So I just took yet another stupid political quiz in the hope I might learn something about myself that I didn't already know... Imagine my shock when John Mccain won - ranked 27 - Followed closely by Mitt Romney at 26 - and - GOD - Mike Huckabee at 24. Obama at 16, and Clinton at 13.
Ron Paul ranked 12.
As usual, the thing I disagree with most is the framing of the questions - although this quiz, at least lets you rank the importance of the questions to you. It didn't seem to make a difference in the results.
What blew my mind about the test was that none of my personal top ranked issues were on it - The overwhelming federal and consumer debt - space - separation of church and state - opposing aristocracy - fixing AMT - reforming copyright and patent law... stuff that would have moved Paul way up on the list, and Huckabee completely off of it.
My responses were littered with "don't care's" - don't care about marriage, abortion, the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts made no difference in my outlook but I DO think the estate tax is a good thing if the low cutoff got raised....
Take the education question, for example: "Should teachers receive merit pay?" Answer 1) this is a no brainer - Sure! - But a far more important question is should students get a quality education at a low cost to them? Nobody answers that question, and college students are piling up debt at record rates for degrees of dubious worth....
I oppose federal funding of stem cell research, in fact, federal funding for almost anything that's not in the constitution - but support - applaud, even - California's attempt to make california a hotbed of research for it.
I didn't like any of the choices presented me on the immigration issue. I would abolish the H1B program - which is indentured servitude of the worst kind - AND make it significantly easier for anyone that's qualified to come to America to live, work, and become a citizen. Encouraging immigration is the only way to keep social security solvent... and the nation fresh and young. I simply don't 'get' why America is so focused on ostracising the world. Someday - soon - Americans will be begging for someone, anyone - to come there and support the crushing debt load. The way things are going, I foresee a massive increase in emigration from the US starting, well, now.... why immigration in a nation of immigrants has to be continually discussed in such negative terms is beyond my ken.
Ethanol subsidies are dumb. The price of corn is shooting up everywhere - and people need corn to eat! Burning food for fuel is like burning books for heat. Worse, people are planting corn intead of barley, and that's driving up the price of beer! I wouldn't mind seeing a federally garunteed market - for solar cells powering federal buildings - but that's about it.
As for gun control, I argue that if you live in a rural area, guns, rifles and shotguns at least - are mandatory - in urban areas, far less so - and that's the source of the conflict. If we could disarm the police, I'd support disarming urban areas... since we can't - well, I tend to think that the possibility of gun institutes a little respect on all sides of the law, so we're stuck with them. I have an interesting story to tell about gun control in Australia that I'll tell when I get the time....
I support the death penalty. Not only that, I'd like to see public embarrassment - stocks in the public square - brought back, especially for white collar offenders.
This is turning out to be another election about issues that I don't care about, that ignores the ones I do care about. I'm not surprised. I'd sit this one out if it weren't so important. My only choice is to continue to try and shift the framing of public discourse towards the problems that need to be solved, which, in addition to feeling like pushing jello uphill, is not something I'm willing to spend a whole lot more time on. I have more important things to do, like finding somewhere other than America to live for a while longer.
But Super Tuesday is tomorrow, and I thought I'd share a little overseas 'live from Australia' thinking. Universally, the election in the US is being reported on as a two person race for the Democrats, and a three man one for the Republicans (no Ron Paul at all). Obama is getting the most press at present, with Hillary being pictured as on the defensive.
From meeting with random "people on the street" - Hillary is the only candidate nearly anyone has heard of - more than one person has asked when she is taking office - and Bush universally hated. Obama got a thumbs down from a taxi driver who also had strong opinions on abos, and until a few days ago, it seems, nobody had really heard of Obama. I haven't met anyone that thinks a Republican has a chance...
Me, I hope Obama wins big tomorrow. If a Democrat has to win the next election, it might as well be one that's not interested in refighting vietnam or woodstock. Maybe the Republican race will stay fluid - I hope it does, but who can tell anything from here?