Thursday, June 18, 2015

I side with no one – yet

I went through the quiz process at I Side With and the results were mixed. I’d expect that so very far away from the US election. Even so, I don’t take this seriously. At all.

You can see for yourself in the graphic at left (click to embiggen) that I “side with” Bernie Sanders 85%, Hillary Clinton 75%, and Martin O’Malley 68%. After that, it’s a huge drop off before the first Republican, Jeb (just don’t say) Bush, at a measly 33%.

There are MAJOR problems with their methodology, as Roger Green pointed out on his post today on the same topic, starting with the false equivalency of positions on various issues. When I took the quiz, I was aware that this could be a problem, so I often chose from the more complicated answers, some of which were frankly bizarre, in my opinion.

I could start by saying it’s unlikely that I’d “agree” with Jeb (just don’t say) Bush even a third of the time, but considering the HUGE leeway in how they evaluate answers from candidates and then compare them to ordinary people, it’s not that surprising. There’s absolutely no way I agree 16% with the Huckster or 13% with Carson, not when I’ve never seen a single issue we agree on (and, the results do say we have “no major issues” where we agree—DUH!).

A second chart of my results (at right—click to embiggen) says who I supposedly agree with more on various issue categories. In this case, it’s all Democrats, of course, so that’s an improvement. But to say I agree more with Martin O’Malley on social issues, for example, seems a wee bit exaggerated to me.

This sort of thing is valuable only as entertainment, a bit like one of those quizzes you see on Facebook, like, “What variety of potato are you?” or whatever. I don’t think any sensible person would take them too seriously.

And yet, it’s certainly true that ideologically I’m closer to Bernie Sanders than I am to Hillary Clinton (as I’ve already said on this blog). In fact, I may be closer than this quiz suggests, considering how wrong it is about me and how much I agree with any of the Republicans, but especially the religious nutjobs on the far right.

More interesting to me was the ideology graph, below:

It is absolutely true that I “support policies that promote social and economic equality”, but that’s not necessarily “strongly left wing”. In fact, many of those who truly are Leftwing would object to me being labelled “strongly left wing” (or, for many of them, even merely “left wing”, truth be known). The point is, this is extremely relative.

What I do find interesting about it, though, is that I’m pretty centrist on the other axis—between Authoritarian and Libertarian (which I don’t think of as opposite points on that axis, but that’s another discussion). I think this does tend to continue to help dispel the myth that everyone on the left is authoritarian (“myth” isn’t quite the right word for what is really merely rightwing propaganda).

This quiz was just a bit of fun, nothing more—certainly nothing meaningful. I took this quiz back in 2012, but I never blogged about it, which probably says a lot about how little I think this merits serious attention.

The reality is that at this point, I side with no one—my support for a Democratic candidate is up for grabs (however, I certainly won’t support any of the announced Republican candidates, end of story). We’ll eventually see how accurate this is—or isn’t.

Still, it IS kind of fun.


rogerogreen said...

It's conceivable that I do agree with Rand Paul a fifth of the time, given my relatively high Libertarian score, but I'm not planning to do an in-depth analysis. I must have taken the test before O'Malley was in the system, but am disinclined to take it again.

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

Yeah, me, too. I'm also not inclined to do the test again (I think I did it only once in 2012, too). I did think it was funny how I saw your post on the same day I was planning on talking about this.