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Archive for September 29th, 2018

It’s time to augment our collection of surveys that test political orientation. Here are the ones I’ve previously shared.

Today’s addition is a quiz called the “5-Dimensional Political Compass.”

It’s only 30 questions, covering everything from economic issues, international issues, and cultural issues. Your answers are limited to yes, no, and maybe, so there’s not much opportunity for nuance.

Even though I like the concept of a multi-dimensional test, I’m not completely thrilled with how I was graded.

I have no objection to being a “conservative” and “libertarian,” but I’m an avid proponent of free trade, so how can I be a “total-isolationist”?

It turns out that the quiz has nothing on trade and several questions related to international organizations and global governance. Given my views on such issues, that must explain how I’m classified.

I also don’t like being called a “nationalist,” but I’m guessing that’s because of my “yes” to the question about whether “my country is inherently better.”

It’s not that I think Americans are better, but I very much appreciate that I’m part of a nation founded on an ideal of freedom rather than shared nationality, race, or religion. In other words, I’m saying “my country’s organizational principles are inherently better.”

For what it’s worth, if I changed my answer to “maybe” on that question, the “nationalist” part would disappear and my results would change to “conservative libertarian total-isolationist traditionalist.”

Speaking of “traditionalist,” I’m mildly uncomfortable with that label. I think I got that outcome because I answered “yes” to the first question about the “decline of traditional families” being harmful and “maybe” to the second question about “moral decay of our society.”

I guess it all depends on what people think is implied by the questions. I answered “yes” to the first because I think it is unfortunate to have so many children from broken homes, whereas somebody else might answer “yes” because they are bothered by two men or two women getting married.

And when I think about “moral decay,” I’m focusing on the erosion of societal capital, not whether someone smokes pot or looks at a naked picture on the Internet.

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