‘I don’t think the common person is getting it’

Today’s jaw-dropping must-read is by Maeve Reston of the Los Angeles Times,Donors arrive at Hamptons fundraisers with advice for Mitt Romney.”

The line of Range Rovers, BMWs, Porsche roadsters and one gleaming cherry red Ferrari began queuing outside of Revlon Chairman Ronald Perelman’s estate off Montauk Highway long before Romney arrived, as campaign aides and staffers in white polo shirts emblazoned with the logo of Perelman’s property — the Creeks — checked off names under tight security.

… A New York City donor a few cars back, who also would not give her name, said Romney needed to do a better job connecting. “I don’t think the common person is getting it,” she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits. “Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.

“We’ve got the message,” she added. “But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.”

Reminds me of something James used to say:

Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts on a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you.

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  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also, generally, folks?

    I boosted the signal for Fred’s donation post but also for the Democrats.

    Obviously noncitizens can’t contribute directly, but I thought I’d do my part by raising awareness of one way to donate.

    EDIT: One thing to note, people? I realize posts near the bottom of the previous page have a tendency to get ignored but please read my previous post if you want to adjust your time display settings to get the exact date and time someone posted instead of “X minutes/days/weeks ago”.

  • aunursa

    I’m not saying anything even close to the things that you guessed I was saying.  And  while Scientology is evil, it’s not a big deal to me.  Someone else introduced Scientology into the discussion, and it’s distracting from the main discussion, so I’ll just leave it at that. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Between the Hollywood millionaires who occasionally spout off nonsense
    about Scientology being AWESOME and the old money billionaires who
    occasionally spout off nonsense about how we should all just accept our
    place under our betters, I know which one I can ignore with less
    irritation.

    Considering that such actors usually get a fair chunk of derision anyway, they are definitely a lot more ignorable than out of touch gazillionaires who can say with a straight face that the little people are just too stupid to figure out for themselves how they want to vote.

    And to think Republicans project onto “thuh egghead librulls” the idea that we’re all elitist latte-sipping jerkwads who think average people are too stupid!

    News flash:

    It’s not that we think they’re “stupid”, it’s that we think they’ve been purposely given the wrong kind of information by the likes of Fox News (and even other mainstream media outlets when the goal is media exposure rather than factual accuracy).

  • aunursa

    Shay Guy @ 8:46: How you measure “heavy condescension” escapes me.  I find that I am much less condescending toward others than others are toward me.  A small percentage of my comments could be considered condescending by a reasonable person.  I find that there are posters who find it difficult to respond to my comments without personally attacking me as ignorant, stupid, evil, etc.  I have a high tolerance level for insults, but I never claimed to be perfect.  So I reject your conclusion that “they’ve extended the same courtesy to you.”

    I don’t understand what you mean by “dancing game” or how I’m being less than honest and straightforward.  Oftentimes I don’t give my personal opinion, but others infer it from my quotes and comments.  Is that what you mean by “forthrightness”?  Or is it that I don’t give a straight answer to a direct (and not loaded) question 100% of the time?  Or something else?

  • aunursa

    Tonio @ 8:48: Your opinions are duly noted.

  • aunursa

    EllieMurasaki @ 9:03: Correct.  It’s still a loaded question.

    If you have previously beaten your wife, and someone asks you, “Have you stopped beating your wife?”, the assumption is correct — but it’s still a loaded question.  A question is loaded based on the assumption, regardless of whether or not the assumption is correct.

    If I am asked a loaded question and I hold the assumption, I may answer the question (and I may or may not point out the assumption.)  If I am asked a loaded question and I don’t hold the assumption, I’ll point out that the question is loaded and a loaded question is a logical fallacy.  The question is pointless without first proving the validity of the assumption.  And since it’s not my responsibility to prove someone else’s assumptions, I have no further use for the loaded question.

  • aunursa

    it’s that we think they’ve been purposely given the wrong kind of information by the likes of Fox News (and even other mainstream media outlets when the goal is media exposure rather than factual accuracy).

