[Ed. – In attempting to answer the title question, author Klein begins by telling his reader how much more worldly and sophisticated liberals are than conservative clingers, who tend to be more provincial. He then presents the following paragraphs, which he then devotes the remainder of his 2,40o-word treatise attempting to rationalize away.]
“Liberalism and conservatism are rooted in stable individual differences in the ways people perceive, interpret, and cope with threat and uncertainty,” write Christopher Johnston, Howard Lavine, and Christopher Federico in Open versus Closed.
“Of the many factors that make up your worldview, one is more fundamental than any other in determining which side of the divide you gravitate toward: your perception of how dangerous the world is,” write Hetherington and Weiler in Prius or Pickup.
“Conservatives react more strongly than liberals to signs of danger, including the threat of germs and contamination, and even low-level threats such as sudden blasts of white noise,” writes Haidt in The Righteous Mind.
If that’s true, though, why is it conservatives who are downplaying the coronavirus, and liberals who are sheltering in fear of it?