So, Are You Pew's Idea of a Libertarian?

As Nick Gillespie flagged earlier this week, the Pew Center has a big and interesting new study out called "Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology," the latest in an every-six-years look at changing political subgroups. The newly identified and ascendant typological tribe known as "Libertarians," the study concluded, represents 9 percent of the population, and is classified as both "Republican-oriented," and (along with the GOP-leaning "Disaffected" and Democratic-oriented "Post-Moderns") as being more independent than other political groups. In fact, here's how much more independent libertarians are than the other two GOP-leaning groups, "Staunch Conservatives" and "Main Street Republicans":

In general, and as we've been telling you, independents have all the mo':

Pew Research Center polling over the first quarter of 2011 finds 37% of Americans identifying as independents, up from 30% in 2005 and 35% last year. Over the past 70 years, the only other time that independent identification reached a similar level was in 1992, the year when Ross Perot was a popular independent presidential candidate.

Linger on that a bit—Ross Perot was a charismatic famous person with no real organization, while the modern-day independent blocs tend to be all organization, no leader. This I-revival seems more built to last.

So how does Pew describe Libertarians? Like this:

Much less religious than other GOP-oriented groups, Libertarians are relatively comfortable financially– nearly half (46%) say they are professional or business class, among the highest of the typology groups.

Defining values: Highly critical of government. Disapprove of social welfare programs. Pro-business and strongly opposed to regulation. Accepting of homosexuality. Moderate views about immigrants compared with other Republican-oriented groups. [...]

Who they are: Most (85%) are non-Hispanic white and two-thirds (67%) are male. Well educated (71% have attended college) and affluent (39% have incomes of $75,000 or more).

Lifestyle notes: Less likely than other GOP groups to attend church weekly (26%). More than half (56%) use social networking sites, and 46% have a gun in the household. 54% currently have a U.S. passport. 36% trade stocks. 38% regularly watch Fox News and 17% regularly listen to NPR.

Dat you? I, uh, use social networking sites and have a passport!

The quiz they use (take it here!) to determine these categories is a festivel of hoo-larious false choices, but even though I declined to answer a majority of them, it still managed to shoehorn me into Planet Libertarian. Let us know how you do.

Independents, libertarians, and their overlap are a main subject of the forthcoming and eminently pre-orderable The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America, the best Gillespie/Welch mash-up since the 1882 Troy Trojans. They're also featured heavily in our first-ever Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey, which I'll be talking about on Judge Andrew Napolitano's great Freedom Watch program on Fox Business Network tonight at 8 pm EDT.

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  • Warty||

    Off-topic, but I'm really starting to like Reason's BFF Alonya.

  • omg||

    Rather disappointingly, I think that question was poised to everyone connected to this magazine in the "who are you voting for" section in the 2008 elections.

  • pedant||

    Posed - not poised.

  • ||

    Is that a guest post from the RT host? Maybe English isn't her first language, but holy shit does that need some editing.

  • Warty||

    She's one of Radley's guest bloggers while he's away banging Czech babes. Some of the others are obnoxious liberals (one of them made an aggressively stupid post asking why libertarians hate the poor), but Alonya's cool.

  • fish||

    one of them made an aggressively stupid post asking why libertarians hate the poor.

    She's right...I do hate the poor! But I hate the rich too! And Shrike....yeah!

  • Otto||

    I think that's Alyona.

  • Warty||

    You transliterate the way you like, I'll transliterate the way I like.

  • Otto||

    You only spell it that way because you hate the poor.

  • SIV||

    Alyona would be even cooler if she'd take my fashion advice (in Radley's comments).

  • Define Liberal||

    A liberal is someone who looks at an inkblot and sees only that it is black.

  • ||

    "Evil must be punished. People must be told."

    Reactions to that statement would make for a far more interesting poll.

  • ||

    Then they finger paint with it and blame the messy results on the white paper.

  • Bald Beagle||

    I also (thankfully) received the libertarian label from this quiz. My spouse answered 2 or 3 questions differently than I did and was called filthy whore, er, uh, Solid Liberal.

  • omg||

    That poll has some very odd questions. Consider question 9:

    "Racial discrimination is the main reason why many black people can't get ahead these days"

    vs

    "Blacks who can't get ahead in this country are mostly responsible for their own condition"

    I don't see an option there for "our public schools are basically concentration camps where the barest amount of creative thought is trampled into dust".

  • ||

    Or "the WOD ensures that an obscene number of black men will be incarcerated in their lifetime."

    Where was the drug legalization question, btw?

  • Robert||

    Questions are chosen on the basis of their anticipated utility in identifying clusters objectively. To find the most clusters with the fewest questions, you'd like the answers to break close to 50-50 across the popul'n.

  • Ventifact||

    That sounds like an elegant way to design a study meant to reveal more nuance than the traditional left-right dichotomy. Not.

  • Robert||

    Why not? Read a little about the technique: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cluster_analysis_(in_marketing)

    It's able to identify clustered characteristics of just about any population of anything. This study has been going on for decades. Or read from the study site's own explanation. Can you think of a better way to reveal such nuances without introducing your owwn biases? How can you argue with the fact that it has revealed far more clusters than a simple left & right?

  • Ventifact||

    I didn't see anything in the Wpedia article to explain the point I took issue with. In fact the figure at the top of the article clearly didn't use only questions that "break close to 50-50 across the popul'n".

    I don't have anything against cluster analysis (quite the opposite), and I'm willing to have it explained why 50-50 questions are always automatically better even when you're trying to distinguish clusters in many dimensions. As yet I have no reason to accept this claim.

    As for revealing third-party nuances without introducing bias from study designers, one option that seems obvious to me is to test the usefulness of a potential study design against voter behavior. (Not to be confused with party identification as in this Pew survey.)

  • Robert||

    The reason's pretty simple. If you ask a question that breaks 90-10, the answers in the 90% don't tell you much, and you get only 10% of the respondents telling you the other. A 90-10 question is very good at identifying a certain minority: the minority that take the 10% side. And if you already know that's a minority you want to identify, you don't want or need to do cluster analysis for that.

