Makers and Takers
Author: Peter Schweizer
Conservatives, fearful of what November’s elections may bring, will find Peter Schweizer’s latest book to be at least a temporary tonic.
Schweizer, a research fellow at Stanford’s esteemed Hoover Institution, has been lauded for exposing political hypocrisy in all its forms — especially when it hails from the left-hand pews of America’s political congregation.
His new book — “Makers and Takers: Why Conservatives Work Harder, Feel Happier, Have Closer Families, Take Fewer Drugs, Give More Generously, Value Honesty More, Are Less Materialistic and Envious, Whine Less . . . and Even Hug Their Children More Than Liberals” — is certain to make true patrons of the right realize that it is only a matter of time before their team prevails once more.
[Editor's Note: Get Peter Schweizer's book — FREE. Go here now.]
Schweizer presents a 212-page record of statements, opinions, academic studies, and other selections from our current media-driven, opinion-based maelstrom to buttress his themes that everything liberals portend is wrong and that in almost every measurable way conservatives are better.
The target audience will enjoy this book and ingest its offerings with no need to be convinced; it is looking to be reassured and armed for verbal battle. And, like any argument penned by a clever and intelligent writer — and this author is clearly both — the book is highly readable in parts while presenting much to consider.
For example, there is the excellent point that “most statistics are skewed,” and it comes in concert with the trenchant observation that “no state is completely red or blue.”
Then there’s the skewering of liberals for declaring there is “no real truth” to justify their refusal to acknowledge some basic tenets of life. Again spot-on, although some prefer the concept of “evolving truth.”
One fascinating nugget compares the percentage of personal income that conservatives donate to charities and other groups with the amounts contributed by liberals. But here is how Schweizer steps on his own roses: He insists on rounding up the usual suspects as his examples, the Soroses, Gores, Clintons, Michael Moores, etc., to underscore his point.
Schweizer’s historical reminder on the origins of liberalism as outlined by philosopher John Locke is most instructive. He notes that today’s liberalism would hardly be recognized by Locke and others, probably an accurate presumption.
In the final chapter, Schweizer says that “up until now, no one has marshaled the evidence to demonstrate where the truth actually lies. That is also why so much of the debate on this question has been shrill and angry, precisely because it has been a fight over opinion rather than facts.”
Surely when it comes to politics, however, facts lie in the eye of the beholder.
The likes of Al Franken and Nancy Pelosi are still smarting from Schweizer’s prior book, the best-seller “Do As I Say (Not as I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy.”
In his wide-ranging interview with Newsmax, Schweizer reveals why conservatives give more to charities than do-gooder liberals, how liberalism has been distorted from its original meaning, and even ventures into the “snake pit” by suggesting feminist wives do less housework.
Newsmax: What new ground did you break with this book?
Schweizer: For the first time, I’ve been able to document the verifiable differences between liberals and conservatives; what they believe in, how they live their lives. It’s never been done before.
Anyone who says liberals and conservatives are the same just hasn’t looked at the research. Liberals are more likely to attempt suicide, get angry, complain about most things in their life, be envious of others, be more tolerant of lying and cheating, and less interested in hard work than conservatives.
That’s not me saying these things. That’s what the research shows. By the way, this is research from leading universities, often research that people have never heard of.
My goal in writing this book is the end all of the overheated sniping by those on the left by going straight to the facts. I hope I accomplished that. Those on the left who want to claim that conservatives are neurotic, pinched, angry, and paranoid are entitled to their opinions. But not their own facts.
Newsmax: You don’t seem to rely much on the usual Democratic-liberal suspects, in terms of finding examples to buttress your case.
Schweizer: Well, there are icons out there that people identify with liberal causes: The Clintons, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, and increasingly Barack Obama. But more than simply relating stories about these people, what the research shows is that there tend to be certain common traits among those who are liberal. They tend to be chronically disappointed about most things — their financial situation, job, family, even their hobbies. So, yes, there is plenty of material on the liberal icons. But much of the data is about liberals in general.
Newsmax: How did you come up with “Makers and Takers” as a title?
Schweizer: The title comes from something my parents taught me a long time ago. The world tends to be divided into two groups of people: those who make things and those who take things. I argue that modern liberalism, as opposed to classical liberalism, promotes a taking mentality. Modern liberalism encourages people to be more concerned about what they can get. Modern liberals, according to numerous studies, are less ashamed of taking money they don’t deserve, accepting welfare they are not entitled to, and trying to get something for nothing.
Newsmax: What motivated you to write the book?
Schweizer: I started out looking at the question of “red America” and “blue America.” There were all of these studies being bandied about in the media by academics claiming to show how neurotic conservatives are. Often they would conduct these elaborate tests or studies and then try to prove some unrelated point. Or they would “observe” people and then draw their own conclusions. These both represent a horrible way to approach this question. So, I decided to dig myself. And I found that all of those studies are completely wrong and contradicted by better research.
Newsmax: You assail liberals for their anger at the world. Isn’t anger a good thing sometimes?
Schweizer: Yes, absolutely. But the problem is that modern liberalism encourages people to be angry almost all the time. And it encourages people to “express” that anger not try to control it or be constructive. So we find that liberals are angry longer, their anger is more intense, and they are likely to be angry at more people than the average conservative. Also, the way they deal with that anger is different. Liberals are more likely to cope with their anger by throwing things, having a stiff drink, or taking a pill. Conservatives are more likely to talk to the person they are angry with.
Newsmax: You note that today’s liberalism is far removed from the ideas of its intellectual founders, such as John Locke. Couldn’t the same, however, be said of conservatism?
Schweizer: Conservatism hasn’t changed all that much since the early days of William F. Buckley and Barry Goldwater. Some issues have emerged that weren’t so important before, such as abortion, prayer in school, and certain social issues. But that’s because in the early 1960s those simply weren’t problem areas.
Abortions were illegal and kids could pray in school. That all changed with the 1960s revolution. But the modern liberalism that came out of the ’60s is completely different from the liberalism of, say, Harry Truman. The obsession with victimhood, the culture of complaint, rampant envy, these are all things that someone like Truman would simply not understand or accept.
Newsmax: Was your goal to persuade, entertain, make true believers feel better?
Schweizer: I hope all three. I wanted to make the research accessible so I hope the book is entertaining. I do hope to persuade people through argument that there is something to this question of virtue and that conservative values encourage virtuous behavior. Conservatives don’t push “virtue” as a wedge issue; they really believe that there is a difference. And I think the research will also confirm what many conservatives have long felt but never been able to directly prove.
Newsmax: What did you learn that surprised you most?
Schweizer: I did find it quite interesting that conservatives are more likely to hug their children and express nurturing emotions than liberals. The research comes from an academic study headed by a professor at Princeton University. When I told my wife that liberals don’t hug their kids as much as conservatives, she just laughed and said, “Perhaps they are too busy hugging trees.”
When I researched the chapter on charity and discovered that conservatives give more to charitable causes than liberals, I was surprised to discover that this also applies to conservative icons such as Ronald Reagan, Dick Cheney, and Rush Limbaugh.
Using tax return data, I compare their charitable giving to that of liberals such as Nancy Pelosi, Barbra Streisand, and Franklin Roosevelt. Reagan was not as wealthy as FDR, but he gave more to charity when he was president than FDR did at the height of the Great Depression.
Newsmax: You report that feminist wives do less housework than others. What other advice about women can you offer men?
Schweizer: I’m already in enough trouble highlighting the differences between liberals and conservatives. You’re not seriously asking me to step into that snake pit are you?
[Editor's Note: Get Peter Schweizer's book — FREE. Go here now.]
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