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US Political Typology by Pew Research

lpetrich

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Pew Research has come out with another political-typology article: The Political Typology: In polarized era, deep divisions persist within coalitions of both Democrats and Republicans | Pew Research Center
Partisan polarization remains the dominant, seemingly unalterable condition of American politics. Republicans and Democrats agree on very little – and when they do, it often is in the shared belief that they have little in common.

Yet the gulf that separates Republicans and Democrats sometimes obscures the divisions and diversity of views that exist within both partisan coalitions – and the fact that many Americans do not fit easily into either one.

Republicans are divided on some principles long associated with the GOP: an affinity for businesses and corporations, support for low taxes and opposition to abortion. Democrats face substantial internal differences as well – some that are long-standing, such as on the importance of religion in society, others more recent. For example, while Democrats widely share the goal of combating racial inequality in the United States, they differ on whether systemic change is required to achieve that goal.

These intraparty disagreements present multiple challenges for both parties: They complicate the already difficult task of governing in a divided nation. In addition, to succeed politically, the parties must maintain the loyalty of highly politically engaged, more ideological voters, while also attracting support among less engaged voters – many of them younger – with weaker partisan ties.
In their most recent work, they identified 9 groups. In order of Republican to Democratic: Faith and Flag Conservatives, Committed Conservatives, Populist Right, Ambivalent Right, Stressed Sideliners, Outsider Left, Democratic Mainstays, Establishment Liberals, Progressive Left

The Democrats have a split in them:
They include two very different groups of liberal Democrats: Progressive Left and Establishment Liberals. Progressive Left, the only majority White, non-Hispanic group of Democrats, have very liberal views on virtually every issue and support far-reaching changes to address racial injustice and expand the social safety net. Establishment Liberals, while just as liberal in many ways as Progressive Left, are far less persuaded of the need for sweeping change.

Two other Democratic-aligned groups could not be more different from each other, both demographically and in their relationship to the party. Democratic Mainstays, the largest Democratic-oriented group, as well as the oldest on average, are unshakeable Democratic loyalists and have a moderate tilt on some issues. Outsider Left, the youngest typology group, voted overwhelmingly for Joe Biden a year ago and are very liberal in most of their views, but they are deeply frustrated with the political system – including the Democratic Party and its leaders.
The Republicans also have a split in them:
The four Republican-oriented groups include three groups of conservatives: Faith and Flag Conservatives are intensely conservative in all realms; they are far more likely than all other typology groups to say government policies should support religious values and that compromise in politics is just “selling out on what you believe in.” Committed Conservatives also express conservative views across the board, but with a somewhat softer edge, particularly on issues of immigration and America’s place in the world. Populist Right, who have less formal education than most other typology groups and are among the most likely to live in rural areas, are highly critical of both immigrants and major U.S. corporations.

Ambivalent Right, the youngest and least conservative GOP-aligned group, hold conservative views about the size of government, the economic system and issues of race and gender. But they are the only group on the political right in which majorities favor legal abortion and say marijuana should be legal for recreational and medical use. They are also distinct in their views about Donald Trump – while a majority voted for him in 2020, most say they would prefer he not continue to be a major political figure.
In between:
The only typology group without a clear partisan orientation – Stressed Sideliners – also is the group with the lowest level of political engagement. Stressed Sideliners, who make up 15% of the public but constituted just 10% of voters in 2020, have a mix of conservative and liberal views but are largely defined by their minimal interest in politics.
 

lpetrich

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Racial-justice issues are a major split, with Democrats believing that we need to do much more than Republicans.

