Here’s my 3 cents:
Patriotism/Capitalism: On average, Republicans tend to have a higher more positive view of our nations history and current role in the world. Also, on average, they tend to view America as an imperfect, but generally moral (good) nation. There is also a greater respect or reverence for the spirit/philosophy upon which the nation was founded, i.e., freedom and personal responsibility. A view of ones social order as being a generally moral (good), combined with a greater respect for freedom, leads to a more optimistic, and 'do it yourself', attitude. The downside to this, is a tendency towards Pollyannaism, along with a belief in American invincibility and “world mission”. That said, the average Republican feels a greater sense of pride and comfort within his larger social order.
Judeo-Christianity: On average Republicans tend to be more religious, and as such, believe that there are absolute truths and codes of ethics by which to live ones life. As a result, the natural pessimism and skepticism that is a by-product of a more relativistic or subjective worldview exist to a lesser degree. The downside to this is obvious, in that the more fundamentalist elements will tend towards Puritanical and Theocratic advocacy. That said, despite the enormous self-contradictory ideas that exist within secularized modern Christianity, it still provides people with a sense of grounding and purpose within their individual lives.
Family/Marriage: On average, Republicans tend to put greater value on the traditional concept of family and marriage. As a result, the traditional nuclear family with its defined roles and automatic support system, tends to act as a “fire man” that rallies around the family member in times of trouble. The downsides to this are the rigidly defined roles that can often stifle individual expression, and a tendency towards a patriarchal order. That said, the existence of a built in “safety net” along with the often-underestimated emotional rewards of a tight knit extended family, tends to give people a greater sense of belonging and identity.
Summary: The combination of pride and optimism in ones larger social order, with a greater grounding and purpose derived from ones beliefs, along with the sense of identity and belonging one derives from the traditional family unit, will, on average, result in a higher percentage of people that define themselves as being: happy.
(Edited by George W. Cordero on 3/16, 5:32am)
(Edited by George W. Cordero on 3/16, 5:36am)