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Unhappy for Different Reasons

Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

If you have ever listened to a Dennis Prager radio program, you know he often talks about the differences between liberals and conservatives. And you would also know that he dedicates one hour to what he calls “the happiness hour” where he explores why people are happy or unhappy.

So it is not surprising that he recently wrote a commentary on the subject: “Liberals and Conservatives Are Unhappy for Different Reasons.” He says that unhappy conservatives generally believe they are unhappy because life is difficult and tragic or because they made some unwise decisions in life. Liberals are unhappy generally because they believe they have been persecuted.

A left-wing woman may attribute her unhappiness to American society’s “patriarchy” or “misogyny.” She therefore feels oppressed. He also argues that the more left-wing blacks will attribute his or her unhappiness to racism. He has noticed that black conservatives have a much happier disposition than left-wing blacks. He has found that a cheerful black caller to his radio program is almost always a conservative.

Near the end of his commentary, he gives a personal example. His father (an Orthodox Jew) wrote his college senior thesis on the subject of anti-Semitism in America. His father was well aware of bigotry in this country but still reminded Dennis Prager and his brother that American Jews are the luckiest Jews in history—because they are Americans. Prager says, “I therefore never knew what it was like to walk around thinking most of the people I met hated me. That alone contributed to my happiness.”

He correctly concludes that, “Unhappy Americans on the right blame the problems inherent to life, and they blame themselves. Unhappy Americans on the left blame America.” This simple formula explains so much.

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