FFC < CC < PR ~ AR < SS < EL < DM < OL < PL

"Democrats prefer bigger government – but how big?" - PL > others

"Economic policy – including taxes – divides the GOP." - PR more like D's

"Republicans’ complicated views of Trump" - Trump best: PR, Trump and Reagan equal: FFC, Reagan best: CC, AR

"Stark differences among typology groups on U.S. global standing." - US best: FFC - US among best: EL, PR - US not the best: PL, OL

"Is there a ‘middle’ in politics today?"
Yet the typology study finds that the three groups with the largest shares of self-identified independents (most of whom lean toward a party) – Stressed Sideliners, Outsider Left and Ambivalent Right – have very little in common politically. Stressed Sideliners hold mixed views; Ambivalent Right are conservative on many economic issues, while moderate on some social issues; and Outsider Left are very liberal on most issues, especially on race and the social safety net.
However, they don't have much interest in politics.

How the political typology groups compare | Pew Research Center - on a variety of issues
 

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I really hate the "Big government vs small government" phony issue. Plenty of conservatives want big government, to enforce their morality and religious views. They have just been sold on the 'small government' talking point to keep gov out of regulating businesses and the wealthy.

What is really needed is effective government. One that can take care of the issues that it needs to, like security, disaster relief, infrastructure, etc.. The real disagreement is what areas of economic and social issues it should be involved in and to what extent.

Some use the argument that government should be small/weak enough to do X, because that would be a violation of your rights. But to me it looks like a government that is incapable of doing X would also be too small/weak to do Y and Z which would protect your rights. Its like arguing a country shouldn't have a military because a military can be used to oppress the people.. ok, but then you don't have a military to protect you when Putin decides that the people really want to be part of Russia.

*whew* pardon my mini rant
 

lpetrich

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Pew Research's previous work:

2017: Political Typology Reveals Deep Fissures on the Right and Left | Pew Research Center

Core Conservatives, Country First Conservatives, Market Skeptic Republicans, New Era Enterprisers, Bystanders, Devout and Diverse, Disaffected Democrats, Opportunity Democrats, Solid Liberals

2014: The Political Typology: Beyond Red vs. Blue | Pew Research Center

Steadfast Conservatives, Business Conservatives, Young Outsiders, Hard-Pressed Skeptics, Next Generation Left, Faith and Family Left, Solid Liberals

2011: Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology | Pew Research Center

2005: Beyond Red vs. Blue | Pew Research Center

1999: Retro-Politics | Pew Research Center

1994: The People, the Press & Politics | Pew Research Center

1990: The People, The Press & Politics 1990 | Pew Research Center

1987: The People, the Press & Politics | Pew Research Center

From 2011 Section 1: The Political Typology | Pew Research Center:

YearRepublican GroupsMiddle GroupsDemocratic Groups
2011Staunch Conservatives, Main Street RepublicansLibertarians, Disaffecteds, Post-ModernsNew Coalition Democrats, Hard-Pressed Democrats, Solid Liberals
2005Enterprisers, Social Conservatives, Pro-Government ConservativesUpbeats, DisaffectedsConservative Democrats, Disadvantaged Democrats, Liberals
1999Staunch Conservatives, Moderate Republicans, Populist RepublicansNew Prosperity Independents, DisaffectedsSocially Conservative Democrats, Partisan Poor, New Democrats, Liberal Democrats
1994Enterprisers, Moralists, LibertariansNew Economy Independents, The EmbitteredNew Dealers, Partisan Poor, New Democrats, Seculars
1987Enterprisers, MoralistsUpbeats, Disaffecteds, Followers, SecularsNew Dealers, Partisan Poor, Passive Poor, Sixties Democrats
 

Swammerdami

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Pew Research has released its detailed results in a Google Sheets spreadsheet
I've thought of doing a Principal Components Analysis on it to find its main axes of variation.

It looks like the data in the spreadsheet has already been aggregated into their nine classes. Yes, you can look at correlations between their classes, but wouldn't raw data be hugely better?

