I wonder how moderate people think they are. I often wonder two things when I review where I’m at in politics. Am I often right? And then, where do I fall in the political spectrum?
Where Do We Stand Politically
I enjoy political blogging and clearly not for the abundance of traffic that Tar Heel Red sees. But rather for the dual purpose of getting out in plain sight some of the things I am thinking along with the really cool feature of engaging with differing viewpoints. And if taken honestly there should be mostly mild evolutions of views and often dramatic “wake-up calls” that precede a dramatic change in belief.
For example, I’ve long identified that I’m a political conservative. Further, I’ve long identified as a republican. And those things are two very different things. And worse, identifying with a party is tantamount to identifying with a “team.” No amount of debate is ever going to convince me that the Green Bay Packers are a “cooler” or “better” team than the Minnesota Vikings. However, a belief that a strong defense begins with a combination of strong defensive ends and a strong safety is a concept that transcends the tribe; the team.
You can have a conversation about what makes a good defense. You can’t have a conversation about the coolest color that goes with gold. HINT: It’s purple.
So, a interested in those little games that try and tickle out where a guy stands based on his answers to questions. I found one of those quick and easy political poll quizzes on line over at Pew Research.
Political Leaning: Economic Issues
It should surprise none of the dozen readers here that I trend strongly to the right on matters fiscal. With a nod to the above acknowledgement of team, I have, at times, found myself struggling to defend republicans when they fail to live up to those views. Perhaps fail to defend is too strong, perhaps it’s only a “yeah, they screwed up but not NEARLY as bad as the democrat next to him!”
So I fully expected the rank I was awarded on matters economic:
Party Affiliation: Economic Issues
I’m very conservative; right even of “Tea Party Republicans.” I didn’t anticipate THAT strong of an affiliation with a political party.
Political Leaning: Social Issues
I acknowledge a pretty strong libertarian streak that results in a predictable conservative economic. However, the reverse of that libertarian view of life is one that should result in a relatively moderate to liberal stance on many social issues. In exactly the same way that I feel the government should remove itself from the influence of contracts between two voluntary parties faithfully representing their goods and services, I feel the government should remove itself from the decisions that grown free adult make on a voluntary basis.
I am a strong advocate of gay marriage. Similarly, I favor the legalization of many drugs with restrictions the same as exist for alcohol. I trending more and more to the view that a strong national defense is required to defend the country, not impose our views on other nations.
I realize that abortion is a hot button issue and that my support for life is going to cost me, however, I thought that it was over emphasized by the lack of other questions that would explore a more liberal social stance.
With all of that said, I thought that my political party affiliation was pretty decent on the social issues:
Party Affiliation: Social Issues
Political Leaning: Overall
While I don’t wanna run away from the conservative nature of myself on the fiscal side of the house, I do wanna point out that I scored a respectable “moderate democrat” on the social issues. I suspect had more questions been asked about gun laws, education and children’s health services, I would have scored even more liberal perhaps surprising even me.
The kicker, however, is the overall score I received. I would have thought that such a balance would have put me in the average republican range, but here is where I rank:
Political Party Affiliation: Overall
So there it is. I’m ultra conservative when it comes to economic issues and then I rank to the left of a moderate democrat on social issues. However, in aggregate, Pew puts me significantly to the right of the average republican and even to the right of the Tea Party republican.