the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.  That’s regardless of race, ethnicity, political affiation, gender, sexuality, etc.  All people have the same rights, in my book.  We all, also, have the same responsibilty when it comes to defending those rights.  Not just for ourselves, but for everyone else, as well.  That leads me to the next question, between liberals and conservatives, who is more tolerant of others?  It also means that we help others in charitable ways when we can.

Well, I’ve studied this a bit and I can safely say that conservatives are more tolerant.  They, also, tend to be more charitable.  Those two things carry across gender, race, politics, and religion.  The only caveat is that zeolots tend to be giving and tolerant of their own.

Case in point, Mitt Romney will be the first Mormon president if he wins in November.  A study goes on to give percentages.


The GOP’s all-important social conservatives may be getting more comfortable with Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith — but liberals are increasingly wary about the candidate’s religion in the run-up to November, according to a new study.

The study found anti-Mormon attitudes have increased since Romney’s 2008 presidential bid and are highest among liberal and non-religious voters. Their discomfort could pose a problem for the Republican candidate in November. 

“The victory of Mitt Romney in the 2012 Republican primary has convinced many observers that Romney’s Mormon religion is now irrelevant to his electoral chances,” wrote study author David Smith. But “aversion to Mormons is still an important force in American public opinion, and one that seriously affects Romney’s chances even if he ultimately overcomes it.”

The study found attitudes about Mormonism among Evangelicals has largely remained unchanged since 2007 — when 37 percent said they were “less likely to vote for a Mormon candidate for president,” compared with 33 percent this year.

However, that sentiment among non-religious voters increased from 21 percent to 41 percent over roughly the same period.

Among liberal voters, 43 percent said they were less likely to vote for a Mormon presidential candidate in 2012, compared with 28 percent in 2007.  

Political strategist Elliott Curson said Thursday that Romney’s religion becomes less of concern “as each day goes by.”

Simply based on that, you can see that conservatives are more tolerant.  To see the proof that conservatives are more charitable than liberals, read below.

Residents of Austin, Texas, home of the state’s government and flagship university, have very refined social consciences, if they do say so themselves, and they do say so, speaking via bumper stickers. Don R. Willett, a justice of the state Supreme Court, has commuted behind bumpers proclaiming “Better a Bleeding Heart Than None at All,” “Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Beauty,” “The Moral High Ground Is Built on Compassion,” “Arms Are For Hugging,” “Will Work (When the Jobs Come Back From India),” “Jesus Is a Liberal,” “God Wants Spiritual Fruits, Not Religious Nuts,” “The Road to Hell Is Paved With Republicans,” “Republicans Are People Too — Mean, Selfish, Greedy People” and so on. But Willett thinks Austin subverts a stereotype: “The belief that liberals care more about the poor may scratch a partisan or ideological itch, but the facts are hostile witnesses.”

Sixteen months ago, Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, published “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.” The surprise is that liberals are markedly less charitable than conservatives.

If many conservatives are liberals who have been mugged by reality, Brooks, a registered independent, is, as a reviewer of his book said, a social scientist who has been mugged by data. They include these findings:

— Although liberal families’ incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).

— Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.

— Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.

— Bush carried 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above average.

— In the 10 reddest states, in which Bush got more than 60 percent majorities, the average percentage of personal income donated to charity was 3.5. Residents of the bluest states, which gave Bush less than 40 percent, donated just 1.9 percent.

— People who reject the idea that “government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality” give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.

Brooks demonstrates a correlation between charitable behavior and “the values that lie beneath” liberal and conservative labels. Two influences on charitable behavior are religion and attitudes about the proper role of government.

The single biggest predictor of someone’s altruism, Willett says, is religion. It increasingly correlates with conservative political affiliations because, as Brooks’ book says, “the percentage of self-described Democrats who say they have ‘no religion’ has more than quadrupled since the early 1970s.” America is largely divided between religious givers and secular nongivers, and the former are disproportionately conservative. One demonstration that religion is a strong determinant of charitable behavior is that the least charitable cohort is a relatively small one — secular conservatives.

Reviewing Brooks’ book in the Texas Review of Law & Politics, Justice Willett notes that Austin — it voted 56 percent for Kerry while he was getting just 38 percent statewide — is ranked by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as 48th out of America’s 50 largest cities in per capita charitable giving. Brooks’ data about disparities between liberals’ and conservatives’ charitable giving fit these facts: Democrats represent a majority of the wealthiest congressional districts, and half of America’s richest households live in states where both senators are Democrats.

While conservatives tend to regard giving as a personal rather than governmental responsibility, some liberals consider private charity a retrograde phenomenon — a poor palliative for an inadequate welfare state, and a distraction from achieving adequacy by force, by increasing taxes. Ralph Nader, running for president in 2000, said: “A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity.” Brooks, however, warns: “If support for a policy that does not exist … substitutes for private charity, the needy are left worse off than before. It is one of the bitterest ironies of liberal politics today that political opinions are apparently taking the place of help for others.”

In 2000, brows were furrowed in perplexity because Vice President Al Gore’s charitable contributions, as a percentage of his income, were below the national average: He gave 0.2 percent of his family income, one-seventh of the average for donating households. But Gore “gave at the office.” By using public office to give other peoples’ money to government programs, he was being charitable, as liberals increasingly, and conveniently, understand that word.

From Conservatives More Liberal Givers by George Will.

Keep in mind Three Percenters tend to be conservative.  Any questions or comments?  I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.




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