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Old 03-10-2002, 06:03 AM   #1
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Is there a test to see if you are a Liberal?

I rarely have seen so much labeling, "y'all Liberals" or "us conservatives". I don't know about you guys, but I grew out of that labeling thing the day after 9/11/01. I see us as WE AMERICANS (for the Americans in this Forum) or WE HUMANS(thinking globally).

Oh, back to the point...I used to think that I was a Liberal (at least thats what the conservatives labeled me) but in a thread in which I was supporting the film Blackhawk Down "the Liberals" supposedly have issues with that film and I thought Liberals are supposed to not like Republicans but I almost wouldn't have minded if Dick Riordan (a Republican) had become governor of California. So I am now questioning my supposed liberalism.

Is there a test to take that can determine just how "liberal" I am?? Surely one must exist in this day and age.

Or maybe, just maybe, I am a person and not a label!


[This message has been edited by U2LA (edited 03-10-2002).]
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Old 03-10-2002, 06:22 AM   #2
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Try the world's shortest political quiz: http://www.lp.org/quiz/


----------------

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new
--Albert Einstein
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Old 03-10-2002, 09:06 AM   #3
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thats the quiz i was gonna show him
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Old 03-10-2002, 11:48 AM   #4
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"liberal," like "right-wing conservative," is a catch phrase to throw around in hopes of alienating your enemy from moderate voters

and of course to discredit the oposing view/argument as extremist

[This message has been edited by The Wanderer (edited 03-10-2002).]
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Old 03-10-2002, 02:47 PM   #5
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I honestly believe that liberalism, like conservatism, is a legitmate way to differentiate political ideaologies - not just a way to alienate an opponent.

Otherwise, you wouldn't have people like me who proudly proclaim that they're conservative. What gets me is that there appears to be fewer liberals who do the same thing.

Honestly, I believe that part of the reason for that phenomenon is that the U.S. has been voting conservative for 20+ years. Reagan heralded his own conservative ideas (a stronger military and lower taxes) and he was elected twice in landslides. In 1988, the elder Bush promised a continuation of the same, and handily beat Dukakis.

Look at 1992. A LOT of people disliked Bush for breaking his word on a conservative promise (no new taxes) and voted for Clinton on the basis that he wasn't Bush - that any sort of change was good. (Reagan ran on key conservative ideas and won; I don't know of any specific policy ideas that was key to either of Clinton's elections.) The result was, Clinton won, but recieved less than half the votes.

In 1994, the Republican congressional candidates nationalized the debate and ran on the conservative "Contract with America" AND WON BIG. By the time '96 came around, Clinton had already taken great leaps toward the center (thanks in no small part to the newly Republican Congress) and Dole ran a lowsy campaign and only once distinguished himself as a conservative: the convention acceptance speech. Results: less than half of the voting population voted and less than half of that voted for Clinton. Clinton won with the votes of less than 25% of those who could cast their ballots.

Then, in 2000, you had Al Gore running as a centrist, more-or-less (though I doubt that was honest). It was in peacetime in what appeared to be a good economy. He should have won, and won easily. Instead, Bush focused on many conservative ideas (including taxes) and made the race the closest in decades.

Basically, you have 1980, '84, '88, and '94 as CLEAR as examples of conservatives running AS conservatives and winning big. No liberal has been able to do the same in the last twenty years - since LBJ, I think. And that may be one reason liberals don't proclaim their liberalism.


Also, the Libertarian Test is a BIT simplistic: they define conservatives as those who "prefer self-government on economic issues, but want official standards in personal matters. They want the government to defend the community from threats to its moral fiber."

There's actually a fairly big split between fiscal conservatives and what's called the Religious Right. Many fiscal conservatives believe that there ARE moral standards, but they should not be enforced (certainly not on the federal level). Many of the Religious Right believe that the standards should be law. To say that differene either doesn't exist or doesn't matter is inaccurate.
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Old 03-10-2002, 04:45 PM   #6
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In another half-truth of the Libertarians' website: they have no problem attaching "socialism" and "fascism" to authoritarianism (an accurate attachment, certainly), but make no mention that libertarianism is a stone's throw from anarchy.

To answer your question, Wanderer, I think the label "Religious Right" is more extreme than "liberal" because it's an extreme branch of one idealogical group.

"Liberal" and "conservative" are ideological species. "The Religious Right" is a sub-species.

A much more even-handed comparison is "The Religious Right" and "militant environmentalism."

(Though, honestly, where are the genuine differences of opinion within liberalism? Within conservatism, you have the fiscal conservatives and the Religious Right. But the "militant environmentalist" example isn't entirely apropos because I can't think of a liberal group that disagrees with them. Environmentalists, animal rights people, feminists, pro-abortionists, the welfare lobby: it seems like they always go to each others' rallies.)
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Old 03-10-2002, 05:11 PM   #7
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Well, according to the quiz I am left-liberal.

Left-Liberal:
Left-Liberals prefer self-government in personal matters and central decision-making on economics. They want government to serve the disadvantaged in the name of fairness. Leftists tolerate social diversity, but work for economic equality.

