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USA: Why are right wingers defying the Coronavirus lockdown more than left wingers?


Source: Luke Stackpoole

Hofstadter’s Pullitzer winning book Anti-intellectualism in American Life (1963) is a great place to start to better understand how Protestant evangelicals rejected science and intellectual study. Given that they are the “base” of modern conservatism in American culture, I suspect you’ll find the core of your answer there.

Anti-intellectualism in American Life


To complement your answer, the Pew Research Center has produced several reports which showcase the partisan divide in the US regarding attitudes towards scientific experts and expertise. For recent results:

• ⁠Trust and Mistrust in Americans’ Views of Scientific Experts: More Americans have confidence in scientists, but there are political divides over the role of scientific experts in policy issues (August 2019)

• ⁠Democrats and Republicans differ over role and value of scientists in policy debates (August 2019)

• ⁠Key findings about Americans’ confidence in science and their views on scientists’ role in society (February 2020)

The other key theme I would add to this is individualism. US conservatives, Evangelical or not, generally embrace market individualism. Especially for secular-minded conservatives, individual economic and civil liberties are top of mind in a way public health (inherently collective) is not.


It’s simply because the Democrats are the ones who introduced the lockdown.


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