I took the test and show as Establishment Liberal. But I don't think the questions were nuanced or plentiful enough.
 

lpetrich

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It looks like the data in the spreadsheet has already been aggregated into their nine classes. Yes, you can look at correlations between their classes, but wouldn't raw data be hugely better?
One can indeed get raw data from Pew Research, but that organization releases its raw data about two years after it collects that data, and that organization also requires creating an account to access it:
Tools & Resources | Pew Research Center
| Pew Research Center - Politics Datasets
How to access Pew Research Center survey data | Pew Research Center
 

lpetrich

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Principal Component Analysis now done. The length of each axis: {106.351, 40.7347, 11.2366, 7.83652, 7.66392, 4.75314, 4.3005, 3.3691, 3.05064, 0.946102}

The first axis is for an overall average, and I ignore it. Here are the next two axes, roughly ideology and involvement.
GroupAxis 2Axis3
Total0.01-0.10
Faith and Flag Conservatives1.000.67
Committed Conservatives0.68-0.01
Populist Right0.740.24
Ambivalent Right0.35-0.62
Stressed Sideliners-0.01-0.80
Outsider Left-0.55-0.11
Democratic Mainstays-0.47-0.28
Establishment Liberals-0.63-0.03
Progressive Left-0.841.00

The other axes are more difficult to interpret.

The categories fall into a sort of U shape, with order FFC, PR, CC, AR, SS, DM, OL, EL, PL. The total is in the middle, as one might expect.

They cluster roughly PL, (strong: EL, OL, DM), (weak: SS, AR), (weak: CC, PR), FFC.
 

lpetrich

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Back to The Political Typology: In polarized era, deep divisions persist within coalitions of both Democrats and Republicans | Pew Research Center

In economic issues, Populist Right people are more like Democrats than their fellow Republicans.

Is there a ‘middle’ in politics today?

Surveys by Pew Research Center and other national polling organizations have found broad support, in principle, for a third major political party. Yet the typology study finds that the three groups with the largest shares of self-identified independents (most of whom lean toward a party) – Stressed Sideliners, Outsider Left and Ambivalent Right – have very little in common politically. Stressed Sideliners hold mixed views; Ambivalent Right are conservative on many economic issues, while moderate on some social issues; and Outsider Left are very liberal on most issues, especially on race and the social safety net. What these groups do have in common is relatively low interest in politics: They had the lowest rates of voting in the 2020 presidential election and are less likely than other groups to follow government and public affairs most of the time.
Every time I see someone say "We want a third party", I think "Then why not organize one? What are you waiting for?"
 

lpetrich

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Groups in the ideological middle show lower levels of engagement with politics

Thus showing the U shape that I found with PCA.

"Areas of agreement within the GOP coalition: Support for limited government, belief in an individual’s ability to succeed and rejection of White privilege"

"Issues that divide the GOP coalition: Corporate profits, same-sex marriage, compromise with U.S. allies, expanding the production of oil, coal and natural gas"

The Populist Right is like the Democrats in thinking that businesses take too much profit, and the Faith & Flag Conservatives are much stronger in believing that government should support "religious values and beliefs". The other coalition members were more like the most conservative Democrats.

The PR and FFC were much more nationalistic and xenophobic than the other coalition members; those were roughly comparable to the most conservative Democrats.

White Republicans were more likely to be FFC and PR than Hispanic ones - those were much more likely to be Stressed Sideliners.

Young R's were much more likely to be Ambivalent Right and SS than old R's, somewhat less likely to be PR and Committed Conservatives, and much less likely to be FFC.
 

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The Ambiguous Right and Outsider Left agree that their parties don't represent them very well, while others think that their parties do a much better job.

"Areas of agreement within the Democratic coalition: Support for strong government safety net, higher taxes on corporations, greater progress toward racial equality"

"Democratic typology groups differ on government performance, policies to address racial equality, the environment and police funding"

They usually had ordering Progressive Left, Outsider Left, Establishment Liberals, Democratic Mainstays.

The PL was the strongest in believing that fossil fuels ought to be phased out, with a sizable gap between them and the others.