    Ever work on coin-weighing riddles? The ones where you have to find the odd coin or coins with an equal arm balance in the minimum number of weighings? Similar principle.

  • Ventifact||

    Ever work on coin-weighing riddles? [...] Similar principle.

    To be fair, as you've pointed out, posters here did seem to be "correctly" identified as libertarians. I too consider the poll to have "correctly" identified me. And it's hard to argue with results, as they say. But I still don't see how the "correct" results occurred because of, rather than in spite of, the study design.

    As for the coin analogy, the coins of whatever type are all distinguished by a single dimension (heavy-light). Your analogy has made me think of a more relevant one: the game 20 questions. In that game, binary choices are used to efficiently divide up the realm of possible outcomes in many many dimensions. I would note, however, that the 50-50 ideal is constrained by a crucial caveat: an even division is more useful if the cleavage is "natural" rather than "forced", that is, if a question elucidates a discrete boundary rather than divvying up a gray area into two spuriously symmetrical portions. There is no potential for spurious division when weighing coins on a balance, but I don't see the poll's questions that way.

  • Cyto||

    False choices indeed:

    Poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return

    or

    Poor people have hard lives because government benefits don't go far enough to help them live decently

    Really? Poor people have it easy or hard - either way it is because of government. How about "whoever wrote this quiz is a nozzle"? Where's that choice?

  • Cyto||

    Oh, and you gotta add in "The largest companies do NOT have too much power ", even if "too much power" means "too much influence over the government's overreaching power".

    I mean, does it really matter if the power is not wielded directly by the company but is instead wielded by the state on their behalf? The entire tax code is basically written by insurance companies and banks - but they don't have any real power themselves. The stupid is strong in this poll.

  • yonemoto||

    I don't know if you're going to see this, cyto, but I think we should chat off the reason boards (send me an email at yahoo)

  • Sudden||

    A lot of the questions seem loaded to convince the respondent to be either a staunch conservative or a solid liberal.

    Sadly, the one true Scotsman is too nuanced for any such absurdities of straw construction.

  • WasabiPeas||

    And what about solid conservatives and staunch liberals?

  • Robert||

    Doesn't matter. The survey overall is pretty accurate identifying libertarians, isn't it? You might write a questionnaire that would easily find libertarians but no other clusters.

  • ||

    #6 is a laugher too. Unless "diplomacy" includes "minding your own business".

  • Alan||

    As far as I'm concerned, at least 3/4 of the questions were like this - with just the tiniest preference for one or the other and no chance of choosing a truthful answer.

    As for the question you quote - the truth is that racial discrimination is no longer the chief barrier to black success, but also that there are many barriers to success that are beyond their control.

  • Robert||

    Then isn't it all the more amazing that respondents cluster as to their answers to the questions? Let alone that the word they picked to describe one such cluster, "libertarian", seems to fit so well? It gives some insight as to how fortune tellers do a cold read of clients.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Stupid segment for political party. There should seriously be an "Other" choice there.

  • Robert||

    "Should seriously" in what sense? Do you think it would improve the ratio of groupings found in the American population to number of questions asked in the survey?

  • Max||

    Pew missed the overriding characteristic of the tyoical American right-wing libertarian: will swallow more shit than a public toilet.

  • prolefeed||

    Project much?

  • ||

    Uh oh, Edward got into the outhouse again!

  • fish||

    Get the hose!

  • KDN||

    I got Libertarian. I wanted to answer "other" on at least 5 of the 20 questions.

  • ||

    you're not the only one.

    There were several questions (a few were noted above) where I really didn't like how either choose was written.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    The immigrant ones really annoyed me. How about "I don't care, so long as they're legal. And don't get welfare."

  • ||

    THAT one I prefer a lot better.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    I read the first question, then closed the tab. False dilemma ftw.

  • ||

    I got the Libertarian label as well, even with leaving a lot of the stinkier questions unanswered. The one about poor people having it easy or hard was especially obnoxious.

  • Robert||

    See? Don't forget that the purpose of the questionnaire is to objectively identify clusters. Not just the one cluster you fall into.

    I'm sure there are people out there who complain about the questions in all sorts of other ways, as well as puzzling over the absence of questions on their pet peeves. Why no questions about space aliens or sports? Still, clusters of a certain size get identified. The idea isn't to gratify the respondent.

  • Max||

    Gosh, being a libertarian and finding out that your are--it's so exciting you just want to squeal and wet your pants!

  • Warty||

    You spend a lot of time flinging poop here, Edward. You must have some sort of goal that you're hoping to accomplish by doing so, right?

  • jkl||

    Goals are only for people with cognitive ability, sorry Max.

  • Max||

    No goal at all.

  • ||

    Projecting again, Edward?

  • rather||

    Much less? 99% are religious when you are counting the Church of Pron

    Libertarians are relatively comfortable financially: I call bullshit on that one

    Disapprove of social welfare programs: Disapprove is 'mild' terminology

    Most (85%) are non-Hispanic white and two-thirds (67%) are male: Observing the readership on H&R would indicate a higher percentage-over 95%

    ... and affluent (39% have incomes of $75,000 or more): I call BS on the money.

    ... and 46% have a gun in the household and the rest aren't eligible because of their felony convictions

    ...54% currently have a U.S. passport that they have never used

  • ||

    ...100% of rectal is mongoloid.

  • Warty||

  • ||

    Odd? Or awesome?

  • ||

    Nothing about Sepultura can be perceived as anything but awesome.

  • rather||

    what part of I hate you, stop stalking me do you not understand?

  • rectal retarded||

    If you just wanna talk, I'm not lowering the price!

  • Cyto||

    playing with the answers I was able to see why they have this profile. If you answer "I am not very satisfied with my financial situation" and "Religion is a very important part of my life" you are not a libertarian. You are a Post-Modern. Apparently you have to wear your monocle and pass the Atheist litmus test to be a libertarian.

