Political Party Overload


 Based on your responses,

YOU are a…  Post-Modern

Along with 13% of the public 

I’m a big fan of on-line quizzes, so of course I jumped on the opportunity to find out what my so-called voting preference would be since I’m not a hundred percent sure myself. What I’ve found a lot with on-line quizzes, is that they can sometimes be really accurate, or really dead wrong. So dead wrong that I was told my profession lies in art….I can’t even draw a stick figure. Clearly something wasn’t right. Anyway, I was excited to take a quiz regarding political parties because I can’t say I’m necessarily a hard left or right. I’ve heard numerous times from students my age, “well my parents are (insert political party) so I am too.” I can’t say that I haven’t fallen into this black hole either, which is why I found it interesting that I’m considered a post-modern voter.

 According to this awesome website, post-moderns are generally supportive of the government though are more conservative on certain policies and the safety net. Some more characteristics of a post-modern are that they are liberal on social issues, considered the least religious group, favor the use of diplomacy rather than force, fans of Wall Street, and supportive of regulation and environmental protection. Wait a minute, they think that Wall Street does more good than harm, yet they are supportive of regulation? Isn’t regulation something that we’ve seen that Wall-Street CEO’s don’t want? Who says I’m not religious? I come from a Catholic family! It’s an on-line quiz, so I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.

Post-moderns are the youngest of the groups and 32% are under age 30. A majority are non-hispanic white and have at least some college experience, so the quiz was correct on this aspect. I’m indeed non Hispanic…and white….but not religious?  And regularly watch the Daily Show and live in the suburbs? No people-press, this isn’t me. I took the quiz again and changed a few answers around, and was then categorized as a main street republican. How exactly did all of these new political party categories get created? The last time I remembered, you were either a republican or democrat. Now it seems that you can be this weird mix of both times ten divided by a hundred. For anyone interested in politics, I’m sure you’re having a field day with the dozens of categorizations of political views, but for someone who thought the issue of being republican or democrat was complex enough, more than 5 is just too much to handle.

I decided to take another random quiz from another site to see what kind of answer I would get from a different source. This site I found said I’m considered a conservative who favors economic freedom but frequently supports laws to restrict personal behavior that violates traditional values. Once again, I’m torn between having different views that either match up or go in the opposite direction. In terms of social views, I’d say I’m pretty liberal. Same-sex marriages? Hey that’s your prerogative, go for it. But on economic issues like welfare, I’d probably sway more republican. So where does that leave me other than lost in the dozens of possible party categories? How about a post-modern-repub-demo-pendent? I believe I just created category number 34.

^irrelevant, but hilarious^

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3 thoughts on “Political Party Overload

  1. I think what you are recognizing in your own personal discoveries is very indicative of political party shifts going on today. These aren’t the conservative or liberal parties of our grandparent’s day, our parent’s day, or even those of the last election. Things seem to be constantly changing and new labels are being made to be slapped onto voters. Who the hell is sitting in an office somewhere making up names for people who feel strongly about one issue, but not the other? It’s an exciting time with lots of big changes being made and a lot at stake. But I agree with you Alex, it all is starting to get a little too confusing for my liking.

  2. I really enjoy your tone here. You bring up several key observations about yourself and the ways that common ideas about political categories or continua are created; they are also often obsolete.

    I will say that in general I think it is more useful to think of US political parties as alliances. Both parties have many wings or factions. These change over time. One small example you should know from history. Democrats were the party of the South and of slavery. Lincoln was a Republican. The civil rights movement scrambled much of that, including the re-positioning of the Republican party in the 70s and 80s as the party to question or challenge the legacy of the civil rights movement.

    One extension of that shift, in my mind, is that POLITICIANS have longer life cycles than parties. So, for example, there were many politicians in the Democratic party who came of age and started as anti-Black, anti-integration southern “Dixiecrats.” They were also supporters of the Roosevelt legacy of a strong social safety net. So, through the 70s, 80s, and even the 90s, it was possible to have more coalitions (especially in the senate) of Northern and Western moderate Republlcans and Southern conservative Democrats.

    That legacy has faded and changes as those regional differences became less prevalent in the make up of actual politicians.

    So, when people bemoan the lack of “bipartisanship,” I think they are also recalling a time when bipartisanship was possible due to the mix of types in each party. In general, our political system with its majority takes all style, works AGAINST any bipartisanship.

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