In whether it was necessary to believe in "God" to be good, PL had the lowest belief in that, OL had a bit less than EL, and DM had the most, comparable to the Ambiguous Right. The SS and AR were a bit more and CC also more, with FFC being more by a sizable amount, as one would expect.

Of recent Presidents, FFC, CC, PR, and AR agree on liking Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump, and not liking George Bush I or II. AR liked Barack Obama and Bill Clinton a little bit, the others much less.

On the other side, OL, EL, DM, and OL liked Obama the best, Clinton somewhat, Reagan a little bit, and the Bushes and Trump hardly any.

In the 2020 primaries, EL and DM liked Joe Biden, while PL and OL liked Bernie Sanders, and PL liked Elizabeth Warren almost as much as BS.

Of the others, EL liked Pete Buttigieg, with EL and DM somewhat less. EL and DM also liked Mike Bloomberg, PL and OL liked Andrew Yang, with EL liking him a little bit, and EL liked Amy Klobuchar.

As to calling oneself a democratic socialist, PL like that the most, EL and OL are in the middle, and DM the least.

Of the ethnic groups in the Democratic coalition, whites are a little bit more in PL, blacks in DM, blacks and Hispanics less in PL, and Asians in EL.

By age, younger Democrats are more likely to be PL and OL, with older ones DM.
 

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Referring to Ipetrich's 2nd and 3rd "axes": The 2nd axis is, as might be expected, a Right-vs-Left axis. The 3rd axis is more interesting, and points at what might be a big problem for Democrats. The Faith and Flag Conservatives, Populist Right and Progressive Left all have high positive scores along that axis! What does that axis measure? Political engagement?

But the Ambivalent Right and Stressed Sideliners have very negative scores on that axis. Depending on what that axis "means", those groups may have little in common with the Progressive Left, and make it hard for them to vote Democratic when leftist rhetoric dominates the Dems.
 

Swammerdami

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It looks like the data in the spreadsheet has already been aggregated into their nine classes. Yes, you can look at correlations between their classes, but wouldn't raw data be hugely better?
One can indeed get raw data from Pew Research, but that organization releases its raw data about two years after it collects that data, and that organization also requires creating an account to access it:
Yes, I downloaded their (2017?) data a few years ago. Unfortunately the data was exceedingly difficult to work with and I quickly gave up. (The data was in some format unfamiliar to me — R? — and after conversion to CSV was painful (long English character strings where numeric weights were wanted). Maybe I needed to install their stat platform, R or whatever it was.
 

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Turning to "Political engagement among typology groups" we find that U shape again, with PL and FFC at the top on each side, and the others lower and between them.

In "How the political typology groups view major issues" we find that Republicans are much less likely than Democrats to believe that black people are being discriminated against, and much less likely to support the Black Lives Matter movement. But Republicans were much more likely than Democrats to believe that white people are being discriminated against, with FFC and PR being higher in this than CC or AR.

Attitudes toward immigration varied along the left-right curve, but with OL being close to PL and EL, and with PR being close to FFC.

In foreign policy, however, CC favored cooperation with US allies at least as much as PR or AR, though SS favored more, and Democrats favored even more.

Abortion and assault-weapon banning are what one would expect from partisanship. But the death penalty for murder is another story. OL had almost as much opposition as PL, and more than the other two D groups. Among R's, AR was comparable to DM and more than SS. Wanting to decrease police funding has the same sort of pattern.

Marijuana legalization and environmental protection also follow partisanship rather closely, though with OL comparable to EL.
 

lpetrich

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Referring to Ipetrich's 2nd and 3rd "axes": The 2nd axis is, as might be expected, a Right-vs-Left axis. The 3rd axis is more interesting, and points at what might be a big problem for Democrats. The Faith and Flag Conservatives, Populist Right and Progressive Left all have high positive scores along that axis! What does that axis measure? Political engagement?
Yes, it's roughly political engagement, and one gets a U-shaped curve out of it.
But the Ambivalent Right and Stressed Sideliners have very negative scores on that axis. Depending on what that axis "means", those groups may have little in common with the Progressive Left, and make it hard for them to vote Democratic when leftist rhetoric dominates the Dems.
Their negative scores mean low engagement.
 

