I think it is easier to be a liberal, because many of their ideas, especially economic ones, sound like they should work. If we just raise taxes on capital gains, we will have all this money. If we just set up a big government program, it will solve the problem. If we just send people thru treatment, it will solve drug abuse. It takes life experience to recognize the law of unintended consequences, which might be why a lot of older people trend conservative.
Plus, it’s easier not to think about what Hollywood and the news media tell you. They always have a nice neat story with good guys and bad guys and a clear moral. That often fits expectations better than the truth.
Obviously, people don’t need yachts, and the rich can afford to pay more, and therefore a luxury tax only does good and helps everyone and that’s a happy ending. Except when it’s not.
It isn’t always easy - 61% of the US thinks the economy is doing well and a good deal of the “debate” last night was Democrats telling them they are wrong, and only the rich should think so - but that’s nuanced thought. Which is hard.
Conservatives, at least those that support the Trump administration, have to lie to themselves 24/7. That can’t be easy. For myself at least, it’s easier to face facts and try to fix problems than ignore them.
I think being a conservative is easier. Searching out truths and accepting facts and aligning your views accordingly takes time and effort and can sometimes lead to discomfort, whereas having your opinion spoon-fed to you in small, easy-to-digest bits without having to do much thinking, and relying on “feelings”, is much easier.
When it comes to taxes liberals can be oblivious to the negatives. Like if you raise taxes too much people will leave the state or the country.
But the law of unintended consequences plays on both sides. Conservatives want to cut taxes until the system starts to fail and infrastructure crumbles. In Kansas the democrats won big because supply side economics was creating a host of bad outcomes. Also with things like immigration of you clamp down on illegal immigration it leads to too few agricultural workers. Or how attempts to repeal the ACA make single payer seem more appealing. Unintended consequences runs both ways.
Also its only older whites who lean conservative. Older Latinos, Asians and blacks don’t vote conservative nearly as much as older whites. Take of that fact what you will but it’s not life experience that causes that division.
First place the “conservatives” aren’t conservative these days; they are reactionary. They want to return to the era in which Negros knew their place, there was no social security, government kept out of health care, banks were not regulated, unions were busted by the cops, and taxes were small. Do I exaggerate? Maybe, but not much, to hear tea partiers talk.
The true conservatives are the ones who want to maintain the status quo. That sounds easy and requires no thought But which status quo? There’s the rub. I would start by undoing everything the orange menace has done and that is pretty easy to imagine. But where to go from there? For me, it is easier to be a liberal for that aligns with my instincts. I dislike the idea of letting innocent kids die in detention, but 40% of the American people are perfectly okay with that since it might others from even trying. So the answer to the OP is, it depends on your nature.
You mentioned a thirst for punishment as inherent to human nature. Let’s take a moment and inventory some other parts of human nature: greed, cruelty, short-sightedness, sloth, lust, avarice, envy, wrath, etc.
Are we finally admitting that’s what conservatism is all about? If so, I’m all on board, even though I don’t usually hold much brief for any flavor of the “human nature” fallacy.
In the wider world it is harder to lie than tell the truth. This must be because liars need to remember what they lied about, and they need to make risky statements and connections that can fall apart with one word. Who are the liars?
In the more localized world of politics it is looking like the liars have an advantage, but their job is still hard.
Depends on how far right or left one is. The far right conservatives that I’ve been closest to were my brother and my brother-in-law. They seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time hating on people and coming up with racist/sexist/homophobic put-downs. I don’t remember a time when I was in either of their presence without some sort of nastiness coming out of them. Seems to me that investing that much time in that sort of thinking would take a considerable toll on one’s mental health.
It’s sort of the same for far lefties. The amount of anguish and outrage they can generate also seems likely to take a toll on mental well-being.
The more moderate one’s political stance, the better for one’s health, it would seem.