Makers and Takers: How Conservatives Do All the Work While Liberals Whine
By Peter Schweizer
Doubleday, $24.95, 272 pp.
How mad does Peter Schweizer make liberals? Reviewing his last book favorably
cost me a freelance writing gig I'd had for 20 years at a mid-sized Midwestern
True, it was more like a last-straw kind of thing. A cadre of leftie cranks
had bombarded the paper for years with complaints when I'd give a positive
review to a conservative-themed book. Meanwhile, some of the staffers—David
Mamet would call them "brain dead liberals"—continually made snarky
remarks about a need for "diversity" on the book page. Into this mix
came the new McEditor, who had been tending to march the newspaper down the
road to mediocrity since his arrival.
But when my review of Schweizer's Do As I Say (and Not As I Do)
exposed self-proclaimed "Flint, Michigan, native" Michael Moore as a
scab-employing outsourcer who doesn't hire black people and owns Halliburton
stock, appeared the same day Moore was in town to get an award from a local
commie club, it took that editor one day to decide the Flint Journal no longer
could "afford" to buy book reviews from freelancers.
Even when I favorably reviewed David Horowitz's Hating Whitey and
Ann Coulter's Treason (for which I still get the occasional hate
mail), my work didn't get that kind of action.
The cost-saving excuse—a maximum $60-a-week outlay for a stable that
included four professional authors—was belied by the fact that the book-loving
conservative editor who'd started the paper's Sunday books page 23 years
earlier also was dumped. His replacement was a ninny who couldn't understand
why people found it funny that she referred to a true-life crime book as a
"novel" in the review's headline.
That's how mad Peter Schweizer makes liberals!
Schweizer apparently rather enjoyed the reaction from Do As I Say, as
he's taken his thesis one step further. Instead of merely exposing prominent
liberals as hypocrites, Schweizer basically asserts in Makers and Takers that
liberalism itself is a character flaw — or at least the symptom of one.
Or, as the book cover teases, "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."
Snippets of data supporting Schweizer's thesis have been leaking into even
the mainstream media for years. Not long ago, a survey reported that
conservative Christians were more satisfied with their sex lives than
non-believers. Such information invariably is reported as an "Oddly
Enough" story because the MSM mainstays think of religious people as the
repressed prudes of Freud's nightmares. It never occurs to the chattering
classes that the security that comes with monogamy and commitment to one's
spouse would make for a better love life.
And it's gotten very predictable that when the tax returns of presidential candidates
are released, that conservative candidates will have given generously to
charity, while the liberal candidates will have contributed a niggardly sum.
(Check out last year's charitable giving difference between Darth Vader Cheney
and Messiah Obama.)
Schweizer's premise, no doubt, will be decried as unkind and the subject
off-limits for polite discussion. But as he points out, the notion that
conservatism is the result of everything from psychosis to stupidity to just
general nastiness has been part of mainstream cultural conversation for years.
The examples are ubiquitous among the chattering classes and hardly have
been limited to the usual haters like Michael Moore or loons like Barbara
- The Democrats'
appointed voice of moderation is linguistics professor George Lakoff, who
was supposed to teach the party how to talk to religious people. He
says conservatism is "mean and greedy," with the result of
being child abuse, namely "beating them with belts, sticks and paddles."
- A supposed "academic"
study that received much MSM attention was based solely on liberal
professors' interpretations of political speeches. It claimed
conservatives are motivated by "fear and aggression."
- In his patently
faux-folksy way, Garrison Keillor says Republicans are "swamp
developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, bullies with
Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat
boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants,
brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, aggressive
The list goes on and on, in doses large and small, from reporters to
politicians. It would be one thing if the playing field were level and the
rhetoric on both sides given equal attention or inattention. But while comments
like the above are treated as givens in much of the pop culture with a million
little asides, when someone like Peter Schweizer dares to connect liberalism
with the behavior it encourages, the squeals of outrage are immediate and
Fortunately, there is actually evidence to support Schweizer's thesis – data
that unequivocally refute liberal assertions about conservatives on a
point-by-point basis. Polling goes on all the time in the United
States, not just for political purposes, but
for product marketing and by social scientists who study attitudes, behavior
and general knowledge.
In every major scientific social survey, conservatives know more, care more,
give more, love more, and lie less, are less materialistic and self centered than
Schweizer gives a simple and logical reason as to why liberals claim the
public moral high ground, but seem to care less about private virtue:
"(M)odern liberalism simply absolves its
adherents of many difficult and inconvenient responsibilities…. Because liberal
believe it is the role of the state to care for the needy, liberalism fosters
an 'I gave at the office' mentality. Simply espousing liberal values and voting
for liberal candidates is enough. No other action is required.
That is why liberalism is so seductive. It allows
one to claim the moral high ground on just about any issue, while, in effect,
'outsourcing' your personal responsibility for doing something about it to the
What's worse is that modern liberals are more likely – generally by a factor
of at least two – to be guilty of the sins they are most likely to condemn
conservatives for. Schweizer breaks down the supposed Seven Deadliest Sins s of
It's considered a given that Adam
Smith's intellectual descendants are all about self-interest. But liberals are
far more likely to admit in surveys to putting themselves first and being less
willing to sacrifice for others.
It's not only liberal
presidential candidates who are far less likely than conservatives — of every
income level — to give to charity. While the media argues that
"compassionate conservatism" is a contradiction in terms, Schweizer
shows that the term is redundant in practice.
Liberals are far more likely
report money as their top priority and less likely to part with it willingly
than the capitalist hogs they scorn.
- Lying liars who
The party of relativism is far
less honest from tax cheating to personal business affairs to marital affairs
than the "neocons who lied us into war."
- Angry (white).
Liberalism has placed such a
premium on grievance collecting that loving one's country and being satisfied
with one's life is a betrayal of conscience if one is a member of the
"minority" groups that make up about 70% of the country. In nearly
every measure, liberals report less satisfaction with their lives than
The mind-numbed robots who get
their marching orders from talk radio's Rush Limbaugh somehow answer pollsters'
questions about government, economics and world affairs far more accurately
than the enlightened souls who want their NPR.
- Tools of Big
. When conservatives protest
government's overreach in persecuting smokers, it is statistically more likely
they are defending a liberal's rights. It is also statistically far more likely
that the children of conservatives will get hugs and not drugs.
Makers and Takers is chock full of data from surveys that tear down
every character-based stereotype the cultural elites have assigned to liberals
and conservatives. Along the way, Schweizer can't resist throwing in some
delicious Do As I Say (and Not as I Do) tidbits along the way—from
uber-libs like Gore Vidal and Al Sharpton cheating on their taxes to the
extreme narcissism of ex-President Clinton, who wrote a book called Giving.
Unconsciously, liberals themselves endorse Schweizer's point every time they
take up scandalmongering. When they make Gary Studds a hero for doing something
Tom Foley only sent emails about or when they chuckle over Bill Clinton's
serial womanizing and are shocked by Newt Gingrich's divorce.
You can scream "hypocrisy" only at people with moral standards.