Conservative candidates are better looking

You’ve long suspected it, but now we know it’s true:  objectively speaking, conservative political candidates are indeed better looking:

Rightwing candidates are better looking than their leftwing counterparts, something they benefit from during elections, according to a study conducted by Swedish and Finnish economists.

The economists who conducted the study figured this out by asking people to look at candidate pictures that did not indicate the party with which the candidate was affiliated.  Conservative candidates won this beauty contest.

I don’t quarrel with the study’s bottom-line conclusion.  We in the conservative blogosphere have often commented on the fact that conservative women are better looking than Leftist women.  When you look at Laura Bush versus Hillary Clinton, or Dana Loesch versus Helen Thomas, there’s really no contest.  And just picture Scott Brown standing next to Harry Reid.  Again, no contest.

I do have a quarrel, however, with the theories the economists advance to justify their study’s results.  Basically, they say that good looking people are snotty, so they’d obviously be drawn to a snotty, non-egalitarian political world view:

“One possible explanation is that people who are seen or consider themselves beautiful tend to be more anti-egalitarian and rightwing,” Niclas Berggren, one of the three co-authors of the study, told AFP Wednesday.


Explaining the findings, he said that globally, “the left perhaps traditionally has used a more rational approach.

The right meanwhile, “has been more conscious of the importance of looks,” he said, pointing to the examples of Ronald Reagan and Sarah Palin in the United States.

I’d like to offer a different theory, one that is equally unsupported by fact, but that makes a great deal more sense.  My theory is that unattractive people are often angry, unhappy people.  They feel as if the world has treated them unfairly.  They resent other people for having better looks and, with those better looks, having better luck in life.  (As the same article points out, attractive people tend to be more successful.)

These unattractive, unhappy, angry people are drawn to a party that says that individuals have no responsibility for themselves.  Instead, to the extent they are unsuccessful or unhappy, the fault always lies with the unfairness of others, a fundamental problem that can only be solved by a large, impersonal bureaucracy that overrides the inequality of individualism.  Unattractive people, therefore naturally hew to socialism, which negates individual worth and merit, and substitutes rules and regulations that are meant to equalize things.

Keep in mind in this regard that you can’t make stupid, ugly people smart and beautiful, but that you can place so many handicaps on the smart and beautiful that they no longer get the benefits of their gifts.  (Before he went Left wing loony, Kurt Vonnegut understood this, as you can see if you read his short story Harrison Bergeron.)  As I explain to my kids, in a footrace, the only way to ensure that everyone finishes the race at the same time is to force the good runners to go slowly, because it is impossible to get the bad runners to go quickly.

If that’s too sophisticated an analysis, I’ve got another one:  conservatives are better groomed.  Good grooming covers myriad sins.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

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  • Charles Martel

    Speaking as the handsomest Frankish warrior on this website, I have to agree that we guapos simpy assume that we are entitled to rule. How else to explain such magnificently good-looking right-wing politicians as Abe Lincoln and Maggie Thatcher? 

  • Charles

    “conservatives are better groomed.  Good grooming covers myriad sins.”

    I’ll go with that one (although, your first idea is also great).  I see so many guys in their 50s who still have that unwashed ponytail that they grew in junior high when it was “cool” or they have that ragged “beard” because they are too lazy to groom a beard properly.  While I try to keep an open mind, after talking with them I realize that they are very much to the political left.

    Not only is their political view disturbing; but there is also something unsightly about a balding, scraggly bearded hippie.  Hey, the 60s are over!

  • Danny Lemieux

    I go along with the conservatives are happy, Lefties are unhappy victims theory of Bookwormology.

  • David Foster

    How does this fit in with the well-known phenomenon that most Hollywood actors/actresses are leftists?…given that attractiveness is a major selection criterion for most of these jobs?

  • Ymarsakar

    Thug tactics, stealing, and the use of violence makes up for the lack of physical perfection on the Left. The right, however, to fight the Left’s propaganda, needs all the edges they can get.
    Partially why the Left doesn’t need looks is because they have something better. It’s called power, aka cheating.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Ah, little grasshopper (aka David Foster), you must seek beyond the veil of botox and silicone to understand the chi of no-mind emptiness in the Liberal spirit.