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"Demographics and lifestyle differences among typology groups"

FFC, CC, and PR are mostly white, with ~ 8% Hispanic, ~ 3% Asian, and ~ 1% black.

Black right-wingers are very unusual, with most black Republicans being AR at 8%. Their fraction increases AR - SS - OL - DM to 26% and declines DM - EL - PL to 10%.

Hispanic right-wingers are more common, with the largest fraction being AR at 17%. The fraction in SS, OL, DM, and EL is on average 20% and in PL 10%.

Asians are 2% in FFC, and increase to OL, the drop to 4% in DM, rise 1o 10% in EL, then drop to 6% in PL.

PL is the whitest demographic in the Democratic coalition, and AR the least white demographic in the Republican coalition.
 

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Turning to religious affiliation, FFL has the highest fraction of white evangelicals. Combined with their interest in politics, that may explain why many of them act as if white evangelical Protestantism is the US's official state religion.

OL and PL have the smallest fractions of both Protestants, ~ 24%, and Catholics, ~13%. Outside of those two, the fraction of Catholics is ~ 22%.

The others include Eastern Orthodox Xians, Mormons, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists. There are not enough of them to come to definite conclusions, because the percentages are rounded to the nearest integers. Their total fraction is from 6%, for PR, to 12%, for PL.

The unaffiliated are interesting. Here is a table of how many there are:

GroupUnaff.NiPA+AAgn.Ath.
Total28181064
FFC65110
CC1813642
PR2016532
AR2720743
SS2621241
OL5127241410
DM2417743
EL33161798
PL5222301317

NiP = Nothing in Particular.

Not surprisingly, the unaffiliated are the most common in the youngest of the demographics, the OL and PL. Also, PL is the only demographic to have more atheists than agnostics, and the only one to have a sizable number of the two A's relative to NiP's: 8. EL's barely make it at 1 and OL's are a bit behind at -3.

That says something about the sort of people who become PL's, I'm sure. Something that makes many of them decide that it is not enough to be a NiP.
 

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Then party affiliation. From Republican to Democratic:

FFC, CC, PR, AR, SS, OL, DM, EL, PL

FFC, CC, PR, DM, EL, PL are strongly committed to their parties, and AR and OL are only weakly committed. SS is half-half.


All the groups have a high priority on spending time with one's family, though PL is behind the others there.

Practicing one's religion goes from 12% of Pl on up to (OL, EL), to (DM, SS, AR), a bit to PR, a bit to CC, then to FFC at 58%.

Being physically active has a small range with a lot of overlap between the parties.

There also isn't a big spread for being outdoors and experiencing nature, though Democrats prefer it more than Republicans with FFC and PL at the ends.

As to being successful in a career, PL's are among the Republicans, with the other Democrats having that as a higher priority, but not by much.

Participating in creative activities? Republicans and SS's have a low priority on that, with FFC being 6%. DM's are a little more, then OL's and EL's a litle more, than a big gap to PL's at 27%.

Being involved with one's community had a low spread, with CC being 4% with a small gap to all the others, with PL's being at 11%.

Being involved with social or political causes has a somewhat larger spread, with CC being 2% and PL being 13% with a gap between it and the others.
 

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Then what sort of population density that people like. "Would you prefer to live in a community where the houses are…"
  • "Larger and farther apart, but schools, stores, and restaurants are several miles away"
  • "Smaller and closer to each other, but schools, stores, and restaurants are within walking distance"
Then comparing the actual population density of where they live.

There was a strong correlation between wanting bigger and more separated houses and living in rural areas.

From bigger houses / more rural to smaller houses / more urban, FFC, PR, (CC, AR, SS), DM, (OL, EL), PL

The overall average was between (CC, AR, SS) and DM, though closer to the triplet.
 

