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Why Liberals Read More Books Than Conservatives

By August 28, 2007No Comments
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A new study came out last week that proves that liberals (Democrats and Progressives) read more books than Conservatives (Republicans or Libertarians). Leading publishing executives even commented on it, saying that more books should be aimed at liberals because Conservatives just don’t read. The inference, of course, is that Conservatives are ignorant, lazy, or just not intellectually curious. Meanwhile liberals will undoubtedly use these new “facts” to prove that they are intellectual heavyweights- the very kind of highly informed intellectuals who should be running our country. What a crock! The truth is that facts are many times misleading- and this is a perfect example. The fact is that liberals have the time to read books simply because they are rarely in positions of authority or leadership- they do not own businesses, run companies, or serve in positions of great responsibility. It’s easy to find the time to read a book on a couch or lazy-boy when you get off work at 3 PM daily- and have no responsibilities once you walk out the office door. Unfortunately for the rest of us in positions of ownership and leadership, our days never end. We are making business calls, participating in conference calls, and answering emails at all hours of the day and night. For the people defined as “conservative” our responsibilities never end- leaving us little, if any, time to even fantasize about reading books.

Who are “conservatives?” Find me a General in the military- I’ll show you a conservative. Find me a Head Coach in the sports world- I’ll show you a conservative. Find me a business owner or entrepreneur- I’ll show you a conservative (at least a fiscal conservative). Find me a Bank President or Wall Street investment banker- I’ll show you a conservative. Find me a corporate CEO- I’ll show you a conservative. Find me a small business owner- I’ll show you a conservative. Find me a sales executive (stockbroker, real estate broker, insurance broker, mortgage broker)- I’ll show you a conservative. Conservatives are simply defined as the “producers” of our economy- Americans with important jobs; in leadership positions; with great responsibility; the type of people that are “on the go” 24/7- who make our economy go and grow.

No, conservatives don’t have the time to read books. But they are busy creating, funding and shaping the businesses, industries, and jobs that make a difference in our world (and our economy). Reading books is not something they have time for in their busy schedules. They have mortgages, property taxes, income taxes, private schools and college educations (for their kids) to pay for. When you’re bright and ambitious and want to provide a better life for your family, there are a lot of bills to pay- big bills. No, reading books is just not high up on the “priority list” for conservatives.

Equally misleading is the fact that, while busy entrepreneurs and executives (like me) don’t have time to read books, we actually read far more than any liberal. We simply choose to read publications important to our careers, our success, and our understanding of the business world. For instance I rarely read a book- but I read 5 to 7 newspapers a day. My daily “must read” is the Wall Street Journal. I read it from front to back every morning. I also read the NY Times, LA Times, USA Today and my local Las Vegas Review Journal. But that’s just the start. I read Forbes, Fortune, Robb Report and a multitude of other important business and political magazines. By the way, I do “read” several books a month- but I do not have the time to sit and read them in traditional fashion. I read them by listening to books on tape. So while liberals are fancying themselves as “gifted intellectuals” because they read 2 or 3 books a month, I’m busy reading 50 to 100 business publications a month, while also listening to 20 books on tape. So who’s really doing the most reading? I’d argue that reading the Wall Street Journal daily is far more intellectual and crucial to success, than reading 2 or 3 books (perhaps romance novels or psycho-babble by Dr. Phil) at the beach. Reading books is a good thing- but not nearly as good for society (or the economy) as working 24/7 to create and build businesses. Not even close. Liberals don’t read more books than conservatives because they are smarter- they just have more leisure time.

It’s nice that liberals have time to relax and read a fictional bestseller- but unfortunately the rest of us with ambition, responsibilities, families and nonstop business meetings don’t have that luxury. We’re a tad busy creating jobs, paying high taxes (created by liberals to punish the producers of society), making payrolls, and raising our families. You show me a guy with a wife, 2 or 3 kids, an important job or career, and a big mortgage- I’ll show you someone that rarely if ever has the time to read a book (except perhaps on a long airplane trip on the way to a business meeting). But that’s the guy that our American economy depends on- as a matter of fact we could not survive without millions of men and women just like him. Those are the conservative voters.

