Politics

Ebola Makes Everyone More Conservative

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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National Journal had a good piece up yesterday about how Ebola makes conservatives more conservative. It was good because it tapped into an interesting, and likely true point — but also, because it didn’t take cheap shots.

Regarding the former, conservatives do tend to worry more about preserving our delicate culture and society. This is certainly true in terms of our ability to handle radical change, but also in terms of the dangers of threats like Ebola.

The easiest way to bias a story is with the quotes; you take a supposed “straight” story and then contact the so-called “experts” who attack conservatives in the quotes. They didn’t do that here, as evidenced by this quote: “‘It doesn’t mean that conservatives are deeply flawed,’ Hibbing said. ‘From an evolutionary point of view, responding to negative things in the environment makes a lot of sense. You need to be aware of them.'”

With all due respect, though, I don’t think Ebola is just making conservatives more conservative; it’s making everyone more conservative. And this is problematic for Democrats with the mid-term elections right around the corner. Consider this from ABC News’ Rick Klein:

“Growing concerns about the possibility of a terrorist attack or an Ebola outbreak make for a toxic backdrop for Obama’s first public campaign rally on behalf of a candidate Wednesday night. Gender breakdowns tell a key piece of the story. Female likely voters who say they’re worried about a terrorist attack in the US support Republican candidates 55-39. Welcome back, security moms – just in time for the GOP. The “war on women” might be less effective as an issue if women fear war.”

When you think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, this makes sense. Self-actualization doesn’t mean much to someone worried about their very survival.

When times are good, voters might have the luxury of worrying about taxpayer-funded birth control, but — for now, at least — we’ve got bigger fish to fry.