12.06.2011 01:00 AM

In today’s Sun: Conservatives dislike differences

Conservatives dislike differences. They just do.

In fact, conservatives dislike anything — policies, programs, people — at odds with what they consider to be normal.

It’s not conjecture, either. It’s a scientific fact! A bunch of studies have been done on this, and they’re a lot of fun to read, although possibly not for conservatives.

The conservative disdain for differences goes back to the cradle, no less. One celebrated American study found that whiny, insecure kids — you know, the ones who thought (accurately) that all of their classmates hated them, and were continually complaining (inaccurately) about how everyone was mean to them — tended to be conservatives.

The study, which was published in something called The Journal of Research Into Personality, tracked a bunch of Berkeley, Calif.-area kids going back to the 1960s. Two married Berkeley psychology professors, Jack and Jeanne Block, studied more than 100 nursery school kids, relying upon the insights of the teachers who knew them the best.

The Blocks weren’t interested in political orientation, just personality traits. The three- and four-year-olds were rated according to how they behaved, and the Blocks carefully maintained and weighed the data. The kids were surveyed at regular intervals — at ages 4, 5, 7, 11, 14, 18, 23 and, finally, 32. What they found validated the suspicions of every tax-raising, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, body-piercing, left-wing freak show type — like me — had.

The whiny, paranoid little kids grew up to become conservatives!


  1. Ed says:

    I’m sure this will continue to endear you to the SUN readership. Well done sir.

  2. Patrick Deberg says:


    It is brilliant and I sent it to my kids!!

  3. pcase says:

    This is my favourite thing you have ever written, solely based on the amount of Conservatives heads exploding/per word factor.

  4. a bunch?….seriously?…..I,m a tattooed ,pierced, latte drinking, SG playing, policy and program loving,Kinsella reading freak, and I voted Conservative the last 3 times…….so much for studies…:)….M.

    • Warren says:

      Lattes and tats?

    • Lawrence Stuart says:

      Why? I’m really curious. Really.

    • Attack! says:

      If Michael Reintjes’s maintaining that he DOESN’T have the thin-skinned etc. traits enumerated in the article but is a Conservative nevertheless, he’s just displaying another Conservative trait:

      being bad at logic and reasoning.

      As far as I could tell (from a quick read), the studies discussed in the article did NOT say that ALL Conservative have those traits, or even that all people with those traits are Conservatives, for that matter…

      just that a lot (most?) people with those traits ended up being Conservatives (in the Block study, at least).

      But if all 39% of the voting electorate truly are as “whiny and insecure etc.” as the leader they voted for (as opposed to simply being bought off by boutique tax credits or bamboozled by the CPC’s blarney about being better fiscal managers), our country really is in trouble.

      • “being bad at logic and reasoning.”??…says you….. I wont get into the reasons I didn’t vote for them as it seems pointless now that all three of them are munching grass out in the pasture. You choose to vote Liberal and I chose to vote Conservative…..but only one of us is basically calling the other stupid. I guess I’m not what you would consider normal,which is fine with me……have a great day.

        • Attack! says:

          Yes, bad at reasoning, since you presented yourself as a refutation (‘so much for’) the studies, based on a misreading &/or leap from their:

          ‘Many X turned out to be Y,’ to
          ‘I’m a Y but was not an X,’ …. so there!’

          which IS bad reasoning. Which doesn’t equate to being “stupid,” but since you DID go there, it shows you’re pretty think-skinned, and thus calls into question whether you weren’t actually an X all along but think a few tattoos could disguise it. Either way, revel in your indignation.

  5. pomojen says:

    Love this. Saw a bit on the news last night about it.
    And based on Warren’s bit, doubt he’s a conservative. 😉

  6. Pat says:

    I can’t wait to see the comments…

  7. Chris says:

    I’m picturing you dancing a little jig after hitting send on this beauty! Well done!

