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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.
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  • 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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @08:51AM (#38447074)

    The US left is to the right of the Swedish right...

  • by OzPeter (195038) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @08:53AM (#38447082)

    The whole left/right thing forces people into a false choice - that you are defined by a single point on a linear spectrum. But politics are multi dimensional, with as many dimensions as there are topics for debate. If anything you are defined by the relationship of your grouping of points to that of the main political philosophies (and note I did not say parties)

    2D examples of this are the World's Smallest Political Quiz [] or the Nolan Chart []

  • how I got here (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @11:10AM (#38448614) Homepage

    I'm an American who took one Sociology class at a British university my 4th year of college, where I learned more about the social ramifications of economic policies than in my previous 16 years of education. Not that it was the only influence, but I came out of it a fiscal liberal.

    I've been a social liberal ever since I figured out that I didn't want to marry a girl.

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

    by wytcld (179112) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @12:07PM (#38449480) Homepage

    Agreed it's a false dichotomy, or anyway too simplified as a single, straight-line continuum. Still, there's this to account for: While there are sociopathic liars and paranoid fools distributed across the whole spectrum - left-right, up-down, and front-to-back - it's not an even distribution. If you hold your opinions honestly, and not as a matter of expediency, and are open to contrary evidence and argument, and able to weigh somewhat accurately whether the contrary arguments are themselves honestly presented, then your attitude is roughly-speaking scientific. It is a sociological fact that scientists are, on average, less conventionally religious than most of the population, as most religions somewhat discourage the scientific attitude. It is a political fact that the party on the "right" in America is largely anti-science and pro-religion. The party on the "left" is more of a muddle on both, but is much friendlier to science - often ignoring it but rarely outright condemning it as the "right" party does.

    You might argue that the position of the "right" doesn't really exist. It's a mass of convenient but in the end incoherent arguments that are expeditious for gaining and holding power. None-the-less people sign up for that position, and work very hard through a network of blogs, publications, and "news" casts to form those signed up for it into a unified mass. The discipline within the group, the punishment of those whose thoughts stray from the day's orthodoxy, is amazingly effective. So when someone says they're "on the right" it's usually easy to predict their position on every issue of the day.

    When someone says they're "on the left" though it's much less definite where they'll be on any issue. There are plenty of doctrinaire leftists, but there are also plenty on the left who are much less vessels of received opinion, and more people making their own sense of the world, with their own instincts for justice and compassion rather than merely going with a tribe's hatred of others and love of itself. The "conservative" attitude is basically a reverence for received opinion, the tribe's love of itself, and hatred of others.

    However that's different from being a Burkean conservative. Edmund Burke was best friends with Tom Paine, who - despite claims by the right recently - was about as far to the left as a radical can go. Burke was a bit less radical. His argument was that societies best develop organically, rather than by having rational-seeming new innovations suddenly imposed on them. He and Paine differed on the French Revolution. So a Burkean conservative believes it's better to evolve the institutions we have than suddenly replace them with an engineered new design - no matter what the principles of engineering applied, they doubt that we so well understand our societies as to invent new designs superior to those which have evolved over centuries.

    In that sense, the current American "right" is truly radical on many issues, willing to dismiss the Constitution where it doesn't suit them. Witness for instance Newt's stated policy that a president should ignore the courts if they disagree with him. It can also be argued that at this point in our history respect for science is the conservative position. Certainly the desire to remake America as a theocracy isn't conservative, as that's never been our historical form.

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

    by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @01:47PM (#38450754)
    It's rather disingenuous to say that the right has no coherent position, and it rather clearly delineates your own bias. Both sides are quite schizophrenic and are willing to pillory each other for wiping their asses with the Constitution one minute, and then they try to do it themselves when any legislation that fits their wish list criteria comes up.

    I also have to say that referencing Burke is rather ridiculous. Of course he was a 'reformer' and not a revolutionary like Paine... he was a member of parliament for chrissake! What was he going to do, overthrow himself? ("l'état, c'est moi...") Nevertheless, the Burke/Paine dichotomy, insofar as there is any, does not inform American politics or its political tradition. Thomas Paine was quickly marginalized politically and his lasting legacy is solely for his propaganda (which is unfortunate because the man had a lot more to offer, but the fact that he hated Christianity makes him toxic to study in depth by people who ironically hold him in high regard out of their ignorance of that aspect), and Edmund Burke was never considered by the American body politic at large. That's like saying Atticus had a big effect on Roman politics because he frequently corresponded with Cicero.

    Suffice to say there are a lot more useful archetypes to American political development, Hamiltonian federalists, Jeffersonian "libertarians" (anti-federalist just doesn't resonate anymore), Jacksonian populists (hey, I have a great idea, let's get a lot of guaranteed votes by enfranchising people who were left out of the system for a reason!), etc.
  • Re:I'm conservative (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tom (822) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @03:03PM (#38451582) Homepage Journal

    Why was this modded "funny"?

