Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A Better Way To Understand Politics

At the blog Eric's Grumbles Before the Grave, I found an interesting post of his about a better way to understand politics. He used the following graphic as an example of how the political spectrem is usually presented to most of us (you can click on the charts to see a larger, easy-to-read version):

Eric goes on to explain how there is a better way to get a more accurate view of the political spectrum. I won't go into all the details here, but the new chart he ends up with makes more sense to me, and is more telling:

An excerpt about this chart from Eric's article:

...Just about the first thing we notice is that the mainstream of modern American politics is a very narrow part of the spectrum. The second thing we see is that from roughly 1933 to 1980 the spectrum in this country was much further to the Left than now. The bounds are FDR at one end and Ronald Reagan at the other end, each of whom managed to completely refocus the political debate in this country. The third important thing to notice is that there is a fairly dramatic shift from the traditional American Liberal philosophy (Jefferson, et al) and that is bounded by Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.

Evaluate where you stand using this matrix, you may come to some interesting realizations if you do. The reason that you want to do something really doesn't matter. You may want welfare to empower individuals and think that means you are an individualist. But the fact is that you still want something that is on the socialist side of the economic line. Here's some examples, starting with individualism first...

I found it especially interesting how Ronald Reagan has more in common with the Founding Fathers of our country than most of our modern presidents. I knew that Reagan was different from other modern presidents because of his belief in small government, and I liked that. I didn't realize how it put him in a whole different class of political thinkers, a class we have moved too far away from.

The rest of Eric's article discusses the beliefs of various people and where that puts them on the map, and how you can determine where you would find yourself on such a chart.

You can read the rest of Eric's article HERE.

There is a political test you can take online at, which will put you on a chart similar to Eric's.

Here is my test results:

You are a

Social Liberal
(61% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(80% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid Free Online Dating
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test


Joubert said...

Me too.

T. F. Stern said...

As Gomer Pyle would say, "Surprise Surprise", I too came out about the same as both of you.

Chas said...

I don't know how accurate the test is. I took it a few months ago, and the results marker then was right on the corner of Republican, Capitalist and Centerist.

I did it twice this time, and answered some of the more difficult questions a little differently, but the result was that the marker moved a bit further over into the center of Capitalist, and it said I was a Social Moderate (50% permissive) instead of a Social Liberal (61% permissive).

So maybe the results are affected by whatever mood you happen to be in when you answer the questions? Maybe I was feeling especially Republican several months ago? Listening leftist Democrats sometimes has that effect on me. ;-)

Well it seemes to match my mood currently. Even if it isn't perfectly scientific, it's probably close enough, and still fun to do.

Joubert said...

Your first link to Eric Grumbles leads to Fair Tax.

Chas said...

Thanks, I fixed the link to go to Eric's main page now.