Thursday, September 23, 2004

Ideology vs. Personality

The test to which I linked yesterday might help you to determine whether your political ideology is closer to that of George W. Bush or John Kerry. Of course, it often seems that there are many Americans who could care less about ideology or the policy positions that political candidates present. To such voters, it's more important to be able to identify with a candidate on a personal level--to feel like he (or she) is someone who would be fun to watch a NASCAR race with. Others--the partisans--buy their candidates off the rack. (No, I'm not talking about those who vote based on sartorial considerations, although such voters certainly exist.) They don't need to check the size or the style as long as they know which is the Democratic rack and which is the Republican rack. Partisans, in other words, are those who need only a party label to decide. In Texas (back when there were still Democrats in Texas, that is), we called the Democratic version of the partisans "yellow dog Democrats." ("He'd vote for an old yellow dog if it were running on the Democratic ticket.") Of course, we shouldn't disparage the partisans. They're often the ones who know best where their own ideology lies and how it lines up with the two-party system in the United States.

Getting back to the personality factor, here's a test designed to assess whether your personality is consistent with your perception of the personality of Bush or Kerry.

(Thanks to my friend and--long ago--former student Karl Urban for sending the link to me from deep in the heart of Texas.)

One more thing: I did take the Political Compass Test and the results were not surprising. My views are very close to those of Marx--Groucho Marx, that is--who said, "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it and then misapplying the wrong remedies."

I have to quote one more line from Groucho. (How often am I going to find an excuse to quote him in a blog that is purportedly about international relations?) Here it is: "Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others."