Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Pew Center survey

I’ve just started reading this survey report, which is (inadequately, I think) summarized in this article. The allegedly big take-away from the survey is that both parties are more complicated than the simple "red vs. blue" storyline would have it.

Here are a few interesting snippets from the executive summary:

Republicans also have much in common beyond their overwhelming support for a muscular foreign policy and broad agreement on social issues. Voters inclined toward the Republican Party are distinguished from Democrats by their personal optimism and belief in the power of the individual. While some voting blocs on the right are as financially stressed as poorer Democrats, Republicans in this situation tend to be more hopeful and positive in their outlook than their more fatalistic counterparts in the Democratic Party.

Clearly, there is more than one kind of conservative. The Republican groups find common ground on cultural values, but opinions on the role of government, a defining feature of conservative philosophy for decades, are now among the most divisive for the GOP.

While the Republican Party is divided over government’s role, the Democrats are divided by social and personal values. Most Liberals live in a world apart from Disadvantaged Democrats and Conservative Democrats.

I took the
typology questionnaire, which is supposed to help me identify myself. Turns out I’m an "Enterpriser"; this "extremely partisan Republican group’s politics are driven by a belief in the free enterprise system and social values that reflect a conservative agenda. Enterprisers are also the strongest backers of an assertive foreign policy, which includes nearly unanimous support for the war in Iraq and strong support for such anti-terrorism efforts as the Patriot Act." My "defining values" are:

Assertive on foreign policy and patriotic; anti-regulation and pro-business; very little support for government help to the poor; strong belief that individuals are responsible for their own well being. Conservative on social issues such as gay marriage, but not much more religious than the nation as a whole. Very satisfied with personal financial situation.

I guess I didn’t know that my satisfaction with my financial situation was a "value," and, since, as my wife is fond of saying, I’m not a real doctor, I’m not sure that "very satisfied" describes me in that respect anyway. Gentle readers, what do you think? Am I rightly described as an "enterpriser," or am I a "social conservative," "pro-government conservative," "upbeat," "disaffected," "bystander," "liberal," "disadvantaged Democrat," or "conservative Democrat"? This LAT
"Info Box" might help a little. And you should take the questionnaire yourselves, to see how satisfied you are with the distinctions the Pew Center asks you to make.

Discussions - 6 Comments

"Non-contributing/Non-productive Enterpriser"? "Neo-con Colonial Apologist" with hints of "Armchair Warfare Enthusiast"?

C’mon Kurczyk, the commie smears of yester-year are so much more poetic than your lame insinuations. How about "reactionary running dog" or "capitalist bootlick?" Dr Schramm is a student of history, he would be much more likely to appreciate those. As a reactionary hyena and enemy of the people myself, I routinely self- identify as a "wrecker," and a "right deviationist." I am also, in Khmer Rouge terminology, a proud vector of "evil microbes."

What I am not, is someone who would take an open and friendly posting from a professor of political science as an opportunity to take a bunch of cheap shots at him. Were I to do that, I would be a "Kurczyk."

I took the quiz twice. One (sort of ) following my own values -- you’ll understand if you read the questions and one as a liberal mindset.

One notable difference I found was as an "Enterpriser," it clearly noted, "The Fox News Channel is their primary source of news (46% cite it as a main source)." My Liberal result did not list a primary news source by name.

Also, it’s interesting to note those who mark the survey as a Liberal would (and I mean, far-Left thinking), declare their political affiliation as "Independent/No preference" 40% of the time. Enterprisers declare as Independent/no preference 18% of the time. Considering the hyper partisanship in my answers as a purported liberal, I’d find it highly unlikely "Independent/No Preference" would be acceptable come November.

Finally, it’s a stretch to consider me an "extremely partisan Republican," considering the Republcans barely hold my vote (would be Libertarian if they weren’t so out of touch in terms of foreign policy). I’m on the fence with gay marriage, strongly consider Bush’s immigration policy a mess, think the War on Drugs should be re-thought, etc. Yet, I’m an "extremely partisan Republican."


I’m told that I’m Disaffected and don’t follow the news. Maybe reading blogs all day constitutes not following news. I don’t know, and don’t care to find out. I think I’ll go bitch and moan in a corner now.

It seems that these questionnaires don’t deal with us superior-deep-think-nuanced types very well.

Many of the questions were absurd and very poorly worded. For example, there was no distinction between legal immigration and illegal immigration, which just might influence how you respond.

Most questions were little more than bumper sticker sloganeering.

PJ, I couldn’t agree more. I counted five questions that I could not answer at all because they were poorly constructed straw man arguments.

For example, question nos. 3 and 4 were pure BS. I don’t think poor people have it easy in our society (or any other), but the only alternative was to blame the problem on the government not spending enough money. How about a choice saying poor people have it difficult because excessive regulation discourages investment in poor neighborhoods? Or because the public school system is in poor neighborhoods is crap and parents don’t have the option of going to private school if they can’t afford it?

Bottom line, its pretty clear from the wording of these questions that the writer of this poll sees all conservatives/libertarians as selfish bastards and assumes that the only way to help the poor is to spend more money on government programs. And given its poor wording, I don’t see what value it can possibly have for weighing the views of our electorate.

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