Friday, September 30, 2005

Political Ideology

I recently took a political Ideology quiz that I found quite interesting. I am a little apprehensive about boiling down my politics to a point on a graph. Hopefully my readers will keep an open mind about the rest of my writing.

You are a

Social Liberal
(63% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(80% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Libertarian




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


Over the past couple of hours, I have reflected on how my views have probably changed over the past ten years. I am certainly much more socially liberal now than in the past, but economically I probably have changed very little. Why have I changed my views on social issues? I certainly still support law and order in a very strong way. However, I have come to oppose the use of government power, which boils down to men with guns, in efforts to control other people's personal activities. The key word in the previous sentence is personal in that the government needs to regulate activities that affect others and not regulate activities that affect only the individual. Striking an effective balance here is the key so perhaps the reason for my shift towards more social permissively has to do with a greater understanding of the costs to society of attempting to regulate activities that only affect an individual.

For example, ten years ago I believed that drug use (cocaine, heroin...) is an incredibly stupid and destructive behavior. I still believe that today. Ten years ago I favored a harsh crack down on drug users, dealers, and traffickers. Today I am coming to the painful realization that the costs of enforcement and social chaos outweigh the benefits of stopping and individual from using drugs. The movie Traffic really drove that point home to me a few years back.

I have come to see government regulation of personal activities as the antithesis of freedom and perhaps one of the reasons that we have trouble taking personal responsibility.

1 comment:

Travis said...

neat quiz bangart. But all of these models (circle, square, triange) etc... area bit imperfect. In my opinion, I think Ronald Reagan said it best when he said:

Today we are told we must choose between a left and right or, as others suggest, a third alternative, a kind of safe middle ground. I suggest to you there is no left or right, only an up or down. Up to the maximum of individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism; and regardless of their humanitarian purpose those who would sacrifice freedom for security have, whether they know it or not, chosen this downward path.