    You’re certainly welcome to complain about wrong kind of information broadcast by Fox News and other media.  You’re certainly welcome to refuse to read, watch, or listen to any news source that routinely lies to you, provides you with the wrong kind of information, or offers stories that you don’t want to hear.  Both liberals and conservatives have established media watchdog groups that read every column and watch every minute in order to pont out when a media outless fails to dot a “i”, cross a “t”, or displays even a hint of bias against their side or for the opposition.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    Now imagine I call the second of those philosophies “extreme right wing”. Is that really a coherent position?

    It’s an ‘extremely right wing’ position for that country (or at least that country’s main body politic – there are probably some libertarians hiding in the wings, being blissfully ignored by the populace at large).  So you could say Obama is ‘far left’ for an American politican (you’d still be wrong… there are significantly more extreme positions) with him still being left wing to the world at large.  Just as you might by the lightest-haired person in the room somewhere in China, and the darkest-haired person in the room in say, Sweden.

    The issue is one of equivocation, with equating ‘left wing in America’ with ‘left wing worldwide’…

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino
  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Addendum: The Dems would get a LOT of traction if they were willing to underscore that they endorse a 1960s style tax system with a zero rate threshold akin to the reforms introduced in the 1970s. To put that in perspective, the first $10,000 would be 0%, and anybody making up to $40,000 a year would be paying 15%, and then gradually rising to 70% on incomes well in excess of a million dollars.

  • arcseconds

    OK, this business about relative political spectra.

    Yes, different countries and different time periods have different spectra.  So describing Obama as ‘left’ in the context of the USA isn’t exactly wrong.

    However, it certainly does create the impression that he’s ‘objectively left’ when everyone (including the media) says he’s left without qualification.    This perhaps wouldn’t matter if everyone kept in mind the relativity involved here, but they don’t — look at how people describe Obama as ‘extreme left’ and even ‘socialist’.   People generally aren’t all that well-informed about even politics in their own country, let alone anywhere else, so it’d be very surprising if they were really aware of what saying ‘Obama is Left’ is really saying about him, especially as they get no help about this from the media or general political discourse.

    Furthermore, this manner of speech creates the impression that there’s an envelope of reasonability, defined by the left and the right parties of your country, and beyond those boundaries there are the crazy extremists.   Futhermore, furthermore, it creates the impression that this envelope stays static over time.

    (from that point, it’s easy to describe your opponent as an ‘extremist’, because he’s only one step removed from extremists pretty much by definition.  That’s great – no-one who listens to you will now listen to him any more. )

    Plus, of course, there’s the inherent problems with trying to shoe-horn a myriad of possible and real positions into ‘left’ and ‘right’.

    This kills any really meaningful discourse because everyone ends up being completely blinkered to the possibilities, and blind to change over time.   That’s great for the entrenched interests, as the possibility of changing society so that they’re not entrenched anymore can’t even be stated in a way that can be understood.

    I recommend people who want to have an intelligent discussion about political views consult politicalcompass.org.   They try to extend the spectrum metaphor to two dimensions, which isn’t all that great either really but at least it’s an improvement.  They also advocate for an objective positioning, for roughly the reasons I’ve already stated.

    I’m not really sure that objective positioning is really a coherent idea (plus they don’t really tell us how they’re measuring people), but it should be possible to at least include recent history in our political discourse.  Really, ‘Obama is to the right of Nixon’ should be a commonplace.

  • Tonio

    I woul think that truly objective positioning would be based on political philosophies, except that we need some idea of what the contrasting philosophies are. One of my college professors suggested that liberals tend to be optimistic about human nature and conservatives tend to be pessimistic about it, but I don’t know if that captures the real difference.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I woul think that truly objective positioning would be based on political philosophies, except that we need some idea of what the contrasting philosophies are. One of my college professors suggested that liberals tend to be optimistic about human nature and conservatives tend to be pessimistic about it, but I don’t know if that captures the real difference.

    No, it doesn’t. Plus the American use of the word “liberal” confuses things.If you’re talking about economics, I like left and right. The essential difference is the degree to which government is involved in the economy. If you’re talking about social issues, progressive and conservative are more useful.Importantly, economic and social issues are not the same thing, although if you’re poor they’re intricately linked. I know heaps of right wing progressives and a few left wing conservatives.

