January 14, 2014

I am 26% conservative, 74% liberal.

Says Time Magazine's politics calibrator.

I say it out loud: "I am 26% conservative, 74% liberal."

And Meade say: "I'm not surprised."

Me: "Can I quote that? And how would you describe the tone of your voice?"

Meade: "It can be misinterpreted as resignation but that's not accurate. I was reading your post where you're quoting me saying 'I guess I'd really be a fool not to take a close look if Althouse were to, just out of niceness, propose to pity-marry me.'"

Me: "So the tone of your voice was about that?"

Meade: "No, but I was a little annoyed to be interrupted, and also, those questionnaires... I don't believe them." He imitates people saying "A-ha! This proves it!" and bragging about their percentages and so forth, but I couldn't transcribe all that. He thinks the questionnaires are bullshit and prefers the fascinating story of how he and I got together. I agree. 100%.

103 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Does this mean liberals love cats?

Henry said...

Ha! I'm 76% liberal. Beat you by 2%.

I read the 3 paragraphs on "How it Works" and can sum up in one sentence.

"Conservatives are old."

Eric said...

Apparently I'm slightly more liberal than conservative. I thought that was because I lean libertarian, but apparently it's because I use a modern browser.

Ann Althouse said...

I think like cats counted for conservative.

You know, cats don't expect you to love them and don't love being loved. It's not about love for the cat. It's about independence and suiting yourself.

People who want to feel loved and feel hurt by not seeing the love are going to skew toward the dog. That's the liberal.

Meade said...

I disawoof.

"You're 70% conservative, 30% liberal."

JHapp said...

just a bunch of questions created by liberals who think they are clever

tim in vermont said...

I am almost the exact opposite (compliment?) 72% Conservative, 28% liberal.

Jonathon Haidt has written some really good stuff, BTW. A liberal himself, I get the feeling he really does understand conservatives, to a degree.

He said it came from his living with a very conservative family in a foreign culture, and he listened to his anthropology training not to judge, despite the fact that he found them despicable, on an emotional level. But after a while, he began to understand that they really wanted what was best for everybody in their lives, just as he did.

LarsPorsena said...

Only 82% conservative. I would have sworn that I was 99 and 44/100 percent pure conservative before the test.

Kelly said...

I'm 89 percent conservative. My liberal qualities include using a modern browser and enjoying documentaries. Seems kinds of ridiculous.

Brando said...

What an incredibly scientific survey! Clearly cat-loving, fusion-cuisine sampling, Firefox using museum-enthusiasts tend to have the same political leanings and we know what we need to know about them.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

72% conservative, 28% liberal. But, really, what a BS quiz.

The dog/cat thing, for one. "A dog is essentially a slave; a cat is a free citizen," said (I'm quoting from memory) Robert Heinlein. So why are liberals supposed to prefer cats? And how is what browser you use supposed to track your ideological positions? It gave me "liberal" points for using Firefox.

You are, apparently, "conservative" if you think that children should be taught to respect authority. I'm not even a parent, but I can't imagine raising a child without inculcating the idea of parental authority, at least. And apparently "liberalism" has turned into Lennon's "Imagine": If you think it's a good thing that nations exist, you get "conservative" points.

Bleh.

Brando said...

I got 66% conservative, though I can't tell if that's my interest in new cuisines, pride in my country, disdain for Times Square crowds, or preference for dogs that determined it. My views on the role of the economy and general social issues must be irrelevant.

Birches said...

I'm super proud of being a Mexican. That means I like Nations having borders and different cultures. How conservative of me.

MadisonMan said...

I'm only 22% Liberal!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I haven't taken the test, but just based on my membership in the Reality Based community, I'd say I'm like 90% liberal, and only like 20% conservative.

Birches said...

The only reason I came out more conservative than liberal is because I'm very religious. By being religious, that means I'm offended by any use of pornography. I actually wonder how much of this quiz is weighted to that question?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Heh, Brando, those are most of the same answers that showed up on the "liberal" side of my ledger. Again, it makes no sense.

