I took a political quiz today just to see what would happen. It was one of those that puts you on a Nolan chart at the end. It said I was center-left. I’ll wait for you to finish laughing.
Here’s my score, graphed:
This was amusing to me but not surprising once I’d given some thought to how the result is calculated: by averaging everything out.
To be clear: I do think of myself as a right-leaning centrist for essentially that same reason. But let’s unpack that anyway. These days there are only a few political issues I feel very strongly about without reservation:
- I am pretty firmly opposed to legal abortion.
- I am supportive of gun rights.
- I think immigration should be more restricted and more tightly enforced than it currently is.
There are some issues I feel strongly about, with caveats:
- I want drugs legalized, but only if we also make our dominant popular culture a lot more anti-drug and generally G-rated than it already is.
- Legalizing gay marriage was a mistake, but we should eliminate more barriers to gay civil unions, adoptions, hospital visitation, etc.
- I am broadly supportive of public schools and consider them a point of civic pride, but I think there is a lot of reform needed, such as less money spent on pseudo-academic programs and sports, and more spent on lunch and attracting better teachers (of actual important subjects). I’m not sure whether universities should be further privatized or further publicly subsidized.
- No-fault divorce was probably a mistake, but I’m not too familiar with the specifics.
- I’m generally pretty non-interventionist in terms of foreign policy, but I think there are also a lot of tough calls and a lot of situations where I could envision my viewpoint potentially changing if I knew more of the facts.
- Euthanasia seems like a bad thing to legalize, but I’m not very familiar with all the arguments for and against.
Of my bulleted views above, I only count two (drugs and schools) as decidedly left-wing, and one as libertarian (non-interventionism). I’m basically totally unsure where I stand on stuff like…
- Trade policy;
- Welfare (not counting speculative proposals like universal basic income, which I oppose);
- Various market regulations;
- Funding for arts and public media;
- Military spending;
- The draft;
- Healthcare policy;
- Policies having to do with the internet, phones, and other similar technologies.
But somehow when you average it all up it puts me at center-left. Funny how that works.
Not all of these issues were discussed in the quiz I took, by the way, and I’m probably leaving out some that were. These are just various issues I’m thinking of off the top of my head that illustrate my all-over-the-place-ness. If I think of more later I’ll add them in edits, if I remember to.