The red dot on the chart shows where I fit on the political map.



So hmm, still liberal but not too much to the left(according to the chart). I thought the questions were too dramatic, like Repeal all sex laws and repeal all drug laws because they do more harm than good. It seemed the statements were extreme and there were not enough of them. But, it seems to have somewhat accurately described my political standpoint. Interesting!
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Old 03-10-2002, 06:00 PM   #8
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http://www.politicalcompass.org/

That's another good 'test' of where you are on the left/right scale. It has a lot more questions than the other test that was posted.
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Old 03-10-2002, 06:29 PM   #9
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I've looked a bit more at the Libertarians' test, and I've decided it's absurd. First of all, it calculates your position along each axis with this formula:

20% times the number of Yes's - 20% times the number of No's

That's all.

Also, the meaning behind your answer is never expressed: if you answered "maybe" or even "yes" to government regulation of the media, that could mean:

A. Libel laws, which most people agree with.
B. Decency laws (see: the Religious Right)
C. Laws against hate speech (see: liberalism)
D. Laws regulating ads that mentioning a politicians name two months before an election (campaign finance "reform")
E. PRAVDA.

Those possibilities cover too many bases.

On to the Political Compass, ask yourself whether these questions aren't just A TAD bit biased:

"If globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations."

(Oooh-oooh! Corporations over mankind!)

"Controlling inflation is more important than controlling unemployment."

(What? Free markets can't handle both?)

"We'd be better off if companies simply told the truth, rather than spending a fortune on manipulative consumer advertising."

(NO! Propaganda good!)

Oy.
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Old 03-10-2002, 06:51 PM   #10
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Here's an interesting book I found on Amazon.com yesterday... maybe you guys would be interested in:

A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles by Thomas Sowell
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Old 03-10-2002, 06:58 PM   #11
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Yeah I agree - some of the questions are biased. Then again, I think it's difficult for any commentary on politics to be completely free of bias.

I'm not even convinced that labelling yourself as 'left' 'right' 'libertarian' 'authoritarian' 'conservative' 'liberal' etc is helpful. I think there's always a danger of people wanting to illustrate how left-wing they are (or right-wing as the case may be) and that having too much influence on what political decisions they make. Plus it sometimes leads to groups establishing definitions of socialism (or any other political ideology) which are so narrow that about three people in the universe fit into them.

I don't remember who was it who commented about there being fewer liberals than conservatives who are happy to define themselves as such, but I'd consider myself to be left-wing and I'm perfectly happy to acknowledge that and to be proud of that.
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Old 03-10-2002, 09:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees:
I don't remember who was it who commented about there being fewer liberals than conservatives who are happy to define themselves as such, but I'd consider myself to be left-wing and I'm perfectly happy to acknowledge that and to be proud of that.

Consider yourself 'left wing'??.. , I think what was referenced was the particular word 'liberal'. Which, for no other sake than just to call ya out, you have not done.

Just a bit of evidence for Bubba's claim.

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Old 03-11-2002, 02:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees:
http://www.politicalcompass.org/

That's another good 'test' of where you are on the left/right scale. It has a lot more questions than the other test that was posted.
That did have a lot more questions and alot of the right ones you'd expect to see. On that one I am:

Economic Left/Right: -0.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -3.08


Not really sure what that means but on the chart I am just a little close to the center but just a notch on the left and midway through on the Libertarian side.

Thanks for the tests and comments, it's been interesting!
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:03 AM   #14
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By the way...

Quote:
Originally posted by U2LA:
Oh, back to the point...I used to think that I was a Liberal (at least thats what the conservatives labeled me) but in a thread in which I was supporting the film Blackhawk Down "the Liberals" supposedly have issues with that film and I thought Liberals are supposed to not like Republicans but I almost wouldn't have minded if Dick Riordan (a Republican) had become governor of California. So I am now questioning my supposed liberalism. [This message has been edited by U2LA (edited 03-10-2002).]
Psst. Hey, over here.

I'm gonna tell you a little secret.

Riordan isn't conservative. Not all Republicans are conservative.

Anyone who listened to Rush Limbaugh last week or read Bill Buckley's latest KNOW that Simon is far more conservative than Riordan.

From Buckley's article, "As We Live and Breathe!":

"The (Gray Davis) ads brought attention to Riordan's eccentric record, a Republican whose various attachments to various causes and political figures made him politically amorphous."

...

"The prospect of a young, idealistic conservative who has already practiced beating the odds may prove appealing. It would be fine if the Republican presidential nominating convention in 2004 took place in Sacramento, and were welcomed by Governor William E. Simon Jr."

Apparently, Riordan's concession speech warned Simon that if the GOP doesn't "reach out" to women and minorities, it's not going to win the election. Translation? Simon needs to drop his stance against abortion and his belief that there are too many illegal aliens in California. Generally speaking, that's NOT conservatism.
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:30 AM   #15
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Achtung, I agree, as usual.
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