Commentary - Peter Schweizer: Conservatives more honest than liberals? Filed under: WASHINGTON , Peter Schweizer , DC Opinion WASHINGTON (Map, News) - The headline may seem like a trick question â even a dangerous one â to ask during an election year. And notice, please, that I didnât ask whether certain politicians are more honest than others. (Politicians are a different species altogether.) Yet there is a striking gap between the manner in which liberals and conservatives address the issue of honesty. Consider these results: Is it OK to cheat on your taxes? A total of 57 percent of those who described themselves as âvery liberalâ said yes in response to the World Values Survey, compared with only 20 percent of those who are âvery conservative.â When Pew Research asked whether it was âmorally wrongâ to cheat Uncle Sam, 86 percent of conservatives agreed, compared with only 68 percent of liberals. Ponder this scenario, offered by the National Cultural Values Survey: âYou lose your job. Your friendâs company is looking for someone to do temporary work. They are willing to pay the person in cash to avoid taxes and allow the person to still collect unemployment. What would you do?â EXAMINER.COM RELATED ARTICLES Analysis: Obama's sole focus is general election Democrats push for quick end to nomination battle Poll: Obama has clear national lead over Clinton Chicago priest apologizes for Clinton comment Name recognition helps Clinton in Puerto Rico Almost half, or 49 percent, of self-described progressives would go along with the scheme, but only 21 percent of conservatives said they would. When the World Values Survey asked a similar question, the results were largely the same: Those who were very liberal were much more likely to say it was all right to get welfare benefits you didnât deserve. The World Values Survey found that those on the left were also much more likely to say it is OK to buy goods that you know are stolen. Studies have also found that those on the left were more likely to say it was OK to drink a can of soda in a store without paying for it and to avoid the truth while negotiating the price of a car. Another survey by Barna Research found that political liberals were two and a half times more likely to say that they illegally download or trade music for free on the Internet. A study by professors published in the American Taxation Associationâs Journal of Legal Tax Research found conservative students took the issue of accounting scandals and tax evasion more seriously than their fellow liberal students. Those with a âliberal outlookâ who âreject the idea of absolute truthâ were more accepting of cheating at school, according to another study, involving 291 students and published in the Journal of Education for Business. A study in the Journal of Business Ethics involving 392 college students found that stronger beliefs toward âconservatismâ translated into âhigher levels of ethical values.â And academics concluded in the Journal of Psychology that there was a link between âpolitical liberalismâ and âlying in your own self-interest,â based on a study involving 156 adults. Liberals were more willing to âlet others take the blameâ for their own ethical lapses, âcopy a published articleâ and pass it off as their own, and were more accepting of âcheating on an exam,â according to still another study in the Journal of Business Ethics. Now, Iâm not suggesting that all conservatives are honest and all liberals are untrustworthy. But clearly a gap exists in the data. Why? The quick answer might be that liberals are simply being more honest about their dishonesty. However attractive this explanation might be for some, there is simply no basis for accepting this explanation. Validation studies, which attempt to figure out who misreports on academic surveys and why, has found no evidence that conservatives are less honest. Indeed, validation research indicates that Democrats tend to be less forthcoming than other groups. The honesty gap is also not a result of âbad peopleâ becoming liberals and âgood peopleâ becoming conservatives. In my mind, a more likely explanation is bad ideas. Modern liberalism is infused with idea that truth is relative. Surveys consistently show this. And if truth is relative, it also must follow that honesty is subjective. Sixties organizer Saul Alinsky, who both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton say inspired and influenced them, once said the effective political advocate âdoesnât have a fixed truth; truth to him is relative and changing, everything to him is relative and changing. He is a political relativist.â During this political season, honesty is often in short supply. But at least we can improve things by accepting the idea that truth and honesty exist. As the late scholar Sidney Hook put it, âthe easiest rationalization for the refusal to seek the truth is the denial that truth exists.â Peter Schweizer is the author of âMakers and Takers: Why Conservatives Work Harder, Feel Happier, Have Closer Families, Take Fewer Drugs, Give More Generously, Value Honesty More, Are Less Materialistic and Envious, Whine Less ... And Even Hug Their Children More Than Liberalsâ (Doubleday).