Green is me, red is Republican, blue is Democrat.
Basically, liberals care a lot about leveling the playing field and avoiding harmful consequences. Conservatives care about those things too, but they put a lot more emphasis on loyalty, authority, and purity. Challenge for my conservative readers: why should we build public policy around these things?
To put a gloss on it (and you're free to disagree, but I think it's fair), conservatives care a lot more than liberals about cultural purity. Here's how I read the implications:
- If you care a lot about loyalty, then changes of group are more likely to be seen as betrayal than evolution.
- If you care a lot about authority, then civil disobedience and victimless crimes reflect more poorly against the people breaking the law than the structure that created the laws to begin with.
- If you care a lot about purity, then you're more likely to want to legislate away behaviors you find distasteful.
Republican patriotic chest thumping seems to fall pretty nicely in line with item 1. One glance at the conservative response to Occupy Wall Street, or liberal opposition to the war on drugs, will clearly correspond to item 2. And item 3 pretty much defines the opposition to gay marriage &c.
This also explains why conservatives are so much better at maintaining strong party discipline (as group cohesion is pretty much defined by loyalty and authority dynamics).
More importantly though, it sheds some light on some of the problems in our political discourse. I've talked about the empirical v. ideological divide in some previous posts. I think that divide stems mostly from the fact that, of the columns presented here, Harm and Fairness are really the only ones that we can objectively measure. It's basically impossible to take the other Pillars of Republicanism into account when we do math or measurement about things. Ergo, Republicans are innately less likely to hold beliefs that can be backed up by numbers.
Frankly, (as my numbers show) I think that loyalty, authority, and purity are pretty much stupid and impossible to maintain in a diverse and egalitarian society, and couldn't care less as to whether or not they are maintained (unless it impacts harm and fairness). So, conservative friends, tell me why we should be considering these factors as part of our public policy...