    There a horrible truth there. Left and right have long since stopped having much of a meaning in most western countries. Here in Germany we've seen the "left" major party passing massively pro-corporate and anti-labour laws, the "left" green party voting for a war, the "right" party declaring the end of nuclear power, both parties trying to tie down the Internet in legal nonsense and basically, you can take any speech by any politician, replace the image with one from the other party and put it on television - and most people wouldn't notice the difference.

  • by Above (100351) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @03:27PM (#38451834)

    There are plenty of folks who are socially liberal and financially conservative, or vice versa. Most people are not a pure liberal or pure conservative across all issues.

    That is in fact one of the largest problems with US politics, with a two party system you have to pick the one that agrees with you on the issues you care most about, and the rest come along as baggage. In other, multi-party states you can have parties focused on single issues, or parties that take liberal stance on some and conservative stance on others providing more accurate representation.

    I found a quick list of issues with some google, it's fun to read and see if you're more liberal or conservative:

  • by tbannist (230135) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @04:38PM (#38452750)

    Actually, the root of socialism is the social contract, which basically says if you want to be part of society you play by society's rules. Some people seem to believe they should get all the benefits of society and none of the costs. We usually call those people "Libertarians". If you don't want to play by society's rules (see paying your taxes) you should formally withdraw from society and leave the country. You might not like the alternatives you have to choose from, but then neither does the guy who has to choose between his life and mortgaging his future to pay his medical bills. It's interesting that most libertarians wouldn't let him get away without paying his bills.

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

    by ChrisMaple (607946) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @04:42PM (#38452780)
    Interesting quiz, but there are serious problems. I am deeply right-libertarian, but the results showed me as a smidgen into the left-authoritarian range. There are too many false assumptions and false alternatives: How can I answer about the goals of globalization when globalization is, or should be, a thing without goals? How can I answer a question about allowing marriage without concern about sex when I consider marriage to not be in the proper domain of government? How can I respond to the question about the superiority of some race or another when I know that there are some characteristic differences between races, some of which are advantages, some of which are disadvantages, and some of which can be either depending upon the situation (and what does that have to do with politics?) I'd say about 3/4 of the questions were seriously flawed.
  • by rwa2 (4391) * on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @04:58PM (#38453002) Homepage Journal

    Leftists are against the rich getting richer.

    Rightists are against the poor getting richer.

    Heh, I'd actually go so far as to say the leftists and rightists want the same thing: elimination of poverty. They only differ in the approach: investing in poor people to eliminate poverty, or eliminating poor people to eliminate poverty.

    They both sort of have a point. But right now we pretty much reach some sort of equilibrium where either side doesn't get what it wants.

  • by tumnasgt (1350615) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @05:38PM (#38453500)

    I find this [] particularly amusing, as 8/10 of the states that get the highest ratio of spending to revenue are Republican (for at least 3 of the last 4 presidential elections), while 8/10 of the lowest ratio states are Democratic (of the other two, Colorado was Republican for 3 of the last 4 elections, and Nevada was 2 for each.)

    So actually, Republican states are getting more back from their taxes than they pay, subsidized by Democratic states. In other words, people in the cities see the benefits of higher taxation, despite not getting their fair share, while people in rural regions get more than what they pay for, and still bitch about it.

  • by jc79 (1683494) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @06:00PM (#38453766)

    This kind of poll needs at least one other axis if not more.

    Like this? []

    There is a left/right axis, and a libertarian/authoritarian axis.

    So you can be left/libertarian (Gandhi), or right/libertarian (Friedman), for example.

  • by heinousjay (683506) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @06:27PM (#38454074) Journal

    When a European chastises an American for not taking into consideration "the rest of the world" what the European really means is "Northern Europe."

    It's almost irony.

  • Re:I'm a (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kagetsuki (1620613) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @11:50PM (#38456230)

    Don't worry, I still have to look up what type of tree I'm implementing -after- I implement it. Data structures all sort of gel together after a while.

  • by couchslug (175151) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @03:30PM (#38463078)

    "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."

    That's a popular delusion and when the clueful spout it, a lie.

    The US public are represented effectively by their politicians, in that they don't enforce accountability and toddle off to the ballot box to reinforce the same scumbags every election.

    Failure to aggressively run your own country while falling back on excuses is bullshit.

    Americans barely speak out, while elsewhere in the world people are willing to fucking DIE on the barricades for the same freedoms Americans surrender "for the children" or to "fight scary ragheads".

  • by cartman (18204) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @09:07PM (#38467076) []

    Self-identified conservatives outnumber liberals in the USA by a ratio of about 2:1, and this has been stable for decades. Moderates also outnumber liberals by almost 2:1. People on the liberal end of the spectrum make up only about 20% of the population.

    The USA is a center-right country.

You can fool all the people all of the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough. -- Joseph E. Levine


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