Conservative vs. Liberal: Not politics, but people.

Conservative vs. Liberal: Not politics, but people.
June 12, 2024 Rob Artigo
In Podcasts

Diversity is a natural course of business. Not just in gender and race, but in thought. In this Tough Things First podcast, Ray Zinn discusses the key differences between the proverbial left and right brains on the job.

Rob Artigo: Now you’re someone who has run a diverse workplace at Micrel. You’ve ran it for decades, all walks of life it seems. You had men and women working there. You had short people, tall people, I’m assuming people who are a little larger, a little smaller, a little thinner, a little more healthy and a little bit maybe a little bit more lax in their exercise routine. And also the idea that you’re in a creative environment, so you have different ideas and different types of creativity out there. Let’s talk a little bit about personalities here. Some people are conservative and some people are more liberal, and I would say that that manifests itself in politics, but this isn’t really about politics as much as it is about understanding the people who are around you and the differences. The people who are more conservative versus people who are more liberal, give me just some general ideas where you see differences between the personality types.

Ray Zinn: Well, the biggest difference between an individual is conservative versus one who is liberal is that conservatives tend to be more religious and they follow what we refer to as the Mosaic law. That’s the 10 Commandments, which is found in the Torah and the Bible. And the 10 Commandments were the ones that Moses brought down off Sinai and hr had those tablets, and he saw how wicked the people were when he came down and he threw them down. He broke them and smashed them into pieces. And then again, they were reconstituted and they’re basically the rules or the guidelines, laws that most countries legal system is based on is the Mosaic law. Because Moses was in the Torah and the Bible and so forth, the Quran or whatever, they tend to be more religious derivatives as you would, commandments or laws brought down from heaven as they say. That’s the conservative view or values is based more on what we refer to as the moral law or the Mosaic law.

Liberal is different, meaning they don’t necessarily adhere so much to the Mosaic law, but more to what we call the amoral law or the law that was set up by the legal system or the courts. Not so much coming as you would through a religious media like the Bible or the Quran or whatever, or the Torah, but more related to what the populace accepts as law. So in other words, the liberal view is less defined by the moral law or the love thy neighbor as myself kind of law, but more on what’s legal. In other words, what the court system has defined as legal.

For example, in the moral law, adultery is defined as one of the sins or one of the rules that needs to be followed. But in the amoral law or the liberal law, there’s no crime against committing adultery, I guess depends upon if you’re Donald Trump or not. But they accused him of having this relationship with Stormy Daniels and then hiding it as you would in some way he was keeping his records of that payment. Again, the liberal view is that we don’t necessarily follow the moral law or the Mosaic law, but we follow what is legal and not legal as defined by the rules of that country. That’s basically the difference, Rob, is the amoral is more focused on what’s legal and the moral law is based on what’s more what’s right or what’s based on what God defined as the Mosaic law or the moral law.

Morality, we’ve heard that term before is kind of the guideline of the conservative and so that the liberals say, well, let the people define what’s legal and what’s not as opposed to what God says is legal.

Rob Artigo: And I would take that a little bit further thinking about that. And when you have the Mosaic law being the rule of law, and then the liberal approach is more of the interpretation of the law according to norms of the moment. And I was looking at some research from 2013, so just over 10 years ago, it showed that conservatives desire security, predictability, and authority more than liberals do. And liberals are more comfortable with novelty and nuance, which I was just referring to when it comes to interpretation of law, and complexity. And I wonder if it’s still that way now here 11 years later, and was it that way in the 1970s when you started Micrel?

Ray Zinn: Yes, it’s substantially changed. I mean, the younger generation or what they call generation Z, they’re more liberal. In other words, they’re not so much… Well, they’re not religious for one thing. So if we define how a conservative would view loyalty, God, belief in God, belief in family, and belief in country or patriotism, they’re at least two to three times more likely to favor loyalty and family and God and patriotism more than the liberals who are less likely to make that as a priority. And so the Gen Z or the younger upcoming generation, they’re much less religious and their belief in what they call the moral law is like one third that of the conservatives.

So that that’s a change. And you have to understand then that, for example, in a company, loyalty is very important. The younger generation doesn’t believe that loyalty is that important. And especially when they can work from home or if they’re so mobile now compared to way it was 50, 60 years ago, you have to understand that as you now deal with that younger group.

Rob Artigo: That statistic has continued, I guess, the trend downwards for years, which is that fewer people feel strongly about having a religion or believing in God. And then also patriotism. And one of the stories I saw, which was actually from… I believe it was from 2023, and it said under 40% of Americans in general, we’re talking about young people, but also in this case under 40% of Americans said patriotism was very important to them. A similar number shared that opinion about religion. In 1998, when this survey first asked about these values, 70% of Americans felt patriotism was very important and 62% felt that way about religion. So we obviously have seen a enormous drop really in the percentage of people who feel that way. What do you owe that to?

Ray Zinn: The breakdown of the home, having a strong mother and father figurehead in the home has somewhat degraded those attributes of loyalty, family, God, and country. There’s less, I think, teaching and actually encouraging religion actually in the home. And if the children aren’t getting that emphatic guidance and direction, then they’re less likely to be religious. It’s interesting, this podcast wasn’t meant to dwell or focus on religion, but because it has such a dramatic impact on the morality of each of us that we can’t just ignore it.

That’s what’s actually covered in teachings in religion, is morality. That’s the moral law. And so if you’re not getting that, if that’s not being taught in some way either in school or church or family, or if you’re not getting that moral background, then you’re less likely to be moral. So if we look at loyalty, God, country, and family, that’s more of a moral issue as opposed to being what they call amoral, meaning whether it’s defined in the law or not. Not having that focus, religious focus as you would or moral focus, don’t call it religious, let’s call it moral. If you don’t have that moral focus in your home, in your community, in your education, or in the work environment, if the work environment that you’re in doesn’t promote morality, then again, it’s going to become less of a priority.

Rob Artigo: I think that in the more secular business environment, it manifests itself as a focus on ethics, on ethical behavior, and-

Ray Zinn: That’s all part of it.

Rob Artigo: And so you just don’t see that focus anymore. People don’t focus on that. It’s really all about what you can do for me to validate my opinions and attitudes, not what I can do for the company to make it better.

Ray Zinn: It reminds me of that John F. Kennedy and, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” It goes back to that’s 1961. It’s more of a me too focus currently that we have to deal with. And for those of you who are running companies, if you want a strong ethical company, then you have to have some kind of moral guidelines or attributes associated with your company. So I would encourage you leaders, corporate leaders, to bring in this morality and this self-governing concept of ethics and being honorable in the way you deal with your customers and your way you deal with each other.

Rob Artigo: Our listeners can join the conversation at Those questions that you might have and you want to pose to Ray, you can obviously do that. Comments as well all welcome at Follow Ray Zinn on Twitter, which is obviously now X, Facebook and LinkedIn. And of course you can pick up Ray’s books, Tough Things First, the flagship book of this podcast, so make sure you get that. Also, the Zen of Zen is a series one, two, and three, which we talk about occasionally on podcasts here. You’ll enjoy those books. If you like what you hear on these podcasts, you just get more of that in those books. Thanks again, Ray.

Ray Zinn: Thank you, Rob.


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