Liberals Are Self-Righteous, Rihanna-Loving Cat Ladies

Snowflakes: you are all singular, special individuals, but you, collectively, fall into some pretty predictable data patterns when it comes to political affiliation.

New meta-analysis from the University of Illinois at Chicago has shown that while conservatives are often portrayed by left-leaning media as rigid, righteous ideologues devoted to their beliefs with a borderline scary fervency, the reality is that liberals exhibit similar levels of devotion to their moral viewpoints. The difference, explains Mother Jones, is that liberals and conservatives attach that fervency to different beliefs. total the 21 studies examined the moral commitments of liberals and conservatives on 41 separate political issues, from drug policy to the Israel-Palestine conflict. But on the large majority of those issues—28 of them in all—liberals and conservatives showed about the same level of moral conviction. Of the remainder, conservatives felt more strongly about 7 issues (immigration, abortion, states' rights, gun control, physician-assisted suicide, the deficit, and the federal budget) and liberals felt more strongly about 6 issues (climate change, the environment, gender equality, income inequality, healthcare reform, and education).

Tangent: Anyone else find it deliciously weird that conservatives tend to be more religious, yet they're way more weird about death than liberals? Like, if God's so super strong and prayer works so well, then why don't they trust Him to protect them enough that they don't need guns? If they're so sure that euthanasia is wrong because God, then why don't they just let people do what they want to end their lives and trust that Dad-God will righteously judge the sinning ways of the self-euthanized? If God is so hot on fetuses, then why would He give women the mental capacity to figure out how to end their pregnancies across thousands of cultures and thousands of years? And feeling strongly about banning immigration? That's a lot of fear for people who were told in their holy book "be not afraid." It seems similarly strange that liberals who are statistically less likely to believe in the afterlife are way more into preserving the earth for future generations, generations that they'll ostensibly not be present in any form to interact with. Is there a point to preserving the earth for "future life" if you believe we're all just soulless meatsacks anyway? Maybe I've been watching too much True Detective (I have definitely been watching too much True Detective).


While liberals and conservatives show similar devotion to their selected pet issues, they show different levels of devotion to selected pets. According to TIME, left wingers are more likely to be cat people than their counterparts on the right. But there are other strange, seemingly apolitical traits that people on either side of the aisle tend to share. Liberals would rather go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art than Times Square. Conservatives say they have cleaner desks. And liberals say they don't care if their significant other looks at pornography alone.

Certainly our music tastes aren't similarly divided down political lines, right? Wrong. Last week, Pandora announced that it can tell your political affiliation by what music you listen to, and that it uses that data to target certain listeners for political ads. As one might have predicted, the list of musicians enjoyed by conservatives include a whole mess o' cowboy hat wearing white people — Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, George Strait, Blake Shelton, and Shania Twain, to name a few. Liberals, on the other hand, tend to gravitate toward non-country offerings. Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Jay-Z, Snoop Dog, and (LOL pot) Bob Marley.

So, while it's fun to believe that we're all different, the reality is that apart from some minor style choices, as hunks of data, we're not that different, you and you and you and you and I. Besides, I'd rather be lumped in with the self-righteous Rihanna-loving cat ladies than the self-righteous Times Square visiting desk cleaners who listen to music sung by a guy in who goes shirtless under denim vests.

But, different strokes.

Images via Getty