  • Tonio

     Perhaps my own stance is confusing me, because I don’t see much of a practical distinction between economic and social issues. I tend to look at issues as whether there’s a power imbalance, whether this amounts to an injustice in that instance for people on the low end of the imbalance, and whether government can correct the balance without causing injustice elsewhere. For me, that justifies government regulation of business to protect consumers and employees but doesn’t justify government banning same-sex marriage. I don’t pretend that all my stances on issues are absolutely consistent with this philosophy.

    I don’t know how one would define a “left-wing conservative.” If it’s support of government regulation of business but opposition to same-sex marriage, I don’t know of a political philosophy that would be consistent with both. At least the Log Cabin Republicans and others who appear to be right-wing progressives seem more consistent with opposing government power in general. A big reason I’m  not a libertarian is because that view seems to define one’s metaphorical freedom to swing one’s fist as not ending where another’s metaphorical nose begins.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    If it helps, even the NDP here in BC is a bit more right-wing compared to our Ontarian cousins. When the NDP has been in power here, there’s still been a fair bit of acceptance of ‘law and order’ responses to crime, as well as a tendency to allow user fees and other regressive taxes to play a role in the tax system.

    So you can get what you might call “small s” socialists who don’t mind government intervention in the economy, but also aren’t keen on what might be termed ‘wacky huggy-feely policies’.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I take pains to draw the distinction because, as I’ve described here many times, I have a lot of exposure to people who are social progressives but economically right wing. They are, to a man and woman, people who have a lot of economic privilege themselves so have a blindspot when it comes to the need for governments to play a strong role in providing for the financial wellbeing of the poor.

    I’d say all of the so-described moderate Liberals in Australia fit this mold. Malcolm Turnbull is a great example of a right wing social progressive.

    don’t know how one would define a “left-wing conservative.”

    The classic example (largely outside the US where so many have fucked up ideas about economics, present company excepted) is conservative Catholicism. I know a great many politically active Catholics who are socially conservative (e.g. on gay rights, divorce, abortion) but incredibly strong on labour rights, environmentalism, financial support for the poor, rights-based services for the aged and people with disabilities, and abolitionists on capital punishment.

  • Tonio

    The blind spots that you and Neutrino describe could be driven by self-interest. If the modern Liberals in Australia seek to protect their economic status, the folks in British Columbia could be fearful of their possessions. Not that anyone else is immune to the influence of self-interest, I’m simply looking at exceptions to philosophies that seem obvious.

    In my limited experience with conservative Catholicism, those socially conservative stances have the effect, if implemented, of putting the genders into a hierarchy with men at the top. One can question whether that’s the point of such stances, but either way, it’s saddening that a religion that believes strongly in social justice in all those other areas you named appears to reject it just as strongly where gender identity is concerned.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    The blind spots that you and Neutrino describe could be driven by self-interest.

    Sure. I wonder if there’s also something to the differences in the heterogeneity of people we tend to interact with on the social vs class level.

    By which I mean–evidence shows, in Australia at least, that by and large people tend to associate with people of similar class to themselves. However, I think we probably have less racial segregation than in, for example, the US. The cities in particular are very multicultural, and it would be very unusual to have a school or workforce of decent size that was culturally homogenous. (I can dig up the actual stats later if anyone’s interested). So your average upper middle class progressive Liberal (who tends to be a city dweller) is likely to have a racially diverse peer group; and of course diversity of sexualities goes across all social classes.

    Thinking of the socially progressive Liberals I know personally, they are well acquainted with the realities of inequalities due to race, gender and sexuality from the experience of their friends, family, peers and themselves. But poverty in the developing world is something they don’t have usually first or second hand experience of.

    I’m thinking aloud at this point and should really go to bed, so…forgive all the glaring holes in my doesn’t-really-count-as-an-argument :)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    folks in British Columbia could be fearful of their possessions.

    It is true that there’s been a spate of home invasions in Vancouver in the last few years, heavily amped up by the media and not helped by the fact that even in the 1990s, the Vancouver PD was criticized for poor response times to robbery alerts.

  • arcseconds

    What Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart describes as ‘conservative Catholicism’ is also the view endorsed by the Vatican, as far as I understand the matter.

    As a practical example of how this works in practice, consider the ‘corporatist’ (that’s the term used in the literature (well, it’s the one I remember, the terminology IIRC isn’t consistent)  not my term, and yes it is confusing) systems of places like France and Germany.  Not so much now, as they’ve tended to become more socially progressive over time (and of late have been drifting economically rightward), but when they were originally set up.