  8. Marc L says:

    WOW!!! I knew that Liberals were enamoured with themselves but this is really something. You really do think you are superiour beings don’t you? Have you ever thought that this may be one of the problems with the Liberal party — the belief among many of your members that everyone who thinks differently is a dithering idiot who has yet to see the light? Although I disagree with many of Harper’s policies, this is certainly not the kind of thing that makes me want to vote Liberal.

    • Warren says:

      Conservatives are “thin skinned,” the studies also found. I should’ve added that to the list.

    • AP says:

      Umm … Marc … I don’t think he meant liberal as in the “Liberal Party of Canada.”

      You sound a little whiny and thin-skinned but most of all you sound … disgusted.

      • Marc L says:

        Disgusted is correct…disgusted with the whole political process.

        • Pat says:

          But his article actually has nothing to do with the political process – are you really so quick to discount scientifically collected information? Are you really about the throw the life’s work of someone under a bus because the person who reported it is a bonafide Liberal? That’s what it sounds like. Of course WK is reporting this stuff because it puts those of his ilk in a much more appealing light, but you can’t just flip out and say that it is ridiculous.

          Conservatives are particularly thin-skinned and intolerant according to a study that has taken place over 30 years. In my experience, the study is relatively accurate. There is a reason that some people are Conservative to the bone and others are Liberal or socialist, and this just shows that there are personality indicators. That isn’t to say that there aren’t some people who break this mold. This article also doesn’t address the relatively undecided – those people who change their vote every election, or based on platforms. This research really only applies to the hard-core of the political spectrum.

          • The Doctor says:

            “This research really only applies to the hard-core of the political spectrum.”

            I suspect you’re quite correct there. There’s a helluva difference between an ultra-partisan, fire-breathing douchebag and somebody who casually casts a vote for this or that party.

    • Philip says:

      Just way too easy.

  9. From Emily Dee:

    Harper’s Neoconservatism: This entire “hard right” movement is a crock.

    It is not a religious evangelist movement, **OR a moral movement.
    It is a corporate movement.


  10. RWA: right-wing authoritarian followers

    snip snip So a right-wing authoritarian follower doesn’t necessarily have conservative political views. Instead he’s someone who readily submits to the established authorities in society, attacks others in their name, and is highly conventional.

    Which suggests authoritarian followers have a little volcano of hostility bubbling away inside them looking for a (safe, approved) way to erupt.


  11. Michael S says:

    Warren, write a parenting book. This will freak out every over-protective parent in Deep Annex.

  12. Philippe says:

    LOL so true Warren. Well done man, great article.

  13. Village Idiot says:

    I could write a witty response to what Warren wrote in the spirit of pretending to be a conservative, but that wouldn’t be sincere on my part.

    But I’m rather disappointed with the weak conservative responses so far.

  14. Michael S says:

    I’ve seen small yappy dogs make statements more secure than that.

    • Carolyn says:

      Better money managers?! Oh my ribs! The Liberals left a beautiful 16 billion dollar surplus that the Cons devoured faster than Rob Ford with a hotdog and have given Canadians a steaming 60 billion dollar deficit in it’s place. More stable?! Ignoring science, facts and evidence to blindly support ideology is frighteningly unstable. More serious? Hmmm, maybe, but I think more humourless would be a better way to put it.

      • Michael Radan says:

        “that the Cons devoured faster than Rob Ford with a hotdog”

        All time best line ever written on this not-a-blog. LMAO

      • Carolyn says:

        Today NPR broadcast a story about a survey which found that economic conservatives generally earn less than liberals, not more as the stereotype suggests.

  15. allegra fortissima says:

    Yeah, and we bike riding, espresso slurping, single-handed spaghetti winding, chocolate devouring, ripped jeans wearing, high heels balancing, piggy bank smashing, Joye Ramones adoring female Socialists beat you all 🙂

  16. Pat says:

    Better money managers? Is there proof of that? Or are you just making it up? Their time in government certainly doesn’t back that up.

  17. In the system says:

    I’m waiting for the study linking Conservatism with a propensity to refuse roadside sobriety tests…

    Too soon?