    FWIW, who is honestly comfortable with their financial situation? I'd say you'd need to have at least $4 million in the bank to deem yourself comfortable with your financial situation - comfort being defined by "I don't have to worry about losing my job and not being able to find another one ever again."

    Their list of questions shows that they don't have the slightest clue what a libertarian is. It also makes it clear that they are convinced that "not progressive" == "racist, bible-toting, corporation-loving, gay-hating, anti-immigration neanderthal"

    The only question is "to what degree do you fail to live up to the progressive ideal of perfection?"

  • Warty||

    I'm broke as shit, but I have enough money for a decent apartment, food, a car, and I can waste money on stupid shit like Brazilian jiu-jitsu and expensive-ass weightlifting shoes. That's comfortable.

  • ||

    BJJ is not teh stupid. I train and am also broke as a joke. I just don't feel the need to take on stupid amounts of debt to impress people I can choke the shit out of when necessary.

  • ||

    Don't forget the expensive dry-cleaning after you poop a little in your weightlifting clothes.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    feckin skid marks

  • ||

    I'm with Warty, sorta. I would not consider myself financially independent/wealthy, but if I lost my job today I could survive about 4 years without any outside assistance.

  • johnl||

    Cyto I make the kids sleep on the roof so I can raise chickens in their room. They might not be comfortable but I am. I don't need $4M.

  • Robert||

    Their list of questions shows that they don't have the slightest clue what a libertarian is.


    No, but your writing that shows you haven't the slightest clue about sociology or cluster analysis.

    They don't start with labels and then try to devise questions to see who fits those labels. Rather, they try to devise questions of interest along several dimensions of whatever, and then pick the closest descriptive label they can think of for them, rather than just leaving them with numbers or letters or whatever. If you had to pick a name, maybe you'd've used another one for that cluster, but I bet you'd've picked "libertarian" too.

  • ||

    Disapprove of social welfare programs: Disapprove is 'mild' terminology

    You would not have 35% of the voting public calling themselves independent if social welfare programs were not breaking the budget and were actually target at the poor.

    The tea party libertarian independents are not staunch libertarians of say the Old Mexican class of libertarian.

  • johnl||

    Libertarians report being financially comfortable. They didn't ask how much we make. So I'm comfortable not making a lot of money.

  • Robert||

    I'm flat broke but the point of the survey is not to identify me, but a cluster. The number of people who are like the middle of that cluster in other ways but are doing badly financially is too few to form their own cluster.

  • SIV||

    Perhaps you should've majored in something other than sociology.
    My ex-GF seems to earn a good living in the field doing something called "program evaluation".

  • Robert||

    Actually I have a Ph.D. in biochemistry and never studied sociology formally. It's just that I appreciate statistical techniques and research of all kinds.

  • x,y||

    You sound like a douche. A repetitive, one-trick douche.

  • Alan||

    I questioned the claims about finances, but then remembered that there are a lot of libertarians in California and other high-cost states. I knew one fellow who bragged that back in California he had made a six figure salary, and someone else responded, "Well, in California you'd pretty much have to, wouldn't you?"

  • ||

    This seems pretty accurate to me.

  • Warty||

    I'm Team L, not surprisingly. Where was the question about throwing old people out on the streets?

  • ||

    And nary a word on top hat and monocles. Although in most of the country, I'm not sure how you'll afford 'em on $75k per year. Seriously, if you're supporting more than just yourself, $75k is perhaps liveable but "affluent"? I think not.

  • Warty||

    My girlfriend and I are doing more or less fine on 60 combined, even with the giant amounts of steak it takes to keep me sexy. You should move to a shitty crumbling Rust Belt city and save on rent.

  • ||

    60 combined?!? Do you work at McDonald's? You're a programmer or engineer, right?

  • Warty||

    After I got my MS, my advisor convinced me to stick around and get even more overeducated. It's way smarter than making money.

  • ||

    Dude, you could be out making bank. You're crazy. I make significantly more than you guys combined just on my shitty "I'll make my ton of money when we get bought" startup salary.

  • Warty||

    Yeah, but boring people do prudent things. Fuck it. This way I get to play with robots that stab shit.

  • fish||

    Gay porno-bots.

  • ||

    You work on robots?

    So when do I get one that can clean my house and cook me food?

  • Warty||

    A while. In the meantime, rip out a Mexican's tongue and you'll have the next best thing.

  • ||

    PhD? In something tech-y? If you want to fully capitalize on it, stupid expensive Seattle will be waiting for you.

  • Warty||

    Not if my stabbing robots stab everyone there first. I'm trying to fix that bug, but not that hard.

    "Now stand back, I gotta practice my stabbing!"

  • ||

    Because you dared to dream of your own race of atomic monsters, atomic supermen with octagonal shaped bodies that suck blood...

  • ||

    You don't happen to have a newsletter, do you?

  • Spiny Norman||

    Doesn't the government offer top hat and monocle assistance to needy individuals? They have all that stuff over in enlightened Europe. And trains, too.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Sell me Amtrak already, BigGov! I want to show you how it's done.

    Maybe I should get an MBA one of these days...

  • ||

    You weren't kidding about the false dichotomies. Why no choice for "Homosexuality should be IGNORED by society."

    I have not the faintest idea how I got scored as a libertarian...there were a few questions where the response clearly intended for socialists was closer to the libertarian view . Between "The govt should make changes to help the poor" or "the government does enough to help the poor", I had to choose the former, thinking of restricting eminent domain and making public schools compete for students, even though I'm sure that by "help" they mean "hand money to".

  • Homer||

    "I had to choose the former, thinking..."

    Well, there's your problem, right there.

  • MJ||

    Since when are socalists against taking property away from it's rightful owners?

  • ||

    I have not the faintest idea how I got scored as a libertarian...

    Color me surprised as well.

  • SIV||

    It's Saturday. Shouldn't you be at the SlutWalk?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That quiz, like all political compass exercises, is total bullshit. I got pegged as a libertarian, but based on twenty this-or-that questions? Please.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    It's better than 10. But really, they should have had at least 45 and phrased them in honest, direct terms.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I don't understand what the fuck they are trying to figure out. They are making it too complicated.

