Nursery School Politics

15 06 2006

“Remember the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints? Chances are he grew up to be a conservative.”

This according to another great, reliable source. The Toronto Star’s Kurt Kleiner:

At least, he did if he was one of 95 kids from the Berkeley area that social scientists have been tracking for the last 20 years. The confident, resilient, self-reliant kids mostly grew up to be liberals.

The study’s hardly a half-truth. For one, it’s not a very diverse sampling, being full of Berkeley kids, after all. For another, the actual numbers show only a slight connection between personality types and politics.

But even if there’s something to the study, the Star’s Kleiner suggests it may not mean what we think.

The grown-up liberal men, on the other hand, with their introspection and recognition of complexity in the world, could be seen as self-indulgent and ineffectual.

Eager to do their own thing and make up their own morality.

By contrast, the “whiny” future conservatives might simply have recognized that the world is a scary, unfamiliar place. Their grown-up conclusion that the safest thing to do is to stick to tradition could well be the right one. As for their ‘rigidity,’ maybe that’s just moral certainty.

Nice thought, Mr. Kleiner. Don’t know if you you are right since the sampling is too small to draw conclusions on, but on behalf of many parents of whiny kids, I hope so.

Linked with: Stop The ACLU

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