Because science hates them. Here's the abstract from a recent issue of a scholarly journal called Intelligence, describing a study funded by the National Institute of Education:
Conservatism and cognitive ability are negatively correlated. The evidence is based on 1254 community college students and 1600 foreign students seeking entry to United States' universities. At the individual level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with SAT, Vocabulary, and Analogy test scores. At the national level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with measures of education (e.g., gross enrollment at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels) and performance on mathematics and reading assessments from the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) project. They also correlate with components of the Failed States Index and several other measures of economic and political development of nations. Conservatism scores have higher correlations with economic and political measures than estimated IQ scores.
Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark.
A conservative tries to spin the study, trying to make it NOT say that conservatives are stupid:
But there’s a more basic reason the conservatism-is-stupid argument does not actually follow from this research. As long as smarter people are more likely to be skeptical of tradition, then full-blown rejection of tradition will almost inevitably be associated with higher IQ, even if a majority of smart people still favor traditionalism.
Ummmmmm, what? Okay, whatever, but the study has nothing to do with acceptance or rejection of traditionalism. It has to do with cognitive ability. Conservatives have lower cognitive abilities and less education, period. That's what the study found.
On a related note, the people at the National Organization for Marriage (who provided that wonderful "The Gathering Storm" ad a couple of months ago), have a new ad. Pay particular attention to the final image (and if you need help), read below the fold.