  • kali

    Don’t discount the headiness of power, ymar–sometimes it rescues people from progressivism.
    I’m a middle-aged woman of no particular wealth, authority, or looks, and yet young men on their way up in the world jump up with a “thank God you’re here” when I walk into their offices.
    Because I don’t believe in the abuse of this power, I say nothing unsympathetic as I recover their files, make their email behave, and in general exorcise the demons in their computers.  Who knows what I would be without this power. Probably a code pinker . . .

  • David Foster

    I wonder how many professors, throughout the western world, are being paid by populations which are 50% or so non-liberal to conduct studies designed with the aim of insulting those very same citizens?

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  • Randall Woodman
  • mkfreeberg

    Congratulations on the BotW mention.
    There is a gender differential that has to be mentioned somewhere. Among the male candidates, some of the leftists are not only unnaturally good-looking, but obviously making it a personal obsession of theirs to remain so, and rather brazenly at that. But among the females it seems the left has an actual litmus test of sorts. You simply cannot know what you are doing if you’re a good lookin’ chick. In fact, the higher the level of authority that has been attained, or that is being sought, the more restrictive the rule is:


  • Charles Martel

    I hereby ordain the Barney Fwank Rule which says that for every Democratic pretty boy like John Edwards or John Kerry there must be a Joe Biden, Harry Reid, Henry Waxman, Pete Stark or Barney Fwank to counterbalance him. Otherwise people would start voting for politicians on the basis of superficial things, like, say, skin color.

  • MacG

    Good looking people make me feel better, guess I am shallow that way.  However that only goes so far.  I happen to think Janene Garofolo is good looking but then she speaks or shows her tats. 

    Speaking of good looks, when I watched the View the other day they had Scott Brown on and of course they had to show his Cosmo pic. with his wife in the audience.  The View could not stop commenting in such a way that if it were 4 men looking at a pic of a half naked woman and speaking as suggestively as they were there would be a years worth of sexual harassment talk about the objectifying of women they should have known better, they’re pigs at best ad nauseum.  Why is this double standard allowed?  Is it because women have been ‘suppressed’ for so many years they need to get caught up to prove to be equals?  Like when the obedient, compliant child goes to say, Chico?

  • Danny Lemieux

    “I happen to think Janene Garofolo is good looking but then she speaks or shows her tats”.
    MacG…are you posting from a bar at closing time? The morning after?
    As for that coven known as the View, they pretty much prove Book’s point, dontcha think?

  • Charles Martel

    One reason for the double standard is that women are still subconsciously perceived as inferior (aka “victims”). You have to forgive or indulge inferior people when they do naughty things because everybody knows they are just aping their oppressors even as they lack the power to oppress. It’s a variation on the “blacks can’t be racist” meme.

    You also see the same subconscious apprehension of inferiority in the Democratic Party’s approach to African Americans. It is simply assumed that the best that blacks can produce are awful people like Sharpton, Lewis, Glover, Jackson, Lee, Goldberg (Whoopi) and that we can’t expect any better.

  • MacG

    Danny,  yeah, yesterday in a bar in just outside of Wisconsin…
    She aint ugly, maybe it’s the airbrushing

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  • caradoc

    The real reason is obvious.  As pointed out in this article: more attractive people are also smarter than uglies =P
    So now that we have a logical chain of conservatives = hotter, hotter = smarter, ergo, conservative = smarter, how do we explain the tendency of lefties to rant on an on about how they’re so much smarter ?  My guess would be the Dunning-Kruger effect explains that one:
    I expect this chain of “logic” should be appealing to lefties, it’s at least as logically valid as marxism…

  • Alan23

    Oh, I’ve been saying that for years.  Go to your town’s conservative Catholic church, it looks like a beauty pageant.  Go to the liberal one and it … doesn’t.
    Not to mention the long list of active commentator hotties (not idiot movie stars) from Ann Coulter to Sonja Schmidt…

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