I came upon the website iSideWith yesterday. It’s been around since 2012 and it allows you to answer a bunch a questions and then see how well you agree with the different political parties and presidential candidates. Well, you know me: I love tests that tell me that I am who I think I am. So I answered the roughly 90 questions and got my results. And as should come as a shock to no one, I agreed most with Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Party.
The test provides much more than that, however. It gets more interesting as you drill down. The people behind iSideWith clearly like this kind of stuff as much as I do, so they provide a lot of information. For example, they have a whole section of “polls.” These are basically just the results of particular questions on the iSideWith quiz. For me, this was the most depressing part of the whole thing.
For example, 81% of the people who have taken the iSideWith test think that people should have to show photo ID to vote. Another 86% want term limits on Congress. And 73% think people on “welfare” should be drug tested. I picked these three issues because they are ones where facts really matter. There is no in-person voter fraud; term limits tend to make politics more corrupt; and people on “welfare” are less likely to do drugs than people who aren’t. (Also: why don’t we drug test the people on the mortgage interest deduction welfare program?)
After you take the iSideWith test, you can compare your positions with those of the candidates and the parties. I didn’t find that very useful because I know where the candidates stand. But I think this would be very helpful for people who don’t follow politics all that closely. And I think Bernie Sanders supporters could be helped a lot because they are likely to get results that are very similar to mine:
Now, I know: this is an imperfect way to determine who you ought to vote for. For one thing, iSideWith has me siding much more strongly with the Democratic Party than with the Socialist Party. I suspect that if we got into a serious discussion of capitalism, we would find that I was actually much more in line with the socialists. But the quiz does a good job of including those issues that are inside our Overton window. And in that context, I think the quiz is quite useful.
Bernie or Bust?
So it shows I most agree with Bernie Sanders. No surprise there. But I agree with Hillary Clinton almost as much as I do Sanders. And I agree with her as much as I do Jill Stein. And I wonder how many of my fellow Sanders supporters will actually vote for Stein over Clinton? People are wrong when they say a vote for Stein is a vote for Trump; it isn’t; it is a half vote for Trump. And I think that most Sanders supporters will come out something like me. The question is: with Clinton at 95% and Trump at 24%, is this really an election that you should sit out?
It’s funny. Even that 24% agreement with Trump is something of a myth. For example, on the question of whether labor unions help or hurt the economy, I said they help it. (I don’t think this is open to debate.) But according to iSideWith, Trump agrees with me, because Trump says labor unions, “Help, in theory but have recently become corrupt and should have their powers limited.” To me, that says he thinks they hurt the economy. They are already powerless and he wants to limit them even more?
Regardless, go over to iSideWith. You can take the quick test (Clinton was above Stein in that one, and Trump was only at 10%), or you can take the longer test by answering the optional questions. Let me know how you come out. If history is any guide, yours will look a lot like mine.
Here is how I scored on parties:
- Democratic: 96%
- Green: 92%
- Socialist: 86%
- Libertarian: 51%
- Constitution: 9%
- Republican: 5%