I heard an interesting theory today – not sure if it’s a causal or correlation relationship, but it goes as follows:
We know that genetics plays a role in how naturally fearful people are. If you’re more towards fearful on the spectrum, you’re not going to want to live in a big city full of lots of fear-causing agents. So you live in the country. Also, if you’re fearful, you’re going to be happier believing in a god that can protect you from all the things you fear. Finally, fearful people hate change. They’ll want things to remain the same – to be conserved. Conservative. It certainly explains the way conservatism manifests itself in the USA. (although I’m sure because of the negative connotations, people would resent being called fearful) It also explains the return to conservatism when times are tough. But, doesn’t necessarily mean causation, maybe it just appears at the same time and there’s another explanation we haven’t found.