Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I am a Conservative Liberal

I took Time's Predict Your Politics quiz, and I scored 73% conservative, 27% liberal. And I don't really disagree with that. But I probably have a lifetime 95% Democratic voting record, and I think I last voted for a Republican in the 1980s.

I care about a lot of old things and am generally unimpressed by appeals to overthrow old ways and embark on new experiments. But in my time that seems to make me a member of the liberal party. These days the "conservative" party advocates radical experiments in economics (unregulated derivatives trading, breeding billionaires, pauperizing the working class), atmospheric science (massive CO2 emissions), foreign policy (preventative warfare), and so on. The big changes that liberals fought for 50 years ago (equal rights for women and blacks) are now uncontroversial, and some "conservative" policies would represent overthrowing the consensus of the past 50 years and going back to 50 years before that, e.g., teaching divine creation in school. Right now you are more likely to find "progressives" fighting against a proposed change in the law and "conservatives" pressing for it.

I think that our politics have come unmoored from clear notions of what we want to preserve and what we want to change, and that this is the source of much of the irony and confusion that are so rife in our political debates.


Unknown said...

I got 15% conservative, 85% liberal. And I dislike change intensely. For myself, I don't think the conservative-liberal divide has had much to do with old or new since the late eighteenth century, if it ever did. Remember that nationalism, imperialism, bellicosity, and unregulated capitalism were all considered "liberal" and "progressive" for much of the nineteenth century.

Shadow said...

I'm liberal because I have a messy desk and use a "modern" browser?

John said...

The point is supposed to be to guess your politics by asking non-political questions that are correlated with politics. So, yes, desks, pets, and browsers.

Mary Rose said...

91% liberal, 9% conservative. For a dislike of fusion cuisine and my neat desk. Go figure.