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In the simplistic left/right divide, I'd call myself

Displaying poll results.
To the far left
  4202 votes / 16%
Moderate, but leaning left
  7115 votes / 27%
Just about (or even smack dab) in the middle
  1626 votes / 6%
Moderate, but leaning right
  3735 votes / 14%
To the far right
  1783 votes / 6%
Floating above, thus transcending this question
  7735 votes / 29%
26196 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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In the simplistic left/right divide, I'd call myself

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  • False dichotomy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Celarent Darii (1561999) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @08:34AM (#38446954)
    The dichotomy of 'left' vs. 'right' is fundamentally a false dichotomy. The world is much too complex to be treated as an either/or proposition, nor even on a scale on one quantitative measure.

    I would even go so far as to say that in today's politics the whole notion of 'conservative' and 'liberal' no longer exists - there is no more a 'conservation' of an old order (as it is long gone), nor is there anything like the 'liberalization' of political structures that happened in the 19th century. Politics in America have turned more into a moralization of party aims, labeling them as 'conservative' or 'liberal' according to what demographic they are preaching to. There is no longer any discussion on the relative merits or cost analysis of any legislation, merely the selling of the legislation to the demographic.
  • Re:False dichotomy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alta (1263) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @08:39AM (#38446986) Homepage Journal

    Well then... I guess we'll rename them the moral party and the immoral party.

  • by BeardedChimp (1416531) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:00AM (#38447138)
    Since slashdot is an American site but I'm Northern Irish I'm going to go with far left. Comparative to the UK/rest of Europe what you americans call socialists/communists are still seen as being quite right wing over here.

    So by your standings I'm definately a loony lefty with parents who were both members of Militant Tendency [wikipedia.org] and a grandfather who was a member of the communist party [wikipedia.org].

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:12AM (#38447216) Journal

    No, the only other place in the world that's as fiscally far-right as the US is probably Mexico. Even Canada and the UK are considered socialist by US standards, and most places are far more "socialist" than those. If the international Overton window, on a simplified single-axis L/R scale, ranges from 0 to 10 where 0 is communist and 10 is fascist, the US Overton window ranges only from about 4.5 to 9. Few other countries in the world would span so far right, even the UK learned from their brush with far-right economics.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:20AM (#38447296)

    The fact is, extreme positions usually indicate what I politely call a "non-reality" orientation. What works in the real world rarely satisfies anyone's ideology. Moreover, examples of what happens in the real world when you take ideology to logical conclusions are consistently ignored by those with extremist positions. Hate government intervention? Well, Somalia waits for you! Love collectivist communism? Visit lovely North Korea! Want a country where God is revered? Iran!

    In reality land, you need a balance of things like free market capitalism (but not too free) and government intervention (but not too much) and religious tolerance (within limits - murder and ritual genital mutilation being sorta frowned upon). The difficulty of course, is getting a sensible consensus on the limits to everything from a polity that would rather watch "dancing with the stars" than think about their political environment.

  • by Tommy Bologna (2431404) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:32AM (#38447414)

    Don't judge us by what you see our politicians do. Once elected, they ignore us and do what the corporations pay them to do.
    --

    Regards,

    A Paleoconservative

  • In which country? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dingen (958134) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:51AM (#38447586)
    In my own country, I would consider myself to be around the middle of the political spectrum. In the US however, I would be as far left as you can get.
  • Re:False dichotomy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by queBurro (1499731) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @10:09AM (#38447786)
    how about the immoral party and the amoral party?
  • Re:False dichotomy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RogerWilco (99615) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @11:40AM (#38449058) Homepage Journal

    I'd even go so far as to say that it's a myth perpetuated by the politicians themselves, even more in traditional two-party systems like the USA and UK.

    Over here in the Netherlands, where we have a lot of small political parties, each occupying their own niche on multiple political axes. There are at least clear distinctions on the Liberal-Conservative, Capitalist-Socialist, Confessional-Atheist and Industrialist-Ecologist lines of thinking.

    It's hard to come up with a left-right narrative in such a diverse landscape, even though still some do try, in general you see shifting alliances along all the lines I have identified above.

    And those are only the parties big enough to get at least one seat in parliament.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @11:48AM (#38449180)

    Yeah the US is socially on the liberal side...

    Spoken like a true Conservative. It's one of the few developed democracies that use "bleep" on TV when politically incorrect slang occurs. They also happen to black out the genital parts of non-human animals on educational TV. But yeah, compared to Saudi Arabia America is fairly Liberal.

