We all know the stereotype: liberals are compassionate, caring, open-minded, and nonjudgmental, while conservatives are inflexible, narrow-minded, bigoted money grubbers. This is, without a doubt, the greatest myth that ever existed.
What’s more, the opposite is closer to the truth. In 2007, Arthur Brooks, a self-described liberal, decided to do some research and write a book about which group — conservatives or liberals — give the most to those who are less fortunate. Though he went into the project as objectively as possible, he fully expected to find that liberals put their money where their mouth is. What he found out was the exact opposite. “My personal views about “charity” amounted to little more than unquestioned liberal beliefs.”
It’s actually conservatives who give more to charity – not just their money, but their time.
“I have uncovered some hard truths about American culture, politics, and economics. I myself was surprised and disturbed by many of the facts and trends that emerged in the course of my research. The worldview and lifestyle of charitable people are usually just more in sync with the right than they are with the left. It is simply undeniable that conservative principles are more congenial to the forces of charity.”
What Brooks found was that strong families, church attendance, earning one’s own income (as opposed to receiving welfare), and the belief that individuals–not government–offer the best solution to social ills was the true catalyst for giving.
So the next time a liberal makes his standard cookie-cutter arguments about the greed of conservatives, suggest that he read Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism. He won’t read it, of course — that would rock his world — but at least you’ll have something concrete to offer.