A new study by Pew Research has found that the happiest people tend to be older, male Republicans. It turns out that, while sitting in an undisclosed location planning torture, Cheney was gleefully happy. Below are some of the other happiest fellows around.
Lead researcher Yang Yang, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Chicago: “Understanding happiness is important to understanding quality of life. The happiness measure is a guide to how well society is meeting people’s needs.” That is what Cheney has been trying to tell us for a long time: he was meeting people’s needs.
Cheney’s happiness may be best understood by a scene from one of my favorite movies: The President’s Analyst when Dr. Sidney Schaefer (played by James Coburn) learns that one of his patients is not just a secret agent (who has been watching him) but has just killed a foreign agent:
Don Masters, CEA Agent: I’m a CEA agent.
Dr. Schaefer: [rises from desk, walks over to read ID card] You ARE a CEA agent. And you really did kill someone!
Dr. Schaefer: Fascinating, Don… I suppose it’s the conditioning of motion pictures, or television, or maybe it’s just it’s the times we live in, but… killing is serious business, yet this little card makes it somehow less shocking… acceptable in a way! You mean to say you can actually legally kill someone?
Masters: Yeah, and it bothers me sometimes that I don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t you think that’s psychotic behavior?
Dr. Schaefer: No I don’t! It explains your utter lack of hostility. You can vent your aggressive feelings by actually killing people! It’s a sensational solution to the hostility problem.
Masters: Doctor, are you trying to tell me it’s all right to kill people?
Dr. Schaefer: It’s simply a moral question. Morality is a social invention, and in this case society has decided it’s not only acceptable for certain people to kill other people… it’s even commendable. Don! I’ve got to write a paper for the Institute on this!
Masters: I don’t think the CEA would like that.
To sum up, Cheney is “able to vent his aggressive feelings by actually killing people! It’s a sensational solution to the hostility problem.” Democrats, however, often have to live vicariously through the torture of others llike Pelosi and Harman — producing pent up hostility and unhappiness. (This is why I am called a juris doctor)
Some findings are not quite earthshaking like “Happiness can rise and fall between depending on economics of an era.” This would make the depression less of a happy time than the Roaring 20s.
Field tests seem to confirm the empirical research.
For the study, click here.