Monday, July 16, 2012

Ideal vs. real

Brian has a link up to this quiz at his place. Here's what I came up with:

Turnin' loose my inner Burning Man
The result doesn't surprise me particularly, because I've always had a libertarian streak in my thinking. I have voted Libertarian twice in my life for president, too. Doesn't mean I'll vote for Gary Johnson in this cycle, though. While I might agree with Johnson on more issues than I do with Mitt Romney, there's no chance that Johnson (a) can win the presidency and (b) have enough support in Congress to enact a "Large L" libertarian platform. That makes him a non-starter. 

The Libertarian Party is generally principled, inept at getting its message across and almost universally ignored. This is why Ron Paul eventually returned to the Republican Party. And it's also why his son Rand, who is willing to play within the Republican sandbox, will have a much better chance to be a contender for president some day than his father ever did.

Politics is, inevitably, an art of the possible. Coalitions change, people's views change and the circumstances that surround decisions change over time. I'm certain that if Mitt Romney becomes president, he'll disappoint me more than once. If he gets 78% of the things that I care about right, that's pretty good. As a practical matter, Barack Obama has been acceptable to me far less than 31% of the time in his first term. The only way I'd ever have the perfect candidate is if I ran myself, and that ain't happening.

One other thing worth noting -- without breaking into the source code, you can't really know how this online quiz weights each answer. It might play things right down the middle, it might not, but in any event I don't know. Put it this way -- Brian took the same quiz I did and got a high support number (82%) for Johnson as well, but managed to get 70% for Obama and only 7% for Romney. I don't know that happens, but somehow it does. I suspect the weighting is pretty hinky. Still, it's a fun exercise and worth a try. I'd be curious to see what your results are -- feel free to share them in the comment section. And also share the results with Brian over at his place.


W.B. Picklesworth said...

I was heavily libertarian with Romney doing well. Obama came in at an unloved 13%.

Brian said...

Mentioned this on my blog but I will here too...there is a slider to the left of each question where you can indicate how important it is to you. That affects the weighting (and probably explains the weird overlap in our results.)

Thanks for the link!

Brian said...

By the guys are excellent "control subjects". I was genuinely surprised by how low my score for Romney was, to the point I wondered if there was an anti-Romney bias built in, so thanks for playing along.

Gino said...

tried to comment... but i cant... will 2moro, eh...

Bike Bubba said...

Ron Paul and then Romney.

And Mr. Obama? Let's just say he didn't fare so well, as I expected.

Regarding an anti-Romney bias, sometimes he's hard to pin down, so I would guess that the poll had to make some "educated guesses" about his positions, which could be seen by some as a bias. My results for Romney were about what I expected, though, so I can't prove any level of bias.

Brian said...

sometimes he's hard to pin down, so I would guess that the poll had to make some "educated guesses" about his positions,

LOL. Well, that speaks volumes, no?

I think if WB got 13% for Obama, and I got 7% for Romney, and everyone who expected to get high numbers for Romney, did, it's about as solid an analytic as one could hope for.

Bike Bubba said...

Brian: well, consider how hard Obama ran in 2008 against his cherished faith at TUCC, and how many of his long term friends and associates got thrown under the bus. Not unique to Romney.