What's the deal with fusion cuisine? I like to cook; when chefs are messing around with new combinations of cuisines and ingredients, I'm curious. I might not have the budget to check out the new fusion restaurant, but I would be interested.

Times Square: Why is it "conservative" to want to go there? I can't think of anything that would interest me less. And isn't it conservatives who are supposed to be infatuated with dead white European males, as opposed to live multi-ethnic American women, preferably wearing nothing but feathers? This question, like the documentary/action film one, seems predicated on the idea that liberals are naturally highbrow, which is utter BS.

CB9 said...

I actually like cats and dogs equally and the way the question is worded there's no way to properly reflect that.

MadisonMan said...

I think it's conservative to want to go to Times Square because it's cheap. That was my reasoning for choosing it over the Met.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

CB9,

Agreed. I answered on the cat side because I have two cats, and no dogs, so really had no choice. But I love dogs.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

MM, it'd be interesting if the survey designers took that into account -- i.e., "If you don't have a lot of spare money, you're more likely to be conservative." Could be.

Bob Ellison said...

I'm 89% conservative according to this ridiculous test.

Why not just ask?

Also, I recommend Professor Tim Groseclose's book.

His survey is longer and better.

Rob said...

No, dogs were the conservative answer. Which means your other conservative responses were few.

Lyssa said...

I match Madison Man - 22% liberal, 78% conservative. The questions seemed based on shallow stereotypes, though.

You are, apparently, "conservative" if you think that children should be taught to respect authority. I'm not even a parent, but I can't imagine raising a child without inculcating the idea of parental authority, at least.

Yeah, I hated that one, too. I got the impression that the author probably doesn't appreciate any difference between "respect" and "blindly follow without question."

TosaGuy said...

So being proud of your country is a conservative quality. Does that mean we no longer have to pretend anymore that liberals do not hate America.

Brian said...

I had the reaction most of you are having, though in a bemused way ("if I, a knuckle-dragging right-winger, suggested that it's 'conservative' to be proud of your country's history...."). But if you read the "how it works" section, there's no theory behind the individual items at all. It's purely descriptive based on survey results.

(88C/12L. I've seen lots and lots of people post results and Kelly, upthread, is the only one who out-reactionaries me. Damnable Firefox!)

Matthew Sablan said...

... There's no choice for "no opinion" on cats/dogs. The test, c'est bogus.

BDNYC said...

Those questions are quite dumb.

madAsHell said...

I saw this same quiz in Cosmopolitan, but they used it to determine your propensity to fake an orgasm.

Matthew Sablan said...

How does "slightly" agreeing with wanting us to be one group mean I wish there were no countries? Firefox is hardly a "modern browser."

... This is stupid.

BDNYC said...

My liberal qualities:

You like fusion cuisine
You use a modern browser
You prefer the Met to Times Square

Matthew Sablan said...

The fusion cuisine question is stupid. I don't know anything but that it is a blend of two cultural dishes? No opinion. What two cultures?

So many of those questions deserved a "no opinion" option.

Ambrose said...

BDNYC: I had the same "liberal" traits - seems odd. I never thought of the Met as a den of lefties.

BDNYC said...

I "slightly agree" that children should learn to respect authority, mainly because I think children are barbarians who need structure and positive role models to guide them to adulthood. But according to this test, that means I have a strong authoritarian impulse and am almost certainly a goose-stepping Republican crypto-Nazi.

tim in vermont said...

MadisonMan, you don't strictly *have* to pay to visit the Metropolitan Museum. If you can resist all of the pressure to make a "donation" anyway.

Magson said...

Well according to this test, I'm 89% conservative, but as others have said -- the answers need to have "no opinion" in many places and are based on extremely shallow stereotypes. I consider myself libertarian and am often in vehement disagreement with "conservatives" so... yeah. Bogus test.

madAsHell said...

The fusion cuisine question is stupid.

I'm pretty sure that anything that falls out of my rear end IS fusion cuisine.

BDNYC said...

Teaching barbarian children to respect authority doesn't foreclose the equally important lesson that one must question authority. It is possible to question someone or something while being respectful.

Do liberals really teach their children to just do what they want no matter what, screw what anyone else says?

