The regular reader — I am assured that I have such — may be wondering at this point just where (if anywhere) I fit on the political spectrum. Certainly I haven't gone to a great deal of trouble to articulate a particular philosophy, and there doesn't seem to be a great deal of consistency here, at least according to the instruments by which we usually measure one's political leanings. In other words, though I'm not actually on the fence, I do a hell of a lot of wobbling from side to side. In previous Vents (to say nothing of my daily log), I have:

All over the map. And that doesn't even include the most blatant example of trying to have it both ways: my campaign-finance reform package, which would bar all political TV advertising in return for the lifting of almost all other existing restrictions.

But there's got to be a pattern here, and after poking around in the back of my brain and other undervalued properties, I have determined the following:

In other words, more libertarian than authoritarian, but skewing left on occasion. To test this, I pounced on a couple of questionnaires on the Web.

"The World's Shortest Political Quiz" is put out by the Advocates for Self-Government, a Georgia libertarian group. It consists of ten very pointed questions. By their calculations, I fall right on the cusp between "libertarian" and "left-liberal". If ten questions aren't enough, a British site called Political Compass offers six pages' worth. Their chart puts the left/right spectrum on the X axis at -10 to +10, libertarian/authoritarian similarly on the Y, and rates me at (-2.00, -3.90), which is (surprise!) just left of center and fairly substantially into the libertarian territory.

Now to figure out some way to reconcile this with my call for privatization, whole or in part, of Social Security.

The Vent

#273
18 December 2001



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