    Not to mention the War-on-Drugs, indefinite detention, free speech zones, charging children with "child pornography" for taking pictures of themselves in their birthday suits, and very liberal use of obscenity laws to censor the Internet and the pornography industry, the social demonetization of the poor and the jobless. I could go on.

    Yes, in a very witty and semantic way, America is very Liberal with oppressing people who don't hold the lifestyles and belief systems of the far right religious zealots that control the government and social mores of society.

  • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara...hudson@@@barbara-hudson...com> on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @12:09PM (#38449510) Journal
    Which is why if you're not in the US, you have to take the CowboyNeal option. Here in Kanuckistan, even the far right is considered "pinko commies" by the US, just like any country with universal health care ... oops, sorry, let me translate that from English to AmericaSpeek - "socialist death camps".

    And campaign financing limits ... in AmericaSpeak, that comes out as "limiting free speech" (though of course, the problem is that it's not "free", it costs over a $BILLION to win an election nowadays, so (hummed to the tune of "Rawhide")

    lobby lobby lobby,
    money money money,
    keep that pork a-flowing
    though voters disapprovin',
    we OWN those senators voting, Pork Hide!

    Don't try to understand 'em,
    Cheap drugs and booze will grab 'em,
    Soon we'll be living high and wide.
    Boy my heart's calculatin'
    The return on bribes we'll be taking, taking to the end ...

    Move 'em on, vote 'em up,
    Vote 'em up, pass into law
    Count that pork, bribe some more Pork Hide!
    Pay it out, ride 'em in
    Ride 'em in, we own them now
    Cut 'em in, we'll always win Pork Hide.

    Votin' votin' votin'
    Votin' votin' votin'
    Votin' votin' votin'
    Pork Hide!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @12:42PM (#38449938)

    ... except perhaps censoring animal genitals

    Well actually I'm writing this from Canada, so it may be that Canadian re-broadcasters are required to cover up the "naughty" parts of dogs, cows, etc. It is a revelation to me that America would be more open about showing a dog's genitals on TV than Canada.

    As for the rest of your arguments, it is just a moving goal post fallacy [wikipedia.org]. Just because there are far more conservative countries than America, does not make America "Liberal".

    I think we are probably on the same plain however. America certainly has some aspects that are liberal about it (in the legal and theoretical sense that is). In reality, gays still get harassed in America, and so do religious minorities (like the boycott of the TV show ALL American Muslim [bbc.co.uk]).

    Sure, compared to many countries, America may not be that evil. But then again many of the same type of countries you are referring to are countries that America either has supported or did support. The CIA for example, doesn't generally commit genocide in foreign lands, but foreign countries are often benefactors of CIA funded death squads, CIA secret prisons, etc. Probably if you were in an American prison you probably wouldn't think that America is very "liberal".

    Let's face it, most of the world is just a different shade of conservative, from the more moderate to the extreme. Let's not pretend that countries that are less extreme are somehow "liberal".

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @01:31PM (#38450562) Homepage

    Why not include India. It's supposed to be a democracy?

    Including nations with similar types of government are certainly fair game, as is excluding those with radically different forms of government.

    Also, "left and right" only make sense where it is possibly to choose.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @01:32PM (#38450584) Homepage

    Leftists are against the rich getting richer.

    Rightists are against the poor getting richer.

  • Re:False dichotomy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @01:49PM (#38450786)
    Why can't /. implement unicode FFS? I mean it's been a decade and half, three major revisions of the discussion system, and still no fucking way to put proper accents on characters and shit? Bleh!
  • by bckrispi (725257) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @02:21PM (#38451112)

    I live in the States and am not dependent on government at all. I have never collected any money from the government and don't want to.

    Ever buy produce from the grocery store? Government subsidized. Ever fill your car with gasoline? Government subsidized. Ever go to school? Even the private ones receive some government funds. Just because the government never wrote you a check directly does not mean you don't take government money.

  • by xaxa (988988) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @02:39PM (#38451310)

    Male genital mutilation sounds horrible

    It is.

    but it actually has considerable sanitary advantages.

    What advantages? I'm not circumcised, and my penis isn't dirty. Should we cut our ears off, to reduce the need to wash?

    Only crazy religious countries claim sanitary advantages to the procedure. It's to prevent masturbation.