Also, I thought it was conservatives were caricatured as a bunch of selfish anarchist assholes who distrust and demean the "one thing that we all belong to"?

Bob Ellison said...

I propose a challenge: let's come up with better questions for such a survey.

Start with:

It's OK to pee in the shower.

Sarah Palin is beautiful.

A wood-chuck, if strongly motivated, could chuck at least a cord of wood per day.

BDNYC said...

Ambrose said...

BDNYC: I had the same "liberal" traits - seems odd. I never thought of the Met as a den of lefties.


If you believe that "liberal" is another word for "cultured" then it makes sense. Tells you something about the test.

Obviously you can only appreciate art if you support ObamaCare and the stimulus.

pm317 said...

Meade is in awe at how he nabbed you from an obscure place as a comments section.

Amexpat said...

l came out the exact opposite, 74% conservative 26% liberal, which proves that the test is invalid as I'm a middle of the road moderate.

My guess is that preferring dogs is conservative as I gave that the strongest preference. Perhaps something to do with loyalty and being trainable.

Meade said...

"I'm only 22% Liberal! "

And you, a Madison man.

Bob Ellison said...

A citizen should be allowed to legally marry anyone, anything, and any number of ones or things that he or she wants to marry, and you have to accept it, or else you're unqualified to take this quiz.

OK, maybe that one won't make the cut. I'm just spit-balling here!

Bob Ellison said...

Chevrolet-lovers are not people to be discussed, described, or consorted with here.

Roses are red.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt saved American from The Great Depression.

Bob Ellison said...

The likelihood of my obsessing on an Althouse post about the difference between conservatives and liberals is extremely high.

Not sure how that one would rate. It might just be a test for mental disease.

Sam L. said...

It's in TIME, so it's bogus. Strangely, the quality of bogus-ness is bogosity and not bogusity.

Michael K said...

Had the questions had a "none of the above" option, my results would probably be different.

Brando said...

Michelle--

I think these sort of survey questions say much more about the person asking the question than they do about the person answering.

If you think arts are for liberals and flashy neon signs, crowds and Olive Garden are for conservatives, you clearly have your mind made up about those two groups. If you think being open minded about new cuisines is for liberals, then you've already decided conservatives don't like to try new things.

Maybe a better survey question would be: "do you think liberals and conservatives can be easily categorized by their personal lifestyle choices, in that open minded cultured people are liberals and harsh unthinking brutes tend to be conservative?" And answering "yes" to that gets you 100% on having a job at Time.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

If you like your liberal, you can keep your liberal.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

BDNYC,

Teaching barbarian children to respect authority doesn't foreclose the equally important lesson that one must question authority. It is possible to question someone or something while being respectful.

Seen on a sign outside a church in Oakland, CA:

"Question Authority, But Raise Your Hand First."

In all seriousness, respecting what's there while pondering what might be improved in it is the ideal.

Henry said...

Lyssa wrote: I match Madison Man - 22% liberal, 78% conservative. The questions seemed based on shallow stereotypes, though.

You are, apparently, "conservative" if you think that children should be taught to respect authority. I'm not even a parent, but I can't imagine raising a child without inculcating the idea of parental authority, at least.

Yeah, I hated that one, too. I got the impression that the author probably doesn't appreciate any difference between "respect" and "blindly follow without question."


Look, the questions are all proxies. They don't mean anything by themselves.

Cats vs Dogs? Urban dwellers are more likely to have small pets. Urban dwellers skew left.

Kids and authority? Parents are more likely to value the importance of teaching kids respect. Single people less so. Single people skew left.

I can come up with any number of questions just like these.

"What donut franchise is your favorite: Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts?"

Dunkin Donuts lovers will skew left.

MarkW said...

The test clearly threw libertarians in with liberals based on questions about sex/tradition/authority/openness to new experiences (where liberals and libertarians are similar). But there were no questions that would have separated the two (questions related to individual autonomy, economics, government scope and power, etc).

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Sam L., it's because "bogosity" is so much cooler to say. There's something in putting the primary accent in a word on a short "u" that's a bit off-putting.

traditionalguy said...