  18. Stuart Smalley lives! says:

    I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.

  19. Ted H says:

    After seeing Mulroney, Harris, Hudack, Flaherty, Del Mastro, Poilievre and Harper in action, just to name a few, Conservatives are the last f******g people I want looking after my country, my family and my kids future.

  20. Ted H says:

    Let’s talk about some other conservatives, the ones south of the border who believe it or not are actually worse than our Canadian conservatives. Let’s talk about GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry who some say is “God’s man” and others say “he’s your man if George W. was too cerebral for you.”

    A good friend of ours worked in Texas for several years, Rick Perry was Lieutenant Governor before he became Governor. It was a well known fact at any event he attended that Perry was a lecherous man, checking out the young girls all of the time. Oh but he’s God’s man, he’s a true conservative, he leads prayer meetings to pray for rain. Every damn conservative is a lying hypocrite. Those that are not engaged in maintaining the plutocracy are deluded into thinking that it has something to do with family values, patriotism, morality, or good fiscal management.

    • Ken says:

      You look at certain members of the Tory benches, and the first thing that comes to mind is definitly not “Family Values”.

      Well, not traditional, nuclear, one-man-and-one-woman-to-the-exclusion-of-all-others-till-death-do-you-part families anyway.

      • Ted H says:

        Of course, and they know well what Conservatism is really about, they are in it for themselves, not for any “values”.

    • JStanton says:

      … jeez gord, is that a chink in your armor? That was more honest, forthright, sincere and sober than I’ve ever seen from you.


    • Ted H says:

      First of all, I am satisfied to see the admission that paranoia and intolerance are the property of conservatives, perhaps not the sole property. Secondly, paranoia is not the right word for my statement in this instance, look up the meaning and use the word properly. Thirdly, intolerance, you are correct sir, I am intolerant of lying, hypocritical conservatives.

      • Ted H says:

        I wouldn’t consider myself a leftist, more a realist actually and in my personal life I would probably be regarded as fairly conservative. But I will temper my comments just as a compromise to the hints of reasonableness I see in some of your statements.

        “All Conservative politicians are lying hypocrites”.

      • Ted H says:

        One more thing, can you honestly dispute the fact that the real agenda of right wing politics is to strengthen and maintain a plutocracy?

  21. Philippe says:

    If by “better money managers” you mean taking record surpluses and turning them into deficits (Clinton hand-off to G. Bush, Liberal hand-off to S. Harper), then you’re right, Gord! We keep handing you golden platters and you keep wrecking’em. Any government that decides to build super prisons for non-existent criminals in the middle of a global recession can always be trusted with the public purse.

  22. Dan says:

    When was the last time a Conservative federal government balanced a budget?

    The only thing they’re serious about is doling out favors to their donors and making it easier to be a bigot.

  23. TheSilentObserver says:

    Interesting, I was a non-conformist in my younger years, but I was also bullied quite severely at other points of my childhood. I think, that had I been more accepted by my peers and found my adult role models more compassionate and able to deal with my bullying, I would have been a tory today. I think it is due to the rejection I faced from my peers at such a young age that I began to feel real sympathy for oppressed people around the world, developed an interest in social justice, and the rest is history. I may have been construed as “whiny”, though with perfectly legitimate cause, though I eventually realized that it wouldn’t solve my problems and began to take action in order to solve my problems

  24. Ken says:

    Better money managers than whom?

    • JStanton says:

      oh, come on gord, even if your assertions were correct, they are bullshit metrics. The only metrics that matter are “quality of life” metrics across all strata. If people are starving, or have to work two jobs at minimum wage, then that is not really “better” money management.

      Conservatives forget that the whole point of government is to enrich the lives of all citizens, not just themselves and people that look and think like them.


      • The Doctor says:

        “the whole point of government is to enrich the lives of all citizens, not just themselves and people that look and think like them.”

        . . . so you must have had a huge problem with the sponsorship scandal. 🙂

      • The Doctor says:

        So you think Adscam enriched the lives of all Canadians?


