Why Americans are essentially conservative

Dispositional hostility to change may also help to explain in a new way how “woke” developments on the left side of the culture war could be fueling political reaction on the right. I’m thinking of everything from the rise of (for many) disorienting ideas about gender to the adoption of radical theories of antiracism by departments of human resources, with some prominent figures being fired for running afoul of new norms. Once again, the issue would be less one of substantive, ideological disagreement than a psychological response to feeling overwhelmed and anxious about rapidly shifting social expectations.

Change as such can be scary…

When it comes to policymaking, one lesson to be learned from America’s default conservatism would be: simple is better. We need to implement fewer Byzantine bureaucracies, regulations, and tax credits that need to be navigated and mastered, and instead write more checks that can flow easily and directly into the hands and bank accounts of citizens. At the same time, we might also consider adopting industrial and immigration policies that aim at managing and slowing demographic and socioeconomic disruption — once again, primarily as a means of soothing anxieties triggered by rapid change, which can breed reaction.