Male voters are more inclined to favor strict interpretation of the Constitution, while female voters prefer more legal flexibility and tend to see it as a living document. Most voters under 40 see the Constitution as a living document; most older voters think the Constitution should be strictly interpreted.Why are women like younger folk and men like older folk? Strict/flexible — what's that about?
What, exactly, makes some people express beliefs in the value of flexibility — or is it "living" — and others in the value of strictness? It would be simplistic to think that women (and young people) are themselves loose and flexible, while men (and old people) are strict and inflexible, because we learn perhaps only what feelings superficially attract them and how they like to think about themselves. I'm tough and neutral/I'm nuanced and merciful. So you say.
Prompted by this forum discussion at Isthmus the other day, I (and Meade) took a quickie Myers-Briggs test. Interestingly, Meade and I got the same result. But I think the test is a bit absurd. The questions test how you think about yourself, not what you really are. Even if we were to accept that there are 4 dimensions of personality and only 2 ways to go within each dimension, you couldn't know where you really are. For example, in the 3d of the 4 dimensions, you can be "thinking" or "feeling." But I suspect the folks who ended up with "thinking" were at least as emotional in response to the relevant questions as those who got pegged as "feeling." What makes a person say yes to "You trust reason rather than feeling"?
"Reason" sounds right... but what drives you to answer the way you think is right? How soberly and clearly have you analyzed where you have put your trust — really, as you live your life? Putting the question that way makes me think the more reason-based person is more likely to answer no to "You trust reason rather than feeling" than the person in the grip of impulsive emotion. Of course, I'm a reason guy! Yeah, and you believe in the strict legal interpretation of the Constitution. So you say. But can I watch you do it? Can I look into your brain, Justice Scalia, and see the reason-gears turn independently of emotion?