  • Robert||

    The idea is to identify certain groupings of opinions and demographics that tend to go together within this population. So you come up with a list of questions on matters you think might be significant, favoring those you think will break about 50-50. Then you take the responses and do statistical analysis to see if you can find correlated answers that cluster together more than chance would predict. Then you give names (such as "libertarian") to those clusters. the identified clusters are then fodder for sociologists to try to figure out why they exist, why they shrink & grow over time, etc.

    Seems like I'm the only commenter who grooves to this sort of research.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I really groove this kind of research when it is done well. This doesn't seem to be done well.

  • Robert||

    What about it doesn't seem to be done well? They've been doing it for decades and reporting periodically. I'mm sure they'd appreciate suggestions for improvement.

  • robc||

    Every question should be answerable. Have you not been reading the comments?
    FALSE FUCKING CHOICES.

    People have presented, very clearly, questions in which neither of the answers is an acceptable answer (at least to libertarians). You cant get your precious 50-50 split when people leave it blank.

  • Robert||

    Yes, you can. These people have worked on this technique and project for quite some time and have gotten interesting answers over that period. Haven't you seen from other comments that you don't even have to answer a majority of questions to find your closest cluster?

    You're imposing a constraint that has nothing to do with the purpose of the research. For these purposes, not every question has to be "answerable" as far as every respondent is concerned.

  • robc||

    The instructions disagree with you.

    The instructions say to answer every question with whichever answer is as close to my view as possible, but that isnt possible if I reject entirely both answers.

    I understand what you are saying, but you are missing our point. I played around with five questions and can get Disaffected or Libertarian with small changes, however, the point is, none of those questions have fuck all to do with libertarianism. It **may** indicate a cluster, but so the fuck what?

    In fact, when I answer those 5 questions honestly, I dont score as a libertarian (Im too religous and dont make enough money, I guess).

    I used to work at a market research company, Ive seen these clusters in non-political areas, I understand the concept, but my big problem with it then (and with this one) is the labelling.

    Putting libertarian as the label of the group without considering any political questions at all is complete BS. A libertarian is a libertarian SOLELY based on their political leanings, not due to income or religion.

  • Robert||

    That's your understanding of the word, but in Catholic doctrine, as well as that of Lifespirit Church (formerly Libertarian Congregational Church), it meant belief in freedom of the will -- and that meaning existed before yours.

    So, uh, what label would you apply to that cluster? Remember, in previous runs of this survey, they did not find a cluster they thought should have that name. I note that occasionally they've looked back at their data and renamed clusters they'd originally given other names.

    none of those questions have fuck all to do with libertarianism. It **may** indicate a cluster, but so the fuck what?


    "-ism" has 2 meanings, at least. One meaning refers to condition, tendency, behavior, etc. The other meaning refers to belief or opinion. A "capitalist" might refer to either an investor or someone who thinks it's good for people to be allowed to employ capital as they choose -- or both.

    As to what the fuck good it is, don't you think it could be useful and/or just plain interesting to know that people who have a certain pattern of ideas also tend to have certain other patterns of ideas? I.e., that stereotypes of people have a rational basis?

    I too have worked for market research firms -- Market Facts in Chicago and the Universal Survey Center in NY, decades apart.

  • Robert||

    I forgot the most important point in what's going to post below (I think) this.

    Putting libertarian as the label of the group without considering any political questions at all is complete BS.


    It's not BS, because their research reveals that people who give a certain pattern of answers to the non-political questions tend to give a certain pattern of answers to the political ones. Not a perfect correlation, of course, but much better than chance. In other words, one's statements about religion, finances, etc. are strong predictors of that person's statements about politics.

  • Neu Mejican||

    In other words, one's statements about religion, finances, etc. are strong predictors of that person's statements about politics choices when presented with a false political dilemma leaving the researchers with no idea what they think about the issues presented.

    FIFY

  • ¢||

    I answered that I'm a man who can pay my bills, and I left the rest blank.

    "Libertarian."

  • Tman||

    I did that one and the "Government regulation harms business".

    Check mark for Libertarian.

    Science is fun!

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Science is fun. Pseudoscience (read: sociology) is even more!

  • Thorbie||

    I actually knew a guy who majored in Sociology who called himself a "social scientist." It was hilarious.

  • Sku||

    It told me I HAD to answer at least FIVE questions to be categorized.

    So I answered the largely non-political, personal ones.

    This makes me a libertarian: (1) I pay the bills (2) I’m comfortable with my financial situation (3) I think if people work hard they can get ahead (4) I don’t think you have to believe in God to have good values and (5) I’m religious.

  • Robert||

    See? Isn't it interesting that those answers were enough to peg you?

  • ||

    No.

  • Robert||

    Then why are you even commenting?

  • ||

    Why did you ask a question you didn't want answered?

  • cynical||

    Maybe they just check to see if you came from Reason. You should try it in private mode.

  • Warty||

    It's good to know that anyone's political views can be encoded with 5-20 bits.

  • ||

    When someone's idea of political views is "TEAM RED or TEAM BLUE or leaning towards one of them", 5-20 bits is all they need. It's not like they're thinking or anything.

  • Warty||

    Episiarch encoding is way better than Shannon encoding, because any string can be compressed to one bit.

  • ||

    TEAM RED = 0
    TEAM BLUE = 1

    Done in one bit.

  • Warty||

    AND IT'S ABSOLUTELY LOSSLESS!!!!!!!!!!

  • alan||

    More of a targa than a jpeg.

  • Sudden||

    So, what you're saying is that Congress is one big binary clusterfuck?

    00101010111101100100010110101010101001010101001010.... x535. Bernie Sanders tried to be a 2 just to fuck up the machine but everyone knows he is a 1.

  • Warty||

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Gotta love that '80's hair.

