It turns out that conservatives are happier than liberals. But why?
Conservative explanation. Marriage and religious faith are conducive to happiness. More conservatives are married than liberals, and more practice a religion. Ergo, conservatives as a group are happier than liberals as a group.
Liberal explanation. Conservatives are happier because they turn a blind eye to the injustices of the world. They are oblivious to inequality. And when they do see it,they rationalize it. Ignorance is bliss. Conservatives naively believe that people can better themselves by the practice of the old virtues of frugality, perseverance, hard work, self-control, deferral of gratification, and the like, when the truth is that people are products of their environment and need government help to do well.
As a conservative, I of course consider the liberal explanation to be bogus.
Do we conservatives, ostrich-like, ignore injustice? The answer depends on what one takes justice to be. The liberal tendency is to see justice as fairness, and to understand fairness in terms of material equality, equality of wealth and equality of power. A just society for a liberal, then, is one in which material inequality is either eliminated or severely mitigated. Along these lines the prominent political philosopher John Rawls puts forth his famous Difference Principle the gist of which is that social and economic inequalities in a society are justified only if they benefit the worst off, i.e., only if the worst off are better of than they would have been without the inequality.
But why should my having more than you be considered unjust unless it benefits you? Of course, my having more than you will typically benefit you. "A rising tide lifts all boats." My roof was leaking in two places. Now I could have done an amateur patch job myself: roofing ain't rocket science. But I decided to have the entire house professionally re-roofed with all that that entails in terms of new flashing, etc. My ability to afford such an expensive job gave support to a local company and all its jobbers, not to mention the crew of workers who had employment for a week. And having extra dough, I laid $60 in tips on the workers. I could give a hundred examples of how my having more than certain others benefits those others. When's the last time a poor man made a loan to a friend, or a contribution to a charity? How many poor people give people jobs? And of course people like me who are modestly well-off have been benefited in innumerable ways by people who are wealthy. Think of those who have endowed art museums and university chairs.
But suppose, contrary to fact, that my having more did not benefit others. Why should that affect the justice of my having more? If I work harder, longer, and smarter than you, and practice the old-fashioned virtues that liberals mock even when they themselves owe their success to them, then it is a good bet that I will end up with more than you. Unless I engage in force or fraud I am entitled to what I earn or what I inherit or what falls out of the sky into my lap. Take my intelligence and my good genes. Do I deserve them? No, but I have a right to them. I have a right to them and right to what I acquire by their use.
I grant that a certain amount of luck is ingredient in every success. But I have a right to my good luck even though I don't deserve it. Of course, liberals often 'see' luck where there is no luck at all but hard work and the exercise of conservative virtues. Hence the conservative saying, "The harder I work the luckier I become." The point is that what the liberal misconstrues as luck is really not luck at all but effort. Should we help life's unlucky? I should think so. But not if the helping is really a harming, a making of the recipients of charity weaker and more dependent.
Liberals consider it legitimate for the state to use its coercive powers to promote material equality by taking from the highly productive and giving to the unproductive and less productive. This cannot work in the long run. The well-off will resist being ripped off by government functionaries who line their own pockets and feather their nests with perquisites purchased at taxpayer expense. Many will expatriate. Government, it is clear, is too often a hustle like any hustle rigged by those who benefit from it for their own benefit. Government needn't be a hustle, but too often it is, which is why vigilance on the part of the citizenry is necessary to keep it in check.
The value of liberty trumps that of material equality. This is a key difference between conservative and libertarian on the one side and leftist on the other. Naturally I believe in formal equality, equality of treatment, treating like cases in a like manner, not discriminating on the basis of irrelevant criteria such as race, sex, or creed.
Of course, it depends on the creed. If you are a radical Muslim out to impose sharia and subvert our way of life, and act upon your beliefs, then you ought to be deported, or jailed, or executed, depending on the nature of your actions. You should never have been let in in the first place. After all, toleration, though a good thing, has limits, and if he do not see that it has limits then you are hopelessly foolish. In a word, you are a liberal.
For more on toleration and its limits see my aptly titled Toleration category.