    You are free to do what you want with your body, but I think circumcision of infants (my understanding of what was meant by "Judaistic male circumcision") should be banned.

  • by Tom (822) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @03:07PM (#38451618) Homepage Journal

    Fool me once...

    I would buy that if you would not vote for them again. I could accept the first GWBush as an accident, vote fraud, WTFJustHappened moment. But the minute he was elected for a second term, the USA inherited full responsibility for everything he did during both terms.

  • by ChrisMaple (607946) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @04:05PM (#38452314)

    You have almost failed to distinguish between voluntary charity and government-forced giving. The clue is in "If a member refuses to participate, we eventually ostracize/banish/kill him", which is the essence of socialism.

    There are always going to be cheats. The bigger government is, the more attractive it is to cheats, because being in government expands their ability to get huge gains with little honest effort.

    Preventing the overthrow of overlarge government requires a combination of obvious force and mindwashing. The mindwashing can come in the form of religion (in a theocracy) or other widespread beliefs that amount to "I should be able to prevent innocent people from acting as they wish". The commonest form of the latter is socialism, which at its root denies self-ownership.

  • by tmosley (996283) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @06:36PM (#38454176)
    Why don't you tell us what he said that annoys you? I have never seen anything bad come out of the man's mouth, and I have been paying close attention since 2007. He has been dead on in predicting our economic malaise, and thoroughly explaining its causes to the extent that he was able to predict the housing bubble in 2002.
  • by tmosley (996283) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @06:51PM (#38454322)
    The US was what you would call a Libertarian society from the end of Reconstruction right up through 1913. You act as if your way is the only way. That type of thinking has brought us to the precipice of collapse. Actually, it has taken us over it, as our debt to GDP ratio just breached 1:1, which is the point of no return.

    Also, stop shoveling words into the mouths of libertarians. The reason medical care has gotten so expensive in this country is because we have allowed it to be controlled by fascists, ie we have merged corporate and government power by allowing the AMA to set training standards for doctors, which has resulting in continuous raising of the bar to the point that if you want to legally set a broken arm, you have to go to school for 30 years. Prior to the advent of the AMA, medical doctors were lower middle class, and so cheap that anyone could afford housecalls at will. Now only the richest of the rich can afford such things, and everyone else has to wait in line for 12 hours at the emergency room, or make an appointment a couple of weeks in advance. Christ, it's so expensive, we have to amortize our plans with health insurance. There is no need for that. 90%+ of necessary care can be carried out by those with less training than we give our NURSES now. Less restrictions and barriers to entry into that market would result in a lot more doctors, driving down prices. Cheaper prices mean that people don't need to carry expensive insurance any more.
  • Re:False dichotomy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tmosley (996283) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @06:54PM (#38454368)
    Flatland is instructive.

    Democrats and republicans aren't to the right or left of where they were in the 60's. Rather, they have shifted toward authoritarianism. The power of the printing press is absolute, and you know what they say about absolute power.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @07:05PM (#38454458)

    His strawman:

    other widespread beliefs that amount to "I should be able to prevent innocent people from acting as they wish". The commonest form of the latter is socialism, which at its root denies self-ownership.

    Your strawman:

    Some people seem to believe they should get all the benefits of society and none of the costs. We usually call those people "Libertarians".

    The antidote to dishonesty is not additional dishonesty.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @08:05PM (#38454966)

    The hardcore libertarians are always easy to spot (and thus dismiss) when they drag out the old canard about the government using force to make people do certain things.

    Guess what? If you want a civilization (i.e. not a bunch of anarchist barbarians killing and raping and stealing at will) then the government needs to be able to use force. If the government can't use force, then it can collect no taxes and pass no laws... it can only beg for money and politely ask people not to commit crimes. In short, a government that can't use force isn't a government at all.

    You can't dump toxic chemicals in public spaces. You can't pollute the public airwaves by broadcasting without a permit. You can't create dangerous situations on public roads by driving drunk. You can't take advantage of the stability of the nation to make money, without paying taxes to help sustain that stability. Socialist governments exists because the public gets together and says "We don't want people to abuse us, but we recognize the dangers of vigilantism, so we're going to make sure people respect the public in an organized way". That's it.

    All governments are either at least a little socialist, or else they're authoritarian -- existing entirely to benefit a select few.

    In short, stop trying to make socialism a dirty word. Stop lying about what it is. Two plus two does not equal five, and socialism is not about denying self ownership. Your concerted effort to change the meaning of a word to control public thought is nothing short of evil.