  • 1001001||

    I

  • Mensan||

    010011100110111100100000011100110111000001100101011000010110101101
    100001001000000110010001100001001000000110001001101001011011100
    11000010111001001111001

  • Mensan||

    010011100110111100100000011100110111000001100101011000010110101101
    100001001000000110010001100001001000000110001001101001011011100
    11000010111001001111001

  • Mensan||

    Friggin' squirrels!

  • Robert||

    No, Episiarch, it's much better than that. The whole idea of this survey, inaugurated in the 1980s, is that there are clusters of fact & opinion that categorize people better than TEAM RED & TEAM BLUE. (Funny, even those colors hadn't settled in yet when these surveys were inaugurated.) However, unlike things like the Nolan chart & WSPQ, this type of analysis doesn't try to decide in advance what axes are important. It tries to find clusters identified by any combinations of facts about & opinions of the people.

  • ||

    Are you already married to this survey or just trying to get it into bed? Do I need to random bold some words to get my point across?

  • Robert||

    I'm just vexed that nobody else here appreciates the science of this. Maybe it's because it embarrasses them how predictable groups of people are -- and therefore how predictable the individuals in those groups are.

    And I don't bold words at random; I bold the ones where I'm shouting.

  • x,y||

    douchey guy is douchey

  • ||

    That's not really the case though -- you've already chosen the axes you think are important when you choose the questions that will be asked.

  • Robert||

    Of course the questions introduced will affect the clusters that can be found. But look at the clusters that have been identified, and then tell me how the questions that they chose were badly chosen. They seem remarkably successful. Remember, the idea is to choose questions that some (surely not all) respondents will think to be of some importance. The ones you think are unimportant, other people in the population to be studied do think are important, and vice versa.

  • Darien||

    Pegged me as a libertarian, too. Check-plus on the '82 Trojans joke.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    My favorite unresolvably-false dichotomy that I refused to take a side on was:


    Poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return

    vs

    Poor people have hard lives because government benefits don't go far enough to help them live decently

    Real answer:

    Poor people have hard lives because they are fucking poor. You fucking morons.

  • Sudden||

    The monocle is strong with you

  • Robert||

    It doesn't matter what the right answers are to any of these questions. What matters is just that answering one way or the other contributes to identifying clusters in the popul'n of respondents.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Man, that's an amazingly nonsensical rationalization.

    It doesn't matter what the right answer is? really?

    You don't see any problem with the fact that human researchers have chosen to word questions in a certain way, and that those questions are flat out impossible to answer truthfully? Picking either of two incorrect options doesn't tell you much about what a person actually thinks, but rather that box they are pushed into by people doing mediocre polling work.

    There is nothing objective or scientific about what you're talking about by any known definitions I'm aware of.

  • Robert||

    Did you read the explanations of their process by which they arrive at questions? I guarantee you that if you made up the questions, there would be other respondents who would have problems with your questions.

    The method is remarkably good at finding correlations, else the clusters they identify would not exist. Did it ever occur to you that even when people say they can't answer a question but pick one anyway, that that does tell you something about the way the person actually thinks, even if s/he doesn't realize it hirself? You did see the instructions that acknowledged that you may not think you can definitively answer some questions, didn't you? And haven't you seen the comments here by people who skipped most of the questions and still found themselves in a cluster with a name that does seem to comport with their thinking? Isn't it amazing how often it can identify "libertarians" even when they answer questions that mostly don't bear directly on their socio-political opinions?

    Maybe you've seen a fortune teller's act and have thought, "Well, that isn't really scientific." Yet you're ignoring the science by which the fortune teller gets things right much more often than chance would predict.

  • ||

    Dear lord, I'm a libertarian! Is there any medication I can take for my condition?

  • ||

    Not too impressed by the phrasing of the questions.

  • Otto||

    Did anyone try to answer all of the questions? I wonder if it's possible to be a Libertarian with the BS choices.

    Also, I wonder if ignoring some questions also gets you extra points in the monocle club - defying authority and all that.

  • skr||

    Yes it is but you'll feel a little dirty like you wallowed in some racist republican feces.

  • Rock Action ||

    I did. I wound up libertarian. I didn't agree with most of the premises of the questions, so I assumed the lesser of the two evils.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    I'm going to take it again and see what happens if I just do the left and right columns. No party, age, or gender info. Brb.

    Yay, I'm disaffected! Now for the right column.

    Now I'm a New Coalition Democrat.

    I'm not even going to try to figure this out.

  • J||

    The organization isn't the same every time you take it.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    I got that, but if my memory served correctly, they stay on the same side.

    Maybe I don't remember correctly.

  • Sku||

    When I answered the minimum 5 required for a category, I came out libertarian.

    When I answered all 20, I came out staunch conservative.

  • asdf||

    I answered all of them and got libertarian. I've done a million political tests that were better than this one.

  • Max||

    A brain transpalnt.

  • Grindo, the self-grinding ape||

    *ook*

  • Otto||

    Dear lord, I'm a libertarian! Is there any medication I can take for my condition?

    There's a wide variety, but you've said previously you're not that kind of libertarian.

  • ||

    Over the past 70 years, the only other time that independent identification reached a similar level was in 1992, the year when Ross Perot was a popular independent presidential candidate.

    Ross Perot vote + Republican vote = Ron Paul wins in 2012

    But yeah new mex is right...he is not a "serious" candidate...whatever the fuck that means.

  • ||

    It means nothing. If he has the money and the inclination to stick it out, he's serious. That's it.

  • Cyto||

    Nobody sticks it out any more. Hillary had enough juice to take it to the floor last time around, and she bowed out. Nobody on the Republican side had the thing in hand when they all just caved and gave it to McCain. I hope Paul takes it all the way to the convention. Hopefully Johnson can get enough money to do the same. A brokered convention would be cool!

  • Neu Mejican||

    whatever the fuck that means

    If he has the money and the inclination to stick it out, he's serious

    I was using "serious" to indicate a significant likelihood of winning in the general election. I stand by my claim. I don't think RP has a serious chance of winning a general election.

  • ||

    I don't think RP has a serious chance of winning a general election.

