Testing Political Ideology

Select SmartI came upon an interesting website, Select Smart. Basically, it has just about every kind of quiz you could imagine. For example, it has the Spiritual Belief System Selector. In twenty questions, it rates you on 27 philosophies and religions. I scored very high in secular humanism, unitary universalism, liberal Quaker, Taoism, and New Age. I scored zero on Eastern Orthodox, Orthodox Judaism, and Roman Catholic. But I managed to get 12% on Islam. I question how accurate it is, but it definitely nailed me on what I matched best.

Select SmartThe reason I found the site was that I was looking for a test for paleoconservatism. The site has a whole bunch of political tests and they all have the same 24 questions. In addition to this test, you can check nine others: paleo-libertarian, conservative, libertarian, neoconservative, centrist, Third Way, liberal, left-libertarian, and radical. On the three libertarian categories, I scored just as I expected: paleo, 33%; normal, 45%; and left, 54%. I got my highest scores on liberal and radical, where I got 79%. (There is a confusing question about a no-fly zone in Iraq that if eliminated would make me score higher on radical and lower on liberal.)

Select SmartWhat’s interesting is not so much the results, but what the writers thought defined the different political ideologies. For example, only the left of the libertarians believed that abortion should be legal at the state level. That isn’t even Roe v Wade territory. And as a former libertarian, it pains me to say, but that’s correct. In general, libertarians — despite all their rhetoric about personal choice and freedom — are anti-choice. Similarly, only the left-libertarians think that the religious right is a threat to civil rights. I suspect that is because most libertarians in the United States are, in fact, conservative Christians.

Select SmartThe most striking thing on the test is the question, “If your state flag included design elements from the Confederate flag, would you prefer to remove those elements?” This is given a negative for paleoconservatism, paleo-libertarianism, and conservatism. I assume this goes along with quite a lot of research. For example, the neoconservative answer is true. In fact, I score higher on neoconservatism than I do on straight conservatism. Neoconservatives are nutty (and ignorant and stupid) when it comes to foreign policy, but they aren’t as crazy when it comes to ordinary domestic policy. I think what has gone on over the last fifty years or so is that the conservative movement has become far more neo-Confederate. It’s a very disturbing development.

Select SmartWhat’s perhaps most interesting in the tests is how centrist and Third Way stack up. They aren’t as close as you would think. And the main way that they are different is that Third Way is much more socially liberal. The centrists are actually closest to the neoconservatives. That means that the Third Way folk are just what I’ve been complaining about for years: economically conservative and socially liberal. They are, in other words, the anti-populists. That’s what makes their claims to be speaking for middle-America so funny. Third Way is the most elitist political movement in the nation. And the best part of that elitism is their absolute conviction that they speak for “the middle.”

Select SmartAnyway, if you aren’t doing anything, you might click over to Select Smart. You can find out your religion, political ideology, personality type — you name it. It’s all nonsense. But it’s fun!

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