Now I know where Time Magazine got its test questions for Conservative vs. Liberal scale. They are the ones on the the IRS 501(C)(3) application.

Conservative like cats. Rush Limbaugh has a cat. The IRS hates cats.

JHapp said...

Liberals can not acknowledge the existence of docs like 'The Silent Scream'.

Freeman Hunt said...

How about, I don't want any pets, and I will watch whatever movie is likely to be good regardless of genre, and the reason I don't want to go to Times Square because I imagine it being loud, and I think quizzes like this are moronic.

Freeman Hunt said...

is because

Rumpletweezer said...

Nice save, Meade. This is how marriages work.

Freeman Hunt said...

I went to Times Square when I was seventeen. That's half my life ago. I can't remember if it was loud or not, but it must have been.

Freeman Hunt said...

When Christ reigns over the Earth, there are not supposed to be borders and nations. Who knew all the liberals were waiting for the Second Coming.

Strelnikov said...

84/16%.

My cat and my browser make me liberal? Gay, maybe. That I can buy

Michael said...

The quiz betrays the biases of the "magazine." It assumes that a conservative would prefer not to go to a museum or would eschew a documentary in favor of a shoot-em-up. It is the same old thing of very smug people underestimating the "other side." I can assure you I have read more books, been to more museums and listened to more classical music than the dipshits who concocted this game. I can also cast a fly further and more accurately, shoot better, run faster and ski harder not to mention navigate world capitals better and more safely, order food in more than one language and eat fried grasshoppers without gagging.

These lefty fucks are something else.

Illuninati said...

Since the lefties have appropriated the term liberal, it is unclear what the survey means.

Perhaps the survey would be more useful if the included some questions about government and power. Here are some possible questions:
1. Do you think Che Guavara is cool? Would you still support him if you knew he got off by murdering other people?
2. Do you agree that it is OK to break a few eggs to make an omlet when those eggs are other people who don't want to change to fit into a new political system?
3. Do you believe it is OK to use force to make one group of people give up their possessions to support other people?
4. Do you believe human rights come from God or do they come from government or societal consensus?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Michael,

I can assure you I have read more books, been to more museums and listened to more classical music than the dipshits who concocted this game.

Yeah, me too. Especially the books and the classical music.

EMD said...

Ha. I tweaked 3 answers and went from 78% conservative to 66% liberal.

Not even crossing from one side to the other on the answers, but just sliding over one option.

EMD said...

Respect authority, but never be in awe of it.

Carol said...

Who knew FireFox was so cutting edge. After all these years.

Henry said...

The quiz betrays the biases of the "magazine."

You're reading way too much into this. All this is is a game with numbers and political self-identification.

You start with broad-based surveys like this:

1. Do you prefer cats or dogs?
a) Cats
b) Dogs

2. Do you self-identify as a liberal or conservative?
a) Liberal
b) Conservative

Since these kind of surveys are legion, all you have to do to make your random-seeming-questions-political-smell test is grab a bunch of questions that have shown statistical correlation to political leaning.

That's it. It doesn't mean anything.

MadisonMan said...

I went to Times Square when I was seventeen. That's half my life ago. I can't remember if it was loud or not, but it must have been.

Hey, I went when I was 17 too.

But that was a lot longer ago :) I remember reading -- while standing in Times Square -- that Bing Crosby had died. I was also there in May of the following year: 5/6/78. I might even have been there at 12:34 PM!

Rusty said...

Ann. You and I scored the same.
I tend to think that most conservatives are Classic Liberals rather that the knuckle draggers that the left would like to think of us as.

lorentjd said...

Haidt's book, "The Righteous Mind," is one of the best books I've read in the last five years. He's a moral psychologist who is a professor at NYU's Stern School of Business. Brilliant fellow.

mccullough said...

Libertarians don't take quizzes.

tim maguire said...

"You're 32% conservative, 68% liberal."


Most of these questions had multiple possible reasons for particular answers, and not all of those reasons fall on the same side of the aisle.