    Then your math is fucked up. (most likely clouded by your TEAM BLUE hackmanship)

    Independents are not going to vote for Obama if there is a candidate with independent street cred.

    Ron Paul has that street cred just like Ross Perot had that street cred in 92'

    If he has the Republican nomination then all the Republicans are going to vote for him as well. Who else are they going to vote for?

    The simple math is:

    Independent vote + Republican vote = Ron Paul wins in 2012.

    Ron Paul in the general is as serious as a bullet wound.

  • ||

    Just for history sake:

    Ross Perot 18.9%
    Bushy 1 37.5%

    = 56.4%

    That is not a win...

    That is a fucking land slide.

  • Sudden||

    Agreed. Now if only we could get the punditry to, ya'know, actually drop a sentence in there saying he showed up at the debates instead of gushing over T-Paw's Dana Carvey impersonation or Santorum's Clintonesque mouth movements when being questions about how women belong in the kitchen.

  • Cyto||

    Josh has a pretty good read. Paul's problem is winning the Republican nomination. Nobody seriously believes he can do that, so nobody is seriously considering him to have a chance against Obama. If he did manage to pull off the nomination, he'd do something no Republican has ever done, hurt Obama with his progressive base. How many anti-war, anti-drug-war civil libertarians would be tempted away from Obama by someone who gets them? The black vote is clearly not moving, but the hippie vote is definitely in play.

    Paul would get all of the right wing vote. A decent campaign would get him most of the independent vote. And he'd hurt Obama in his own progressive base. There's a good chance that Obama wouldn't carry more than a couple of big states.

    Of course, there's a better chance that Paul won't get the nomination in the first place. There's a lot of hardball to be played in the primary process.

  • Sudden||

    Paul would get all of the right wing vote

    This part I'm not 100% sold on. I do think that for the most part he would. But I think there is a sect of neocon, God-gave-america-the-biggest-cock-to-piss-on-everyone-else republicans (Bill Kristol types) that would rather have Obama's increasing welfare state if it meant preservation of the warfare state. That said, I don't believe that slice of the GOP is big enough to really hurt Paul among 'pubs.

  • ||

    But I think there is a sect of neocon, God-gave-america-the-biggest-cock-to-piss-on-everyone-else republicans

    I think that group is diminishingly small....they are totally unable to get any votes but are disproportionally effective on the policy side of government. Their prominence was both an accident of history (9/11) and the fact that after the cold war the US had no rational consistent foreign policy and as the US in the 90s looked inward they were effective in filling that void.

  • Sudden||

    Pretty solid analysis, and I agree. Like I said, I didn't think it was a big enough contingent of the pub base to really negatively affect RP in a general election; but a lot of those types are gatekeepers, so they'll really try and marginalize him in the primary cycle.

  • Nash||

    Remember there were a number of people on the right who were talking about how great a candidate Hillary would be because she's interested in nuking Iran. Don't underestimate the warmongers.

  • JoshINHB||

    But I think there is a sect of neocon, God-gave-america-the-biggest-cock-to-piss-on-everyone-else republicans (Bill Kristol types) that would rather have Obama's increasing welfare state if it meant preservation of the warfare state.

    No doubt, but it's high time those cocksuckers go back the socialist party they came from.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Of course, there's a better chance that Paul won't get the nomination in the first place.

    And the math presented depends upon this unlikely outcome. I don't see him getting it, but who knows, might happen.

  • ||

    And the math presented depends upon this unlikely outcome.

    Sort of agree. Getting Ron Paul the primary vote requires that Republicans accept the fact that 2012 will be determined by independent voters and therefore they need an independent candidate.

    A clear sighted politically rational Republican party is a rare thing...but it did happen with Reagan. So it is not unprecedented only uncommon.

  • Robert||

    In that case he should do better in delegates not elected by primary -- except possibly in states that make it easy for non-Republicans to vote in Republican primaries. His best shot would occur in a convention of delegates who are all professional politicians not directly representing anybody, who would just try to pick a candidate with the best chance of winning, regardless of ideology. in other words, if they were all patronage hacks.

  • skr||

    The republican base is a lock regardless of candidate. All he has to do is say "Obama, boogity boo" and he's got those votes. It's the rest of the country and with obamas record on civlib and war the libertarian candidates could siphon off votes. But the king makers in the republican party will have none of it.

  • asdf||

    This makes sense.

  • rhofulster||

    "Defining values: Highly critical of government. Disapprove of social welfare programs. Pro-business and strongly opposed to regulation. Accepting of homosexuality. Moderate views about immigrants compared with other Republican-oriented groups"

    This actually sounds about right to me. If they arrived at these conclusions using the linked quiz, I'd have to term the result a howler.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    They probably went here:

    http://www.lp.org/platform

  • Robert||

    No, they didn't. They went "here", so to speak: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cluster_analysis

    It's all about how certain combinations of characteristics are predictive of others. Another way of putting this is that stereotypes, as applied to humans, are justified.

  • Spiny Norman||

    You have to answer at least five questions to get a result. I specified that I was doing okay financially (2 questions) and that I'm not religious (2 questions). None of those really have any political significance. I also said that government is wasteful and inefficient.

    It scored me as Libertarian.

    I'm guessing that some questions get weighted more than others toward certain categories and that the inefficiency question will peg you as Libertarian for most answer sets.

  • Robert||

    Amazing, huh? For all the jokes about monocles, there's really something to it. Stereotypes make sense. Of course they're not perfect predictors, but if you're a betting man....

    And being a betting man probably correlates with stuff too!

  • pew||

    Based on your responses, YOU are a… Libertarian along with 9% of the public...
  • Neu Mejican||

    SO here's a game:
    Try and guess the group for those here that don't self-identify as libertarian.

    I took it...hated the questions.
    What'dya group do you think I fell in?

    What group would MNG, Max, rather etc...get?

  • Warty||

    I tried to answer as john, and it called me a staunch conservative. Then I took it again and switched only the Jesus question, and it called me a libertarian. So there you go.

  • Spiny Norman||

    Is there a spittle-spewing troll category?