    The corporatist system involves large government involvement in the economy, but in support of a socially conservative blueprint.   The idea is essentially that the building blocks of society are nuclear families (and not individuals) and the family is integrated into society by the father (of course they’re hetero, married couples with kids in this picture), and the mother stays at home and raises the kids.

    So you have a system of social insurance, underpinned by the government, with income protection in the case of sickness and unemployment, coupled with generous child welfare (Germany is particularly famous for this).    It’s all designed to keep people comfortable and shield them from risk, but it’s also designed to keep them where they are.

  • Tonio

     That sounds paternalistic, which might be the whole point. At the least, it presumes that the government decides what is best for citizens. That’s the opposite of my concept of government, which is more like a compulsory membership corporation.

    The “building blocks of society are nuclear families” idea is a crock of shit. As you noted, it defines those families with men holding all the power. This model of the family doesn’t benefit society, it just benefits men at the expense of women and treats children as fatherly property.

    Freud once claimed that “anatomy is destiny” in terms of personality traits. One of my beefs with Catholicism is that it apples the same concept to societal roles.  In practice, gender roles are usually defined in ways that give men more freedom and power and women less of these, with women who don’t seek motherhood condemned as selfish or irrational. A person’s genitalia should not determine the person’s role in life or society.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    I have a lot of exposure to people who are social progressives but economically right wing. They are, to a man and woman, people who have a lot of economic privilege themselves so have a blindspot when it comes to the need for governments to play a strong role in providing for the financial wellbeing of the poor.

    *raises hand* Yep, that’d be me. Getting more financially left-wing by the day, and probably going to vote for the Greens this time around, but, yeah, my most natural ally in parliament would be Malcolm Turnbull.

    As you say, we tend to have a very non-segregated racial mix over here (with some exceptions – I’ve rarely encountered any Indigenous People), but little cross-economic mixing. Which means that I’ve started learning about the lives of poor Westerners fairly late in life – mostly from this blog.

  • EllieMurasaki

    liberals tend to be optimistic about human nature and conservatives tend to be pessimistic about it

    False. Conservatives are optimistic enough about human nature to think employers will do right by their employees and everyone will give enough to private charity to make sure no need goes unmet. Liberals compare that belief to the facts and laugh their asses off.

  • Lori

     

    Conservatives are optimistic enough about human nature to think
    employers will do right by their employees and everyone will give enough
    to private charity to make sure no need goes unmet. 

    AFAICT most of them don’t actually believe this. They know perfectly well that it won’t really happen. They just don’t want to pay taxes and they like the idea of expanding church power so they talk a lot about “responsibility” while knowing full well that most people aren’t going to live up that “responsibility”.

    I don’t think you can really characterize either Liberals or Conservatives as optimistic or pessimistic about human nature. I think they’re both, they’re just optimistic and pessimistic about different things.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Conservatives, on balance, hold that most humans are worthless, undeserving scum, who should be trusted to take care of themselves with no outside help and no regulations impinging on their decisions.

    Contrariwise, Liberals tend to believe that humans are all fundamentally worthwhile and deserving, and can not be trusted to act correctly without the law constraining them to stay on the straight and narrow.

    (No, not really.)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Conservatives, on balance, hold that most humans are worthless,
    undeserving scum, who should be trusted to take care of themselves with
    no outside help and no regulations impinging on their decisions.

    How amusing that in practice, the second half of the sentence should actually read, ‘and so laws are passed which reinforce hierarchical ‘daddy knows best’ lines of authority replicated fractally throughout society from the nuclear family all the way to the government itself. President knows best, and will thus enforce all these strict laws. God knows best, so we’ll support churches we deem appropriate with tax dollars, too.’

  • Tricksterson

    Optmism is, from what I’ve heard a much more American conservative trait than it is an English, much less European conservative trait.

  • Tricksterson

    Re: the political compass I found it amusing that A:  They put bama and Romney just about side by side and B: Pretty much diametrically opposite from where the right envisions him and where the left would like him to be.

  • aunursa

    I took the politicalcompass.org test.  I didn’t like most of the questions.  So many of them were poorly worded, and any answer I would give would be a distortion of my true opinion.  There were several questions to which I was thinking, “It’s so much more complicated.”

