Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The 60's Are Over: this is '06....


I've accepted that much of the music and artists that I love or will listen to, are liberal. That's just the way it is. Liberals make beautiful music. Even the lyrics to such Beatles songs as "Imagine" don't bother me. I grew up on music before I knew politics.

In today's New York Times, there is a piece written up on "Peter, Paul, and Mary", focusing on Mary Travers' recovery from leukemia, which she was diagnosed with in 2004.

The cancer diagnosis came quickly, she recalled. When chemotherapy did not work, she waited for a bonemarrow transplant. It turned out that her donor was named Mary and, like Ms. Travers, had two daughters. Ms. Travers, a lifetime Democrat, joked with her family that she wondered if a Republican's marrow had save her body. She learned that this was indeed true when she called the other Mary to thank her.
Haha....the stereotype of heartless, selfish Republicans at work...
Ms. Travers, who was 26 when the trio sang during the March on Washington in 1963, still sounds like her old political self. She says she is upset by, among other things, changes in the immigration laws, domestic eavesdropping, the Iraq war and efforts to ban abortion; and disappointed that artists are not fighting the powers-that-be with the same zeal as they did in the 60's and 70's.
My advice? Turn proud, happy, registered Republican. Then maybe you won't carry around so much negativity and anger all the time. It's bad for the heart.

According to the Pew Research Center, Republicans tend to be more optimistic, and happier:
Some 45% of all Republicans report being very happy, compared with just 30% of Democrats and 29% of independents. This finding has also been around a long time; Republicans have been happier than Democrats every year since the General Social Survey began taking its measurements in 1972. Pew surveys since 1991 also show a partisan gap on happiness; the current 16 percentage point gap is among the largest in Pew surveys, rivaled only by a 17 point gap in February 2003.

Could it be that Republicans are so much happier now because their party controls all the levers of federal power? Not likely. Since 1972, the GOP happiness edge over Democrats has ebbed and flowed in a pattern that appears unrelated to which party is in political power.

For example, Republicans had up to a 10 and 11 percentage point happiness edge over Democrats in various years of both the Carter and Clinton presidencies, and as small as a three and five percentage point edge in various years of the Reagan and first Bush presidencies. Also, we should explain here a bit about how our survey questionnaire was constructed. The question about happiness was posed at the very beginning of the interview, while the question about political affiliation was posed at the back end, along with questions about demographic traits. So respondents were not cued to consider their happiness through the frame of partisan politics. This question is about happiness; it is not a question about happiness with partisan outcomes.

Of course, there's a more obvious explanation for the Republicans' happiness edge. Republicans tend to have more money than Democrats, and -- as we've already discovered -- people who have more money tend to be happier.
As I've matured into the fine, middle-aged, conservative blogger you read here before you, I've grown to accept that money is not the root of all evil; and that capitalism and the pursuit of wealth is moral and noble. By helping yourself, selfishly, you are empowered to help others. It is wealth that allows one to have the power to affect change: to help your friends and family in need, to be charitable to others less fortunate. It is the "evil" corporations that have improved the quality of life for so many people; that have improved technology that has improved the quality of air and helped the environment. It is our wealth that affords the U.S.- both as a government and as individuals- to be generous in so much foreign aid to other countries in need; whether it be trillions wasted on 40 years of Marshall Plans in Africa, the funding of the UN, foreign aid to undeserving, thankless nations, or emergency tsunami and earthquake relief to those in peril.

Who is more likely to be charitable? Republicans or Democrats? Hmmm....

I digress. To continue on with the Pew Research...
But even this explanation only goes so far. If one controls for household income, Republicans still hold a significant edge: that is, poor Republicans are happier than poor Democrats; middle-income Republicans are happier than middle-income Democrats, and rich Republicans are happier than rich Democrats.
And make no mistake, that there are plenty of rich Democrat fat cats, the likes of George Soros, Teresa Heinz-Kerry, and Hollywood liberals.
Might ideology be the key? It's true that conservatives, who are more likely to be Republican, are happier than liberals, who are more likely to be Democrats. But even controlling for this ideological factor, a significant partisan gap remains. Conservative Republicans are happier than conservative Democrats, and moderate/liberal Republicans are happier than liberal Democrats. Hmmm, what other factors might be at play? Well, there's always...

Religiosity
And to return us back to the NYTimes and Ms. Travers:
"Do we have to rely on the Dixie Chicks?" she asked.

Still, she, Mr. Yarrow and Mr. Stookey see hope in a fresh wave of political and artistic energy in folk music. Mr. Yarrow, for one, says he is ecstatic that Bruce Springsteen is reinterpreting Pete Seeger songs from the Peter, Paul & Mary era.

"It's great," Mr. Yarrow exclaimed. "He always was a folk singer. He always had it in his heart. Of all the people who had the legitimacy to do it, he does."

After all these years of the precise enunciation of folk music, Ms. Travers now prefers "nonverbal music" or even, as she put it, "a little schmaltzy opera." She added that when she is not thinking about politics, she is pretty happy.
When I think politics, I am pretty secure in my belief that the country that bleeds red is on the right path to success and happiness, and making this a better world for all to live in.

Feel better, Ms. Travers, and God bless. The country is in good hands. Thanks for your concern; we are working hard to make this a better world, each and every day, for you to live in.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Always On Watch said...

I've accepted that much of the music and artists that I love or will listen to, are liberal.

As long as the politics of the artist is not "in my face," I can handle the songs and enjoy the music.

Republicans tend to have more money than Democrats...

Here in Northern Virginia, I think Democrats have more money. But this region is often the exception to the rule.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Wordsmith, thanks for your comment on my blog. I read your drug essay which you linked to and agree completely. I also enjoyed this essay having also moved from left to right - or more accurately - realizing that I had been right all along. :)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

Now see... this is what I am talking about... the need for a regular feeding of quality content.

You might think I pick on you... and I do :)

But it's only because so many of your efforts are exceptional and we need MORE!!!

You HAVE "matured into the fine, middle-aged, conservative blogger" and the price of said fame are the desire of your fans for MOOOOORRRREEE!!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Truth-Pain said...

Wordsmith: As a musician and still-performer myself I can see the beauty and visceral bent towards "liberal-utopian" ideals when it comes to the arts. It is much cooler to write about the vestiges of revolution and counter-culture when you have an electric guitar slung around your neck than about personal freedom and responsiblity. The trick is to leave the idealism on the stage and put the reality hat when you exit stage right.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

aow...I work with a lot of rich clients- all Democrats.

Patrick, thanks for taking the time to read it. In case anyone wants to know what he is talking about, his post, and my post.

Mike, that's high praise coming from you. I know you're only kidding with me. The funny thing is, if you hadn't been prodding me with the stick, I might not have been inclined to browse through the NY Times today for something to post about. So many others have been covering all the major news like Haditha and such, that I really have nothing to add- other than to rehash what's been said brilliantly by others.

t-p, I agree. I saw Les Miserables last Thursday (actually about my 8th time seeing it), and the sort of ideals and idealism expressed in works of art like that are enjoyable when you have your head in the clouds, and lose yourself in fantasy. But when you are dealing with the real world, it's time to grow up.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 9:05:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Where I live, I believe that Democrats and Republicans are about equal on the "who has the most money" thing.

Now, if the question were, "who has the most brains" it would be more easily answered! ;)

Thursday, June 15, 2006 9:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

republicans may be happier because as they say....ignorance is bliss.

Sunday, June 25, 2006 5:30:00 PM  

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