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Generally, I am rooted in both ancient Epicurean and ancient Pyrrhonist sentiments, although I am somewhat sympathetic toward the intentions behind ancient Cynicism.
Both Adam Smith and Peter Kropotkin had ideas that I can use. I am slightly partial to Max Weber's approach to sociology, compared with his contemporaries. I believe that Knut Wicksell was one of the most talented synthesis thinkers in modern history. I resent being called a Marxist: I am more sympathetic toward non-Marxist approaches to communist philosophy, and even then, I consider none of them to be gospel. Do not call me a "libertarian": I prefer to be called a "moderate anarchist," and even on that, my opinions are nuanced.

I believe that we could learn something from the principles that govern Nordic trade unions, but I am open to the idea of those principles being used in a variety different ways, rather than merely replicating something else. While unions are not a bad idea, in principle, the American labor movement is not one that has succeeded at winning my confidence. The Nordic trade unions have succeeded at becoming an integral part of a modern, technologically advanced knowledge economy, and ours have not, and until ours have made serious reforms, preferably based on the Nordic model, I cannot feel confident toward the ones that currently exist in my own country.

I believe that a state monopoly is likely to have all of the same problems as any other monopoly. I see a corporate monopoly as just another monopoly, and I dislike it for the same reasons why I dislike a state monopoly. A monopoly is a monopoly is a monopoly. At least I get to vote on who gets to run my government: that's more than I can say for some business magnate that might as well be an unelected despot, but I really don't like anybody having too much centralized, entrenched power because it kills competition. I like competition in principle. The primary motivation for people to do extraordinary things is in order to humiliate and upstage each other in fair contests of awesome.

As a matter of fact, I do not believe that the United States is one of the greatest countries in the world. To tell you the truth, I believe that Finland and Iceland just barely pass muster, and everybody else is either outright embarrassing or beyond redemption. If I were indigenous to their countries, I would not think I was a great nation, though. I would still think there was a long way left to go. There are probably space aliens out there that have the jump on us, and if we do not pull our shit together fast, then they are never going to let us live it down. I am not worried about the Chinese, my friends. I am worried about the real aliens. They are out there claiming all the good real estate, and if we don't catch up with those green-skinned motherfuckers, then there won't be anything left on the bone for us humans.

Or our dogs. Or crows. I like crows.

Oh, believe me, I would just LOVE for the rich elites to pay a larger share of taxes than they already do, but at some point, we have to talk them into it. That is a point of realism that most liberals miss, and the fact that they keep on missing it makes me want to beat them with a cane. Much as I like the idea of a substantially more ambitiously progressive government, we need rich allies in order to really make that scenario work. If you want to expand the government's progressive policies, you need to get people like Bezos, Musk, Page, Brin, and Gates interested in whatever it is that you are doing, and if you cannot succeed at attracting their interest, then you are going to lose the fucking election. Stop alienating the billionaires, liberals, or Sigma is going to come kick your butts and bodily bend you into pretzels, capiche? I want big, muscular, progressive butt-kicking to be done by my government, but the reality is that, in order for that idea to work, you need to have strong and enthusiastic allies among the elites. I don't care how you win them over. Suck their dicks, for all that I care. Liberals, stop treating rich people like your enemies: we need their fucking money, and if you think you're going to just take it from them by force, then that is fucking hilarious. The social contract, deep down, really requires voluntary and peaceful cooperation by most of the powers involved. While we can handle a handful of rich malcontents, you are sabotaging everything we progressives are trying to do if your rhetoric is likely to make them unify against us as a solid political bloc.

The best way to describe my political ideology is "too fucking psycho to really pinpoint," but "eclectic clusterfuck," "ramblings of a grinning Cheshire cat," or "nightmarishly jumbled hodgepodge of elitist intellectualism" would do. If you don't like it, well, FYIAD. If I choose to believe that I am a parrot-sized black dragon with glowing green eyes, then you should assume that that is what I believe until I have given you notice to the contrary. Once it has been established that I am allowed to believe that I am an adorable shoulder-dragon if that is what I take it into my lunatic head to believe, then I am willing to engage you in more in-depth discussion, but fair warning: the inside of my mind is a bit of a magic mushroom kingdom.