    So I don’t put much value in the chart showing the alleged positions of various political leaders on the political compass.

  • arcseconds

     I’m not really endorsing the test, I’m more recommending the site as reading material.

    And I’m not wholeheartedly endorsing it, but most
    of what they say strikes me as moving in the right direction.

    Sorry, I wasn’t clear enough on that.

    Also, they don’t determine the position of politicians by having them take the
    test, but by analysing what they do, which has the potential to be far
    more accurate (and they claim it is in fact
    more accurate
    ).    They won’t publish how they do this, though, which is annoying.

    Interestingly, they also state that when politicans have taken the test, they tend to respond according to the prevailing electoral mood,  which is different to how they actually act.

    Obviously a ‘compass’ (it’s not really a compass, because a compass is just a direction, it’s really a cartesian plane (not even polar coordinates!)) is still a massive simplification.  

    As an example, there are a number of people around who believe pretty strongly in the free market in general, so want low taxes and that sort of thing, but are strongly in favour of government intervention on environmental matters (because they realise the necessity of internalizing the externalities).    Clearly the compass is absolutely unable to reflect this, and a determination of the ‘leftness’ of their position would at best reflect the average of their general economic liberalism with their environmental interventionism (and how would you weight such an average?)

    However, I will offer a limited defense of the test.   Given it’s a crude model, and given that they want a test they can give to practically anyone, of course it’s not going to be big on the sophistication and subtlety of your position.   It’s got no way of reflecting that in the outcome, and designing a test that takes that into account would be difficult and probably pointless – kind of getting into the ‘measure with a micrometer, mark with a crayon, cut with an axe’  territory.

    They actually deal with this in the FAQ.  You’re supposed to answer pretty intuitively and reflexively.  If you really can’t decide, just pick one, but you’ll probably have some kind of tendency, and that’s what it’s recording.    It’s akin to a personality test such as Myers-Briggs: a pretty rough-and-ready shoehorning of you into some ready-made boxes, but (hopefully) based on tendencies you really do have, as displayed in your answers to the little test they give you.

    Also, most people I’ve ever talked with about this do in fact largely agree with their position on the compass (give or take – they really ought to put an error region on it!).    So there’s ancedotal evidence that it works about as well as can be expected.   Do you disagree about where it puts you on the compass? If so, I’ll mark you down in the small category of ‘test failures’.   It’d be interesting to know where it put you, and where you think you ought to be, and why.

  • aunursa

    It identified me as close to center slightly in the libertarian, right  quadrant.  Based on where the test positions various American politians, I don’t know what the terms libertarian, authoritarian, left, and right mean in the context of the chart.  (I know what those terms mean in the course of politics in general, but the placement of various leaders on the chart indicates something different.)  Certain issues that would identify authoritarian versus libertarian tendencies were not asked.  (For example, some of the questions asked about an issue in which the mainstream liberal would display a libertarian tendency, but issues in which the mainstream conservative would display a libertarian tendency were not addressed.)  So again, I don’t put much value into it.

    But I appreciate the link. 

  • arcseconds

    I’m really having difficulties understanding the nature of your complaint.

    It sounds like you just don’t like the test.  But no-one likes the test: everyone thinks the answers are simplistic and don’t reflect their world-view and want it to ask questions that will categorize people in the way they think the test should be categorizing.   But it has to be simplistic, and it can’t help but irritate some people with what is not asked.  A test that pleases you will annoy someone else in the way the questions have been slanted.

    It’s clear from the FAQ they get a lot of complaints about it.  But it’s interesting to note that everyone thinks the test is biased against them.   If it’s biased against everyone  it’s actually non-biased (it’s just that no-one likes taking it) so that suggests they’re doing something right.

    (I didn’t like taking it either, FWIW.   Although I thought it was biased towards me if anything…)

    The question to ask about the test is the question to ask about any measurement tool: does it work?

    So I’d be more interested in whether you think it categorized you wrongly.

    But you’d have to understand what the directions mean to do that.   They do explain it on the site, so you could try reading.