  • Otto||

    I'd guess you and MNG would probably show up in one of Libertarian, Disaffected or Post-Modern. While we get annoyed at both of you, you're much further to the "right" than the average liberal.

    There is no "worthless shit" category, so I don't know where Max would fall. But I sure hope he does.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Libertarian, Disaffected or Post-Modern

    Yeah, but which one?

  • Otto||

    I'm not sure how much of a fiscal conservative you are, (I can't remember you commenting on budget threads). But I'll say "Libertarian".

  • Neu Mejican||

    I am pretty moderate on budget. I thought the "pay go" rule was about right.

  • Otto||

    Okay, then Post-Modern.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Otto is an observant individual.
    Looking at the follow up, it looks like I am Post-Modern leaning slightly libertarian.

    That said. Most of the questions present false choices.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Yeah, a lot of those issue go more than one way. The gov't spending $$$ to help the poor (essential ignore deficits vs. unaffordable) didn't give me the option of "government's role is not to combat poverty, merely to protect life, liberty, and property."

  • Robert||

    "False choices", huh? They're not supposed to flatter you, and not supposed to have right & wrong answers -- just predictive & non-predictive answers.

    If it turned out you could reliably predict other answers of respondents my their answers to a silly question like, "Does you chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?", or even a total bullshit question like "Dagnpaf chphqcp wohqewpr?", that would be a good question to select for such a survey.

  • Neu Mejican||

    "False choices", huh? They're not supposed to flatter you, and not supposed to have right & wrong answers -- just predictive & non-predictive answers.

    If it turned out you could reliably predict other answers of respondents my their answers to a silly question like, "Does you chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?", or even a total bullshit question like "Dagnpaf chphqcp wohqewpr?", that would be a good question to select for such a survey.

    I haven't read all of your comments on the underlying cluster analysis here, but you are forgetting a very important element here...validity. This survey finds clusters and gives labels, but the false choices presented in the questions casts serious doubts about the validity of the survey for illuminating anything about how people's beliefs cluster.

    In other words, the false choices DO matter.

  • Robert||

    No, Neu, the "falsity" of the choices don't matter. The point is that, statistically, some people will choose one answer and some will choose others, and the answers they give from question to question are correlated enough that they tend to occur in clusters within the population. It might turn out that answers regarding baseball teams they root for would correlate with answers regarding other seemingly unrelated matters. They could put up nonsense strings as "answers" in different colors, and people picking an answer on the basis of color might be predictive of other answers.

    If all the questions presented nothing but false choices, then although clusters might be found, nobody would care. But clearly some of the questions do pose serious choices for you, so the above is not the case.

    Maybe after they found the clusters, "libertarian" would not have been the best name to pick for one of them...but you have to admit it seems to have worked very well based on responses here. Most of the clusterings reported in the past did not include a cluster labeled "libertarian", because other clusterings categorized the population better. I remember in the first survey, the most libertarian clusters were the "enterprisers", "upbeats", and "seculars"; no cluster of "libertarians" per se in that one.

  • Neu Mejican||

    If all the questions presented nothing but false choices, then although clusters might be found, nobody would care. But clearly some of the questions do pose serious choices for you, so the above is not the case.

    My point, which you are missing, is that all the questions, essentially, presented nothing but false choices...resulting in meaningless clusters. You have to go back to the responses in an attempt to describe the clusters. And with the questions asked as they were, you end up with content-free descriptions of the clusters. Again, reliable and valid are distinct concepts. While this survey is valid enough to spark a discussion here, it is not valid enough to explain how political beliefs cluster in the US, because the questions do not reveal anyone's political beliefs.

  • ||

    I thought Post-Modern meant you were from the future.

  • ||

    You?

    New Mex = New Dem leans slightly post-modern

  • Neu Mejican||

    Nope.

  • ||

    Rather = bystander leans new dem

    MNG = Post-modern leans new dem

    Max = solid liberal (terrible name) leans national socialist party

  • Neu Mejican||

    Now this prediction seems on the money.

  • Trespassers W||

    Ok, which of you idiots don't own guns? It better be because you're too high to drive to the gun shop.

  • Sudden||

    I spent too much on my monocle. Besides, I prefer to starve poor people instead of shoot them. But I am not insensitive; I take of the top hat to show respect for their sacrifice after their bellies have distended sufficiently to my delight.

  • Trespassers W||

    Hmm. I should start a nonprofit group to arm the other 54%.

  • Sudden||

    WTF man? You're a goddamned libertarian, start a business, don't run some pansy nonprofit. I'll buy the gun when you turn the sight into a monocle. See? Innovation, the soul of libertarian entrepreunership.

    Besides, its trying to convince the wifey to get over the squemishness of teH GunZ that is my biggest current obstacle.

  • Sudden||

    On second thought, don't steal that monocle sight idea. That might be my mealticket right there.

  • Trespassers W||

    Touché.

    Take her shooting. I'm working on mine...

  • Jim||

    The trick is to starve them until the belly is distended, then shoot the belly. There's an explosive decompression, and it's AWESOME.

  • Sudden||

    What about a knife, or even a ninjastar? I live in an apartment and the downstairs neighbor complains when I wear shoes in my kitchen. I have a feeling she would bitch about the noise from a gunshot.

  • cynical||

    Just don't use a shotgun. That's how I got my sexy acid scars.

  • ||

    Not me; I like to buy guns while high.

  • Cyrus||

    Always carry my gun, and the safety is always off!

  • Otto||

    Beat me to it, and with a better reply.

  • Brett L||

    Me! Oh, wait. I thought you said "enough" guns. I have guns.

  • Sku||

    Me. My husband has plenty of guns, but if I were single, I wouldn't own one of my own. I just don't feel the need. I've been shooting, and it's okay, and maybe even fun to do once or twice a year, but it's not something I'm particularly interested in, and I certainly don't want to spend money on it. Sure, I think everyone should be free to own guns, but not everyone wants to, and as long as everyone is free too...I'm a free rider.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    Ok, which of you idiots don't own guns?