This quiz says that I am "progressive left," but when I was reading through the questions on that quiz, I think they really missed a substantial amount of the fine nuances in my positions. I have explained some of that nuance here in the above unhinged tirade. Furthermore, I think that the statements about whether or not the United States is a "great nation" was misleading. I think that the US has the potential to be a fucking juggernaut, and I really love this country. That love is not uncritical, though. It is not love to ever be happy to see someone fail to do what you believe they are capable of doing. If your country does not live up to its full potential, then that should make you deeply sad. That is why nationalism is misguided. Nationalism is the uncritical and ultimately selfish love of a permissive parent, and that is really a tragedy. That was my primary gripe with the quiz, but I will admit that the quiz is a fair start on giving us opportunity to express greater nuance.
 

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Generally, I am rooted in both ancient Epicurean and ancient Pyrrhonist sentiments, although I am somewhat sympathetic toward the intentions behind ancient Cynicism.
I will note that the one question on the quiz that would put me into the "Establishment Liberals" category, upon spending a while experimenting with various possible answers that might be accurate with nuance and caveats, is how I feel about the "greatness" of the United States. That question just is not fair. I love this country. I hold up foreign examples of how we could make the country better because I genuinely think that my country is capable of doing better. I think we could be one of the best if we chose to be, but it is continually disappointing that we will not take the plunge to commit ourselves to doing better.

I noticed that "Establishment Liberals" tend to be more racially diverse. That doesn't surprise me. The truth is that if you or your family are from some place like Latin America or if they are descended from Jewish-Hungarians that fled from Trotskyism or otherwise went to the trouble of moving to this country and learning a new language, then your people are here because they chose to be here, and they chose to be here because they saw great potential in this country. I don't really disagree with them. My criticism of this country comes from a place of love. When I think about my country, I think like a parent that pushes her kid to be an overachiever. Sure, that might stress out the kid, but if you combine that with love and an open mind, then that kid can turn out to be a genuinely special sort of person. You ought to think of your nation in the same way.

Nationalism is really a fallacy. Even if you live in a relatively pleasant country like Iceland or Finland, you should not be satisfied. You should always want your people to work harder to make you proud. You should always look at some of the things that other countries do better than yours, and say to your people, "Why can't you do that?" The idea that they can't is a lie. The phrase "That won't work here" is the biggest load of shamefully repugnant horse-hooey. My problem with nationalism is that it constitutes cheap praise.
 
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SimpleDon

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Apr 1, 2008
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Social Justice
I really hate the "Big government vs small government" phony issue. Plenty of conservatives want big government, to enforce their morality and religious views. They have just been sold on the 'small government' talking point to keep gov out of regulating businesses and the wealthy.

What is really needed is effective government. One that can take care of the issues that it needs to, like security, disaster relief, infrastructure, etc.. The real disagreement is what areas of economic and social issues it should be involved in and to what extent.

Some use the argument that government should be small/weak enough to do X, because that would be a violation of your rights. But to me it looks like a government that is incapable of doing X would also be too small/weak to do Y and Z which would protect your rights. Its like arguing a country shouldn't have a military because a military can be used to oppress the people.. ok, but then you don't have a military to protect you when Putin decides that the people really want to be part of Russia.

*whew* pardon my mini rant

The irony of your mini~rant and the hypertensively of the pseudo-libertarian horde's fear of the federal government intrusion in their personal rights is that the main threat to their rights is from their main sponsors, the private corporations, worming their way into our private lives to generate ever more accurate advertising with which to bombard us. And the only hope to reduce it is regulation by the federal government that they have made nearly impossible.
 
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