    I’m sure there are people that the test can’t really cope with, and you may be one of them.   Green freemarketeers would be an example of something that’s easy to describe but can’t be represented in a perspicacious way on the compass.  Note that the fact that such people exist doesn’t automatically prove that the compass is worthless — it’s only necessary for it to cope with most people in a way that’s roughly correct within the framework they lay out.

    (Basically, it’s not all about you)

  • aunursa

    But it has to be simplistic, and it can’t help but irritate some people with what is not asked. A test that pleases you will annoy someone else in the way the questions have been slanted. It’s clear from the FAQ they get a lot of complaints about it. But it’s interesting to note that everyone thinks the test is biased against them. If it’s biased against everyone it’s actually non-biased (it’s just that no-one likes taking it) so that suggests they’re doing something right.

    No.  The most accurate pollsters are able to develop surveys in such as manner as to seriously reduce bias that would otherwise creep in based on the choice of wording.  And to reduce the possible answers to agree and disagree (with “strongly agree” and “strongly disagree”) makes it even worse.

    And I don’t agree with you that if it’s biased against everyone then it’s actually not biased or somehow more accurate.  The more questions that are biased or vague or simplistic, the less accurate the results.  Questions that are biased in favor of the right do not provide balance for questions that are biased in favor of the left.  Such bias doesn’t make the result more accurate or helpful.  A mediocre officiating crew does not make the football game an accurate indication of which team is superior merely because they make bad calls against both teams throughout the contest.

    The writer noted in the FAQs that the questions are actually propositions, and that may be part of the problem.

    I’m not suggesting that “it’s about me” — I don’t know where you got that from.  I’m merely sharing my evaluation of the test. 

  • arcseconds

    I was talking about the bias of the entire test.  You appear to be talking about bias of individual questions.

    The whole test can’t be biased against every position, that’s impossible, and nothing you say suggests otherwise.    It might include questions  biased against every position, but what your remarks suggest is that that would mean it’s just a bad measure – not that it’s biased. 

    Is your complaint that some individual questions are biased,  in the sense that  a centrist will be more likely to pick the left-wing response than the right-wing?

    If so, how do you know what a centrist would answer?

    In particular, how would you know what a centrist would answer according to what they want to define as a centrist?

    Keep in mind that the test is supposed to measure responses according to an objective standard, so that one culture can be compared against another and political drift can be measured over time.  So the designers have determined (presumably fairly carefully determined) a centre.

    So anyone taking the test is unlikely to find the questions ‘balanced’ because they’re unlikely to have the same idea of a centrist as the designers.  

    To put it another way, what’s the difference between these two cases?:

    – question X is biased towards the left
    – the designers idea of a centrist is to the right of my idea of a centrist

    I’m especially interested in how you think the test can be biased when you’re not sure of how the terms are being defined.

    What I mean about ‘it’s not all about you’ is not really about you personally.  I mean that with any such test any individual who has thought about politics and cares about it is going to have the same reactions that you have.

     We all commend ourselves on the subtlety and sophistication (or alternatively utter moral rectitude) of our position, and it’s an insult to have it forced into ‘yes/no’ responses to simplistic propositions, and then – most monstrous of all – have it reduced to two cartesian coördinates.

    Plus, as I said, there are probably numerous people it doesn’t deal well with at all.   You (or anyone) may be one of these, where there’s a complete and utter failure for it to fit with your outlook.   But so long as the number of people who don’t at all fit with the test’s presumptions are small, it can still be a useful measure.

    This is all just to say I think it’s unreasonable for any individual to expect to feel their political outlook meshes completely with the test – that there’s no questions they feel forced into replying something they feel uncomfortable with, and that every question is precisely balanced on where they think the political centre is, or even that they agree with the basic presumptions on the test.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Ho, ho! Romney? A moderate? Pull the other one, please!

    You know, I really would love to know what it is about wealthy “L’etat, c’est moi” types like Romney who have no fucking clue what it’s like for the average person that makes them electable by more than a smidgen of the electorate.

    Because rich people who have an inkling of how out of touch their class is, generally, seem to be few and far between.

  • Nequam

    Posts like this suggest that either you’re reading an alternate-universe version of Slacktivist that’s explicitly Democratic, or you have an arrogant disregard for any point Fred tries to make.

    Why can’t it be both?

    Also, are trolls routinely flagged around here, or no?


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