  • Re:False dichotomy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 21mhz (443080) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @03:47AM (#38457188) Journal

    Because it's really difficult to prevent malicious actors from placing characters that screw up the formatting of the whole web page. You'd have to go through the entire Unicode space to look for the characters that are acceptable to display, to make a giant whitelist.

    Must be a huge problem for Facebook... except that it isn't.

  • The whole discussion is irrational, only the US and a handful of third-world countries are even discussing this "issue". The rest of the civilized world decided long ago that circumcision is needlessly barbaric and unnecessary.

    Sanitary reasons? Do you shower or bathe on even a semi-regular basis? That's all the cleaning your penis needs.

    STD reasons? It's called a goddamn condom. Use it, you dumbasses.

    Male genital mutilation is barbaric, unnecessary and provides no real, actual benefits. It is a religious ritual thought up by primitive goat herders thousands of years ago. Why pretend it is anything else?

  • by stjobe (78285) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @05:03AM (#38457470) Homepage

    Indeed, it looks a bit like this:

    EU Left ---------------------- EU Right/US Left ---------------------- US Right

    I leave it as an exercise to the reader to add NSDAP, PNF, and KPSS to that scale.

  • by raddan (519638) * on Thursday December 22, 2011 @03:21PM (#38462910)
    On the other hand, if you're going through all that effort to influence a Slashdot poll, you are also insane.
  • by NReitzel (77941) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @04:15PM (#38463804) Homepage

    It simply astounds me how anyone on earth can take something as complex as political leaning, and try to reduce it to a scalar. Politics is a multivariate vector even if simplified. Worse, there seem to be a whole lot of people in the USA that would like to reduce it to a boolean: { republican, democrat }.

    Now comes the complex part, how to vote? Where are the listings for a fiscally conservative socially liberal secularist? Not on my ballot...

  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Friday December 23, 2011 @04:35AM (#38469314)

    I'm fiscally conservative and socially liberal too [in fact I think a lot of people would be, if they took the time to think about it], but I don't think the Tea Party is a good fit. Sure, they call themselves fiscally conservative, but then they scream "keep your hands off my Medicare!" in the next breath. They're really more the "I got mine so fuck you" party.

    The real tragedy that's going on here is that the Libertarians and Greens aren't capitalizing on the Tea Party and Occupy movements (respectively), and then forming a coalition.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23, 2011 @10:43AM (#38470938)

    but I don't think the Tea Party is a good fit.

    You don't think? With all their "life begins at conception!" crap? All their "Marriage is between a man and a woman!" crap? All their "Islam is an enemy of the United States!" crap? All their "The United States is a Christian Nation!" crap? All their "Education is liberal indoctrination!" crap?

    Fact is, the Tea Party showed their true colors with the debt showdown. They were more than happy to force this nation off the cliff just so they could score points on Obama, and while I admit that I'm pretty fucking disappointed with all the promises he reneged on, it's not him and his party that are willing to let the country self-destruct so they can stand on principle. That stupid fucking Grover Norquist pledge has all the Tea Party Republicans more worried about a promise they made to some fucking lobbyist slimeball than the good of their own constituency. At least the Democrat's are willing to negotiate, you know, like a sane person would. The Tea Party Republicans would rather let their house burn down than pay a fireman an decent wage, if said fireman is a "public employee" and thus persona non grata.

    Believe me, I know, I'm here in Wisconsin, AKA, Tea Party central. You want to see what the United States will be like if the Tea Party manages to get control of the White House and Congress? Look at Wisconsin. We lead the fucking nation in job loss, and believe me, it isn't for lack of a tax cut thrown at "Job Creators". Scott Walker took 900 million dollars from the public school system so he could put it into the hands of private road contractors for fuck's sake...that says it all.

    I mean, shit, look how fast the Tea Party turned on Ron Paul, and he's widely recognized as one of the people behind it's creation. And why? Because he doesn't want to spend billions of dollars a month nation building all over the middle east, oh, I'm sorry, "fighting terrorists". Ron Paul deviates from the Tea Party line by one small iota and they're already saying that if he wins the primary in Iowa, just ignore him and look at who comes in 2nd or 3rd. They would rather lose the election to Obama than have a candidate that gives them most of the things they demand, not all.

    No, the Tea Party is a fucking joke and always has been.

Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future. - Niels Bohr

 



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