      • The Doctor says:

        Scot, I vote Liberal these days. But if another Liberal, or group of Liberals, does something wrong, unethical, stupid or scummy, I call them on it. That’s the way I roll. Apparently you roll differently. That’s fine.

    • Philippe says:

      Gord, this flies in the face of facts. I know that when facts contradict a Conservative “opinion” – “opinion” and “ideology” rules the day – but I think it’s important that we argue this in a factual manner. One doesn’t have to be brilliant to interpret the following article as Conservatives being irresponsible with taxpayers’ money which they so profess to defend.


  25. One of these things is not like the others. One of these things is not quite the same.

    Conservative phrase: “Three of things are not like the Conservatives. Three of these things are not quite the same.”

  26. Cameron Prymak says:

    Yes, by all means -I strongly encourage you to continue with your proclamations.

  27. The Dude says:

    Read your articles in the sun. Great stuff. But could you please stop pandering to the Teabagger North party by saying that Liberals ARE on the left? That just plays into their game that if anyone ever dares disagree with the glorious leader on anything that they are automatically left wing. It plays with their simple minded “us VS. them” black and white mind. Or is it that maybe the Sun knows it would confuse their readers if you said the insane right versus the centre-right, centre, centre-left and left? Plus it makes them think they might be at the centre, which is the scariest thing that could happen. We don’t need to become Utah. Sorry, but I’m just getting tired of the right of the spectrum being able to frame everything. Everyone stays so polite…except Pat Martin.

    • TheSilentObserver says:

      If you’re worried the Libs may be construed as left-wing, read the anti-NDP hate fest in the comments section a few posts down. Even in third place, liberal heads explode at the mere though that the dippers aspire to actually hold office one day

  28. JJ says:

    It’s funny, because some of the kindest, most generous and charitable people I know are conservatives. People who do their quiet part to help their neighbours, and care for one another.

    I tend to find many Liberals and NDP to be rather aggressive in their beliefs and bitter in their manner. Once I genuinely thanked an NDP candidate and told her that even though I’m not a NDPer, I appreciated the work she did. The first thing she did? Snarl at me.

    Of course, I’m sure there are lovely left-wingers out there as well. But the fact that you generalize all “conservatives” into one group pretty much shows that you’re guilty of all the same traits you accuse them of.

    • TheSilentObserver says:

      See, my life is an exact mirror image of this. Kind, generous, and charitable progressives, whiny, snarly, aggressive, and bitter conservatives. My political leanings are almost just as related to attitude as they are to ideology. Unless I’m mistaken, this seems to be the case for you as well

  29. Craig says:

    It seems to me there is a role reversal in Canada. Liberals and Dippers are whining about the Conservatives, non-stop. Stephen Harper this and Stephen Harper that; Stephen Harper non-stop, which is great for name recognition. When the Liberals and Dippers have confidence in themselves, they must stop advertising Stephen Harper’s name non-stop.

    Why even you are helping the Conservatives with your Stephen Harper rants. Keep up the bad work!

  30. Village Idiot says:

    Here’s another article about the yin/yang of what type of TV shows that liberals and conservatives like:


    • The Doctor says:

      Actually, that article tells us what Republicans and Democrats in the United States like. It doesn’t tell us what Conservatives, Liberals or New Democrats in Canada like. There’s a difference.

  31. Woody says:

    I just wish the LCBO would stop spending money on the books that come with the weekend globe. They rarely tell me enough about the wines. And do these things pay for themselves in additional sales? I wish the auditor had something to say about that.

  32. Ruth says:

    If you live in BC, what you describe is understandable!

  33. matt says:

    I really hate this post. Call me thin-skinned and paranoid, but….

    But seriously, I dislike it. It is small minded. You can, and often do, do better. The quality of our civics is diminished by ad hominem attacks on political orientation.

  34. Woody says:

    Heh. 🙂 … And Fantino calls opponents hypocrites.

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