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Personal politics

After seeing a couple of friends' results on this test, I decided to take a stab at it myself:
The Ultimate Politics Survey:
Describe your stance on:

Abortion: Against. No exceptions.

Affirmative Action: Against. As a minority, I find it demeaning and insulting.

Age of Consent: There ought to be one, yes.

Animal Testing: Pro.

Death Penalty: Pro, but it should be reserved for only the most heinous criminals. For them, we shoudl turn the voltage down so they cook slowly.

Downloading Music/Movies: Against. I don't like the DMCA, but I do see the point of view of the creators and distributors, who surely are owed something for their work.

Drug Decriminalization: For it with some drugs (marijuana), deathly against it with others (cocaine, meth).

Factory Farming: You want inexpensive food, it ain't going to come off a bunch of organic family farms. We need to work on the waste disposal technology so we can still eat cheap chicken and pork without creating huge rural stench zones.

Free Trade: Yes.

Funding of Arts: Get the government out of the art business. There hasn't been any decent art created with government funds since Michaelangelo finished the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Gay Marriage: Against. Civil unions are okay by me, since they merely make a one-stop process out of what can be done legally now, but marriage is different. Wasn't monkeying with divorce a big enough mistake?

Gun Control: Steady breathing, steady pressure on the trigger, and aim for the center of mass...oh, you meant the legal issue. Second Amendment Rules OK; more guns and less crime, please.

Immigration: Control it. Immigrants need to learn English and the history of the country before they get their citizenship...and it might not be a bad idea for the folks born here, either. No amnesty for illegals, but allowing them to work off a heavy fine for gate-crashing over a period of years is all right by me.

Hardcore Pornography: Keep it off the street and away from the kids. Parents, you need to know where the "off" switch is on the remote and where to draw the line with what you let your kids watch if you don't want them to grow up acting like skanks and dumbasses.

Human Cloning: Against. What, you're too lazy to do it the old-fashioned way?

Miltary Draft: Unless it's to fill out the ranks of the Guard, forget it. The Regulars don't want it and neither does anyone else with any sense.

Minimum Wage: Against. The unemployment rate among teenagers correlates strongly to the minimum wage, which is why you see so many immigrants and so few teenagers working fast-food these days.

Prostitution: Legalize it, get it off the street, and tax it by requiring permits & medical inspections.

School Vouchers: For. The public schools in most of America's cities are hideous failures, and the only people who won't see that are the teachers' unions and the politicians they've bought and paid for.

Taxes: I'd like to see a flat federal income tax, but I don't think I'll see it in my lifetime. Better yet would be getting the Feds weaned off the income tax entirely and pushing more of the things Washington does down to the states.

United Nations: They can take their sanctimony and hypocrisy and go jump in the East River for all I care. UN out of North America!

Universal Health Care: They have it in Canada and the UK and a bunch of other places, and it sucks pretty badly in all of them. Having grown up with government health care, I say no thanks.

War on Terrorism: We're winning. We should keep going until anyone stupid enough to raise their hand to us and ours is dead.

Welfare: Get rid of Federal welfare and let the states deal with it. Federal welfare was an artifact of the Depression, and that's been over since my parents were wee babes in arms.

None of those answers should surprise anyone who knows me even moderately well.

The thing about "tests" like this -and I've taken plenty of them on the two occasions when I ran for a seat in the Minnesota House - is that they really don't tell you a whole lot about a person's political philosophy. What they are is a more subtle way of asking "Are you for us or agin' us?", and they do indicate to the people who read the results of the surveys (usually the members of the group sending you the questionnaire) how strongly you support or oppose their positions on their hot-button issues.

Which does nobody any good when it comes to figuring out how you might vote on issues that aren't covered in the questionnaire. For that you need to have some idea of what somebody's general political views are, and a lot of questionnaires just don't ask that kind of question. If Candidate A says he's against raising taxes, does that mean they're also opposed to increasing permit fees? You can't tell. Politics isn't as simple as it looks when you're filling out one of these dumb little tests - it's messy and difficult because it involves working with people, many of whom would rather throw cow flop and rocks at you than discuss ways to get things done. It's a wonder we can get as many competent people involved in politics as we do.