Sloppy questions made by someone too clever by half who lacked sufficient self-awareness.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Ha! I came out 1 - Althouse, 26% liberal.

But I'm actually libertarian, so no the Time survey does not predict my politics.

What it is measuring is tribal signals. If you identify with Team Blue, you'll be more likely to answer these one way because those answers signal to others that you are Team Blue, and widdershins likewise for Team Red.

Thorley Winston said...

Libertarians don't take quizzes.

Just the really small ones ;)


I came out 86% conservative and 14% liberal (I have a messy desk and like cats better than dogs).


As far as taste in movies, I generally like thrillers and drama but a good action movie will do in a pinch (especially if it has swords, lasers or helicopters). The problem with “documentaries” is that so many of them are thinly veiled political screeds (which may be why progressives seem to like them more than conservatives).


Titus said...

I was 68% conservative.

tits.

Revenant said...

These sorts of tests are always silly, but this one is sillier than most.

Ann Althouse said...

"No, dogs were the conservative answer. Which means your other conservative responses were few."

I said I was somewhat proud of America's history and that I strongly disagreed with having one giant world country. I somewhat agreed with teaching kids to respect authority.

Can't remember all the questions.

John said...

"Liberal" comes from the latin "liber" which also gives us "liberate" and "liberty"

Liberal, in Latin translates to "free man."

As Hayek said 75 years ago in his intro to the first edition of Road to Serfdom, it has been hijacked to mean almost the exact opposite.

He was proud to call himself a liberal in the classic sense. Milton Friedman once got the WSJ to print a retraction after they called him a conservative. They then corrected it to liberal.

I am happy to be identify as a liberal as well. (Or libertarian or minarchist if you prefer)

I believe the only legitimate function of government is the protection of individual liberty (excuse the redundancy)

I am most decidedly NOT a conservative.

John Henry

Martin said...

I also got 75% liberal, 25% conservative, which surprises me because I always thought that I was at least a little more conservative than Ann, but now I know I'm 1% more liberal than she.

MadisonMan said...

Can't remember all the questions.

I hope that anyone reading pron in the privacy of their own home is at least using a modern browser, and has a cat on their lap.

I think that makes them Conservative.

traditionalguy said...

I am so embarrased, but I was 57-43 Liberal.

It was the damn cat and the Safari browser. But I just keep them around to make Phd's accept me as semi-civilized. Honest it's just a disguise.

damikesc said...

Most of these surveys seem to confuse "What Liberals Claim to Support" and "What Liberals ACTUALLY Support".

Liberals LOVE free speech. However, they also pass draconian speech codes on campus and such absurd laws on harassment that saying anything is an invitation to lawsuits.

Liberals LOVE the free exchange of ideas. They also seek to ostracize from public life anybody they disagree with and attempt to stifle any dissent on issues they hold dear.

Liberals HATE blacklisting people. Unless they criticize gays or think global warming alarmism is silly. Then, they happily will stomp on you.

Liberals LOVE individual freedom. As long as it doesn't involve smoking, drinking, eating, raising your kids, etc.

Liberals LOVE privacy. As long as it is only dealing with abortion. Everything else is fair game. Leaking government records on a guy who spoke against Obama (Joe the Plumber), using the IRS to attack citizen groups, etc. All fair game.

Liberals LOVE the little guy. Until he/she does something that opposes the government. Then prepare for audits aplenty.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think the most amazing result was Titus at 68% conservative. I scored like a number above - 78/22 conservative. Probably would have been rated a Neanderthal if I weren't using Chrome, Firefox, and a couple of others. Thing that bugged me though is that the only subjects where I showed strong agreement were the questions on American history and strong borders (ok - picked Chrome over Firefox). Every other question was just barely one way or another.

I think though that there may be more to the dog/cat question than that cats work better in an urban environment (and don't last outside very well in rural settings unless feral - parents had a cat eaten by coyotes soon after moving to the mountains, and the successors were declawed and kept indoors).

Another difference is that dogs tend to be far more loyal, while cats have never really been domesticated. They tend to do their own thing, only dealing with humans when they want something from us. Dogs, to a much greater extent, can be depended upon. A lot of progressives, and seem more narcissistic, just like their cats.

