In certain environments, conservatives often find themselves alone, dealing with a kind of alienation due to their political belief system. An academic Study that was co-authored by the Universities of Southern California and Virginia indicated that, while many conservatives understand the general liberal mindset, the same does not hold true for liberals when it comes to conservatism.
1. Ideology. Conservatives often face the fact that liberals do not seem to want to know what is behind their ideology. Thus, perceived notions, taken from media sound bites, are the order of the day. Often, gross stereotypes are portrayed of conservatives including homophobia, xenophobia, racism and judgmental bigotry. It is assumed that all conservatives wish is to ensure that the wealthy become more rich and that the poor and sick should die as quickly as possible.
2. Liberal bigotry. The frustrations that conservatives face regularly due to their political beliefs is in itself, a form of bigotry that is based upon ignorance. For example, in some instances, the participants in the UVA Study of over 2,000 Americans, were instructed to fill out their surveys as though they were a “typical” conservative or liberal.
The results of the UVA Study indicated that conservatives and moderates were equally adept at surmising how liberals would respond to the questions. However, liberals, particularly those describing themselves as “very liberal,” were not nearly as able to conceptually understand how their perceived adversaries would answer the same questions.
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3. Liberal morality. The study explained its findings by concluding that liberals form their distinct bases of morality upon the following values:
*Caring for the weak
4. Conservative morality. It was apparent from the Study that what many liberals do not seem to realize is that conservatives have a much more complex and broad system of morality. First, conservatives do care about the same issues as liberals. They just believe in a different way of approaching those issues, as well as liberty and fairness. For example, into the conception of morality, conservatives will factor in:
*Respect for authority
It is those added dimensional aspects that seem to perplex liberals, particularly the far left.
5. Dueling perceptions. The study further indicated that liberals often see conservatives as being in direct opposition to their core value system of fairness and compassion. In addition, conservatives are thought to be motivated by fighting against an ideology of an amoral value system. Not surprisingly, many liberals also believe that they are perceived to carry disrespect for tradition and authority and are against spiritual purity, when that is not the case.
6. Misconceptions. For instance, when conservatives have expressed moral issues concerning gay marriage, liberals seem to have difficulty understanding the perception that there is moral value in traditional arrangements. This produces a conclusion that conservatives are simply motivated by homophobia, without considering equality, fairness and rights. Consequently, the entire issue of how gay marriage can affect traditional family structures and gender roles becomes subverted.
The study concluded that in actuality, conservative and liberal moral values are far less polarized than the average person may believe. Therefore, more effective methods of reducing animosity and distrust between these ideological divisions should be explored and implemented.
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