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Discussion: (9 comments)

  1. There NEED to be stricter laws and regulations to protect the environment — and better grammar instruction to protect what’s left of our literacy.

    (Yes, I know that came from Pew and not you, but you could have used a “[sic]” had you noticed it.)

  2. I took that poll, laughing the whole time. I answered the questions considering what answers the pollsters were “expecting” and got the predictable results. I even tried mixing up the answers, predictable results. The shading was so black and white you could stick Morton’s Fork in the equally poor choices.

  3. Fabulous article!

  4. Alan Watson

    This is a wonderful summary of a fundamental insight about our politics. In the past year I have listened to podcasts of talks by Krugman, Stiglitz, Sachs, Sidelsky, and EJ Dionne, all prominent lefties. I tried to absorb their arguments with an open mind, but in each case I was stymied by non-sequiturs and dogmatism. How can their understanding of our world be so different from mine? I think the Pew quiz is a perfect illustration of the answer: their straw-man view of our ideas.

  5. And maybe if YOUR workplaces had a little more ideological variety, Mr. Murray, you wouldn’t have crafted a quiz whose genesis was your belief that liberals have never driven a pickup truck, don’t serve in the military, aren’t religious, and don’t eat at chain restaurants.

    1. Huh? Matt? I don’t think that quiz had anything to do with political beliefs. Stop misrepresenting Charles Murray–doing so has become a leftist cottage industry over the years.

  6. The poll told me I was a Republican. Wrong. I’m not registered as one and I can’t stand them. Republicans are too socialist. They are FAR too socialist. I get sick of hearing Republicans try to tell me that Romney and Ryan are conservatives. Conservative what? Cronyists? Don’t get me wrong – everyone with sense MUST vote for Romney-Ryan in November because the alternative is a mindboggling catastrophe. Forget the conspiratorial theories of talk radio and the film 2016. Obama isn’t a clever supervillain. He’s just stupid. He’s really THAT dumb. Trust me, this past week was not part of some sinister plan of his – this is really the best he can do. You have a half-wit for a president.

    Anyway, I don’t have a political category. If there were a bucket for people who our economics should reflect the ideas of Milton Friedman and our foreign policy should reflect the ideas of Nicky Scarfo, then I guess I’d be in that bucket. So far, they don’t seem to be running my candidates anywhere I can see. Here’s how I answer:

    There needs to be stricter laws and regulations to protect the environment.

    – The environment is just fine. Many regulations should be eliminated. The EPA should be abolished. Let the states deal with these issues themselves.

    The government should help more needy people even if it means going deeper in debt.

    – I’m against the government taking money from me and giving it to poor people. It’s not your money to give. Good people give to poor people – voluntarily. Good people don’t give alms by proxy.

    The growing number of newcomers from other countries threaten traditional American customs and values.

    – Citizenship should be earned by everyone. None of us should have been granted it by birthright. My ancestors fought in the revolution – but I should have been required to earn my citizenship. American customs and values are threatened not so much by immigrants but by natural born American duds, dopes, and socialists (redundant, I know). Additionally, those who wish to move here need to demonstrate true allegiance to and understanding of the constitution. On a side note, after reading half-honest article after half-honest article on immigration at, have any of the illegal immigration advocates ever tried to get a work permit in say…Australia, New Zealand, or Switzerland?

    I never doubt the existence of God.

    – You’re right. The nitwit who wrote this poll question is an obvious atheist, who like most militant atheists is apparently not intellectually capable of understanding the nature of belief.

    Business corporations make too much profit.

    – The Soviets, for all they got wrong, had one heck of a snappy national anthem. That’s the music I hear when I read this question. No, “business corporations” do not make “too much profit.” They don’t make enough profit. That’s why our economy is a disaster zone. Government is in the way of making profit. Profit is not just necessary for economic growth – profit IS ECONOMIC GROWTH.

    Gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry legally.

    – Yes. They should be allowed to do so legally. That doesn’t mean they ought to get married. That doesn’t mean they ought to be openly gay. It just means the government should stay out of the matter altogether.

    The government needs to do more to make health care affordable and accessible.

    – Yes. By getting out of the way, government could make health care (more) affordable and accessible. Last I checked, though, nobody is denied life-saving care in America. Healthcare will always be expensive. Government will make it moreso. Less government in healthcare will make it less expensive than it otherwise would be and will also allow medical innovation to occur faster.

    One parent can bring up a child as well as two parents together.

    – No. I agree with Ann Coulter on this one, with regard to women who view government as their “man.” (Not much else, though.)

    Government regulation of business usually does more harm than good.

    – Yes. Medical licensing – okay. Interior decorator licensing – not so much. (The latter actual occurred in Florida.) I’m with the Institute for Justice (IJ) on this one.

    Abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.

    – Abortion conducted for the purpose of convenience should be prosecuted as murder, with charges for all involved. Medical purposes are another matter and should not be criminalized.

    Labor unions are necessary to protect the working person.

    – No. Labor unions are cartels for losers. Government employees should barred from joining them. Private sector employees should retain the right to organize among themselves (freedom of assembly), but no person should be compelled to join one. Right to work should be the standard everywhere.

    Poor people have become too dependent on government assistance programs.

    – Yes. Absolutely yes. But how about the rest of the bloated, greedy parasites? How about Solyndra? How about agricultural subsidies? How about green energy programs? How about set-aside contracts?

  7. “The growing number of newcomers from other countries threaten traditional American customs and values.”

    I think that the well being of American citizens should be the highest priority of our government.

    The presence in America of many of this “growing number of newcomers from other countries” is definitely not in the interests of the vast majority of American citizens. For example, our Hispanic newcomers are officially deemed so inferior as to need discrimination in their favor, against white Americans. How can it be in the interests of Americans to import people who “need” (and will vote for) special preferences?

  8. Can anyone recommend an online political spectrum assessment other than this one?

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