ALP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

79% liberal, 21% conservative. I thought I'd be far more liberal. Maybe I should've preferred cats.

JackOfVA said...

Another mirror image of AA here, 24% liberal, 76% conservative.

I describe my political viewpoint as non-crazy libertarian. Ron Paul has it mostly right, but not in the area of what we need to do to defend ourselves.

But, as has been said, the questions demonstrate a New York City liberal viewpoint. My preference in museums is more towards science and natural history, but art museums are OK and far preferable as places to visit than Times Square. Likewise, watching any movie is a huge waste of time.

And as far as New York City goes, I've been there more times than I care to remember and have no desire to set foot within the state of New York - let alone NYC - ever again.

B said...

This would make a lot more sense if the original premise were correct. Widdershins* of conservative is progressive, not liberal. Widdershins of liberal is moderate. I suspect this skewing of conservative/progressive into conservative/liberal over the last 10 or so years is a purposeful attempt by the progressive left to deceive moderates into buying into a false dichotomy. Vilify conservatives on specific issues to the point where enough moderates in either party and in the independent ranks aren't comfortable supporting the overall conservative philosophy and they forget to make the distinction between liberal and progressive.

* Thanks to Gabriel Hanna for a word I haven't seen in a good while.

Foobarista said...

72% con, probably because I "am proud of my country's history", and think national borders are a good thing (never was a fan of John Lennon's "Imagine" song) - with down-the-middle responses on everything else.

And I'm a "dog person".

Gabriel Hanna said...

@B: I prefer widdershins/sunwise to counterclockwise/clockwise on grounds tradition, euphony, efficiency, and etymology.

Since I have to be understood by other people, I rarely get to use them in speech.

Michael said...

Decided to take test again, knowing the bias of the testers and scored 99% conservative. No "incorrect" answers.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

OK. Took test again, this time as a liberal. Got score of 100%. So, if you get all the conservative answers correct uou get 99%. If you ger all the liberal answers right you get 100%.

Why am I not surprised.

Saint Croix said...

The dog/cat thing is interesting!

Dogs are way, way, way smarter than cats. And if they're not, they will be. Dogs realize the importance of communication and spend a lot of time trying to communicate with people and learn our language.

Communication is vital for learning and increasing intelligence. If dogs aren't smarter than cats now (ha!) they certainly will be in 10,000 years. I say dog will pass dolphin and gorilla in intelligence.

Dogs are also friendly and open. You'd think they would be identified as "liberal" since liberals like to think of themselves as intelligent, communicative, friendly and open. (And love to learn foreign languages!) Those are all dog-like qualities.

Dogs might be "conservative" because many dogs are outside dogs, and liberals congregate in big cities where cat is a more common pet.

hombre said...

'I say it out loud: "I am 26% conservative, 74% liberal."'

In the event this is accurate, it is probable that the conservative part is from the neck up.

hombre said...

'I say it out loud: "I am 26% conservative, 74% liberal."'

In the event this is accurate, it is probable that the conservative part is from the neck up.

Tom said...

What if I like documentaries about George S. Patton and how we won the Cold War? What about NFL Films? There's a lot of action in those documentaries. I call bull hockey!

Ken Mitchell said...

This poll rates me at 73% liberal. I rate this poll as 100% bull^*t. I'm strongly LIBERTARIAN, and detest the current crop of "liberals" intensely.

Alex said...

You're 34% conservative, 66% liberal.

Audacity17 said...

I used Google before most of my friends and family were even on the internet, and I'm a rock ribbed conservative. I also greatly prefer cats to dogs. So take this test with a big grains of salt.

Kirk Parker said...

Michael,

You Are A Rounding Error.

Kirk Parker said...

Sam,

" Strangely, the quality of bogus-ness is bogosity and not bogusity. "

Yes, it's a self-bogusing pair of cognates.



JackOfVA,

"Likewise, watching any movie is a huge waste of time. "

Word.

Well, except for The Gods Must Be Crazy. And Hot Shots Part Deux.

Oh, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

And...