Can a Conservative Be Intelligent?
S, a neighbor living down the block, asked me if I thought that a conservative could be intelligent. The answer seems obvious, though clarification seems most appropriate.
Of course a conservative can be intelligent! Similarly, a radical leftist or liberal-radical or progressive or whatever can be of limited intelligence. There is little or no correlation between intelligence and political perspective.
It should also be noted that virtually all people have "blindspots" as well as inconsistencies in our perspectives. We miss things!
I would say, however, that I believe that many conservatives may show either naivete or ignorance of denial in some areas. I may, however, similarly, be guilty in some such areas as well!
In very broad, general terms one can distinguish a "conservative" from a "liberal" in their basic philosophy. From a conservative's perspective, one should generally focus upon each individual person, rather than groupings of people.
Example: I, S - determine a lot in my life, based upon how I live my life. While I may face racism, because I am a Black Man, my being a Black Man does not determine how I do my best in Chicago, Illinois in 2021. What is most important is how I use my knowledge, my heart, my core religious beliefs and similar in living my life.
When S - looks at - "X" - a "generic" poor Black young man, this young man lives a very different world than S faced, because he is growing up in a world of increased opportunities for Black children, as they grow towards, and into adulthood.
"X" - may study hard, go to college, and be "successful" in a career. He may also join a gang, use drugs, and end up in jail or dead at an early age. He is responsible for the path that he has chosen. While he will, no doubt, encounter racism in his life, he is responsible for how he responds to the realities of his childhood into his future adulthood.
From a "liberal perspective" (or in part a "radical leftist perspective"), one's focus should relate to systemic issues and how they impact upon individuals, rather than the "successes" or "failures" of individuals.
A liberal white man might look, for example, at his: white, male, upper-middle class, cisgender, able bodied, non-elderly/adult privilege - or at significant individual parts of it.
As a "radicalish" white man, I look seriously at the systemic differences that exist today in 2021. Childbirth is "dangerous" for Black women in a way that it is "not dangerous" for white women. Upper-middle class Black women's "perilous realistic state" can be easily seen in their "PRMR" - e.g. pregnancy related mortality rate - which notes women dying both in childbirth and in the year following giving birth, due to their recent birthing of a child.
Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women – and this disparity increases with age
Patrick Sharkey, a New York University sociologist, analyzed data on race and neighborhood conditions and reported his findings in a 2013 book, Stuck in Place. … He finds that young African Americans (from thirteen to twenty-eight years old) are now ten times as likely to live in poor neighborhoods as young whites - 66 percent of African Americans, compared to 6 percent of whites. He finds that 67 percent of African American families hailing from the poorest quarter of neighborhoods a generation ago continue to live in such neighborhoods today. But only 40 percent of white families who lived in the poorest quarter of neighborhoods a generation ago still do so.