The WaPo has an article today about the “happiness gap” between Republicans and Democrats. The basic tone of the article is one of mockery for the right for being happy despite the latest polls and mockery for the left for being depressed despite the latest polls. I think that oversimplifies things. The real interesting question here is why is the right happier? The standard leftist answer would be because the GOP is the party of the rich. Well, not so much, actually.
Astonishingly enough, the WaPo writer identifies the true reason for the gap, though he calls it a hypothesis:
Those who think they can control their destinies are happier.
People on the right are happier because they don’t allow their feelings to be overtly affected by the changing political winds. Conservatives embrace God, family and country (and guns! w00t!) and let those things dictate their political desires. The left is depressed because they tie their identity too much to their politics and, truthfully, there is not a whole lot about the leftist agenda that engenders happiness. There’s a good reason that so many of them feel empty.