The reason that Conservatives don’t read books is the exact same reason that liberals fail miserably on talk radio. Just in the past few months, high-profile liberal talk radio networks Air America and Jane Fonda’s GreenStone Media (feminist radio) both declared bankruptcy and went off the air. Why? Because radio is not something most people listen to at home. Talk radio is the perfect form of entertainment while driving in your car. And who drives in their cars (particularly during morning and evening rush hour)? People with jobs, businesses, careers- otherwise known as conservatives (at least fiscal conservatives). Talk radio is dominated by conservative hosts- they literally scream all day long about high taxes and wasteful government spending. You know why? Because the drivers listening to these shows are the ones who pay all the taxes!

Polls show only 20% of the American electorate actually rates taxes as a top political priority. You know why? Because that’s the 20% of Americans that pays virtually 100% of the taxes! The tax burden in this country is all on the backs of the “producers”- the 20% of the electorate that creates, founds, funds and runs their own businesses. Those are the 20% that invest in America and make the American economy grow. Those are the 20% that create most of the jobs. Those are the 20% who pay the taxes that allow the rest of the electorate to sit back at 4 PM and read a nice book. That’s precisely why that 20% is so angry at high taxation without representation. That’s why they are so angry at the expansion of government. That’s why they are so angry at wasteful government spending; because it’s our money that’s being spent!

Conservatives drive in the morning to work (sometimes an hour or longer commute), they drive back home at night, they drive in-between to business lunches, client meetings and sales calls. Then they drive on Saturday and Sunday mornings to their children’s ballgames, karate classes, Lacrosse matches, and swimming lessons. These are people with families, big mortgages, careers. No wonder they are fiscally conservative. I understand them because I’m one of them. We’re the people at the top of the U.S. income charts, yet there’s still never anything left at the end of the month (especially at the end of April 15th- tax day). We bust our humps for our families- yet liberal bureaucrats think the money we earn by breaking our backs is their money to dole out as bribes to typical Democrat voters- people that sit around on the couch all day watching soap operas, Jerry Springer and personal injury lawyer ads. So, yes we’re angry… and fed up… and sick and tired of our hard-earned money being used as government handouts to bribe Democrat voters. We’re not rich- not by a longshot. We’re just struggling at a much higher level! And you’re damn right we listen to conservative talk radio. Conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and Michael Savage feel our pain. That’s why liberals fail miserably on talk radio- talk radio is for people that WORK and pay taxes and feed the American economy. These are called Conservatives.

So before liberals start bragging about their reading skills, perhaps they need to understand why Conservatives don’t have time to read. Like me, they’re too busy trying to build something of value to leave to their children. Burying yourself in a book is a luxury for people without ambition. People satisfied with average jobs, pedestrian careers, and safe paychecks; people that are afraid of risk or responsibility; people that crave safe weekly paychecks, that come with little or no real responsibility; people who want tenure- a job for life- without regard for performance; people, who want a government bureaucrat’s pension; people who want to work 9-to-5, with holidays and summers off. Those are the liberals who have the time to read lots of books.

But those who (like me) are out in the business world creating things of value, creating jobs, paying huge payrolls and taxes and health insurance for our employees, responsible for million dollar budgets, taking multimillion dollar risks- we don’t have that luxury. We don’t get summers off. Our days don’t end at 3 PM or 5 PM… or ever. We take our work, business calls and emails home with us. When you run or own a business, it’s your baby. The day never ends for conservatives like that. Neither do the bills or taxes. Those kind of people- small business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, salespersons, independent contractors (stockbrokers, real estate brokers, insurance brokers, mortgage brokers, investment bankers)- work 24/7 to pay the bills. Why? It’s called ambition. It’s called capitalism. It is our ambition and work ethic has created the greatest economy in the history of civilization. But it comes with a price- there’s no time to read a lot of books. Yes, I’m a Libertarian-Conservative. And I’m proud of it. No, we don’t read books. We build businesses…we build families…we build legacies…we build the United States economy.

Wayne Allyn Root is a candidate for the Libertarian Party Presidential nomination. He is a proud Conservative. He’s also an author- ROOT may not read books, but he’s written six books and counting.