Cardinal Truths | National Review

Via Bryan Caplan, I came across this provocative post by Richard Hanania. He explains liberal dominance of major institutions from the media to the universities to big business as a function of “cardinal preferences.” Basically, liberals care way more about politics than conservatives do.

It’s a plausible story, and Hanania marshals a fair amount of evidence to back it. For example:

More people give to liberal causes and candidates than to conservative ones, even if Americans are about equally divided in which party they support (and no, this isn’t the result of liberals being wealthier, the connections between income and ideology or party are pretty weak).

To put Biden’s donor advantage in context, in the 2020 election Biden beat Trump in the solidly blue state of Illinois by 17%. Biden’s 22% advantage over Trump among donors across the entire country is greater than his advantage among all voters in Illinois.

Adding to the plausibility of Hanania’s story: On the issues where conservatives have been relatively successful, notably gun rights, the intensity gap works the other way.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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