Thursday, September 22, 2005

Test Your Political Persuasion

Here's a fairly interesting test to determine where you stand in the political spectrum. No surprise in this quarter, I rated out as a "Socialist" according to the testing parameters. (Social Liberal 80% permissive, Economic Liberal 3% permissive.) Where are you on the grid?

While I find this sort of thing rather amusing, I wonder what it really says about the state of politics in this country. Thanks in part to the Reagan Revolution, the Gingrich Contract with America, the rise of Limbaugh-esque right wing talk radio and the Christian Coalition and their ilk, this country has skewed awfully hard right over the past 20 years or so. In this wacky climate, where positions that were once considered only the province of lunatic fringe, John Birch Society-types are now mainstream, it's not hard to imagine that even moderately left-wing folks are considered "socialists." When right-wing pundits like lesser-light Debra J. Saunders refers to the Clintons as "ultra-liberals," what is she really saying? She's inadvertently admitting that the national dialogue is now weighted so heavily in the favor of extremist Republicans that millions of otherwise intelligent people will see that phrase and, without even questioning it, nod in agreement.

(But really -- "ultra-liberal"? Defense of Marriage, NAFTA, Welfare Reform, Don't Ask, Don't Tell, continuing support for the Iraq war... these are not even moderately liberal positions, much less "ultra-liberal." It's the same mindset that blithely assumes that the media is controlled by "liberal" forces, when the reality of Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times and even the New York Times -- which blatantly beat the drums for the administration's plan to invade Iraq -- easily puts the lie to that canard.)

The good news about our current ship of state listing so hard a-starboard is that the pendulum always, always swings back in the other direction eventually. Some folks think that liberalism is dead as a force in this country; those people obviously have short attention spans, and don't know much about history.

(Many thanks to my pal FryGirl for pointing me in the direction of that test.)
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