    Batman doesn't need guns, and neither do I.

  • Spiny Norman||

    If you answer as a poor, religious, liberal environmentalist who hates immigrants, you're "Disaffected."

  • Cyto||

    Brilliant!

  • juris imprudent||

    It would be so much better if that was "Disinfected".

  • SIV||

    Democratic-oriented "Post-Moderns"

    COSMO-FAGS!
    Seriously, that quiz sucks. I couldn't answer most of it but I hate government, like immigrants,"oppose the environment", and think "strong diplomacy" is for "New World Order Bilderberger-Lackey Consumer/SLAVES" so apparently I'm some kind of "libertarian".

  • ||

    I couldn't answer most of it but I hate government

    answering the question about blacks made my stomach turn.

    No it is not their fault, no it is not racism.

    Blacks are fucked economically because of government.

  • SIV||

    All I have to do is say you Godless fucks can't be moral and I become a "staunch conservative". The quiz is profoundly flawed.

  • Robert||

    Does it produce statistically reliable clustering? Then it's not flawed. The point of the survey isn't to flatter your sensibilities.

  • SIV||

    Did you design this POS ?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Robert,

    Clustering algorithms often find reliable clusters from meaningless noise. If the point of this survey is to add information to the world, it needs to be based on meaningful questions. The clusters will be interpreted based on the responses to the false choices presented in the survey. If they are flawed, the statistical reliability doesn't help the validity of the results.

  • Robert||

    Do all the questions have to be meaningful to all respondents and readers?

  • Neu Mejican||

    They have to be meaningful to the researchers.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Let me expand that response.

    The researchers use the responses to interpret their clusters. If respondents find themselves saying "I don't like either answer, but I have to pick one, so I'll go with this" on even a significant minority of responses, then the interpretation of what those that cluster together believe is inaccurate. The cluster doesn't explain anything. You end up with a latent cluster without any understanding of why the people that cluster are clustering. In this survey, aside from questions maybe 3, 10, 18, 19, all the choices are false choices. So the only information you end up with about the clusters that might be considered valid would have to be based on those questions. Not really very interesting science in the end, which is too bad, because better design paired with this kind of effort might have told us something about the political landscape in the US.

  • Robert||

    These people have been at this for decades, first under the aegis of the Times Mirror, and now Pew. If what you say is true, don't you think someone working on the project over that time would've said something to that effect?

    Could it be instead that what are false choices for you are real choices for some other people? And that what are real choices for you are false choices for other people? Are you somehow endowed with the ability to discern what are the real choices that everybody cares about?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Are you somehow endowed with the ability to discern what are the real choices that everybody cares about?

    Yes. I can read English and think about the implications of the choices.

    If what you say is true, don't you think someone working on the project over that time would've said something to that effect?

    Sure. I am guessing some have raised the issue.

    Could it be instead that what are false choices for you are real choices for some other people?

    Irrelevant to my points.

  • cynical||

    But if the government fucks blacks more than other groups, it's either something blacks are doing to get fucked (ie, their fault, in a blame-the-victim sense) or the soft bigotry of low expectations (ie, racism, just on the part of nice, right-thinking people).

  • ||

    it's either something blacks are doing to get fucked (ie, their fault, in a blame-the-victim sense) or the soft bigotry of low expectations (ie, racism, just on the part of nice, right-thinking people).

    or they use to be slaves and then were under Jim Crow and just as they are given the ability to reach economic parody with whites a drug war, massive institutional incompetence in the public schools, and anti job commerce clause infused regulations fuck em in the ass.

    Simply put when the pie is artificially constrained from growing it is the marginal and poor who get screwed.

  • pedant||

    Parity - not parody. :-)

  • alan||

    Took it. Libertarian. Some questions were pretty stupid.

    Homosexuality should be accepted by society

    Homosexuality should be discouraged by society

    From my own moral template I know that I should be more accepting, but I really can't speak for the next guy over. It is really up to him. I was uncomfortable with answering either way, as it imposes my quite arbitrary internal frame of reference (some would call them values, but that is just Neanderthal level silly) in a positivist fashion on others.

  • Rock Action ||

    That's a really, really good point. Something was bothering me about a few questions, and you nailed that one. It assumes our normative beliefs should be enacted towards some end, and you don't get to question the validity of the assumption.

  • Robert||

    Nevertheless, it takes "guessing" into account, and produces surprisingly accurate clustering. It's not supposed to make you comfortable. they know people will find a lot of the questions stupid (different people finding different ones stupid), but it fucking works anyway!!

  • Rock Action ||

    Nobody said shit about guessing. You're not reading, you're reacting. And coming off poorly.

    Dewey defeats Truman!

  • Rock Action ||

    Eh, you're not coming off poorly. Scratch that.

  • Tony||

    No surprise: I'm a solid liberal (best educated of the groups).

  • Sudden||

    (best educated of the groups)

    Much like how those who attend church regularly are no closer to God; those who attend more classes are no closer to truth.

  • Tony||

    The truth defined as whatever you believe, of course. Don't need a stinkin professor to tell you that!

  • Jim||

    Best educated, and yet strangely make less money.

  • MJ||

    "Best educated" and possessing skills and knowledge valuable to society are not the same things.

  • Tony||

    The relevant skill is identifying the best policy. I dunno, I don't see a virtue in consulting anyone but the best educated people for this.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    Well, that's because you're a shit who thinks arguments matter less than the people who make them.

  • Mommy, Mommy!||

    I'm in the most educated group.

    Mom: But tony honey you are not well-educated.

    tony honey: that's ok, 'cause I'm in the group with really smart people like Obama.

  • Hate to break the news||

    But Obama's a New Coalition Dem, not a liberal.

  • that's the.....||

    Pro War, Religious, Homophobic wing of the Democratic Party.

  • Tony||

    Hate to break it to you, but Obama is not pro war, he's "against dumb wars." He's only religious for TV, and he is not a homophobe.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    All wars not fought in defense are dumb.

  • Tony, that's comical||

    your sophism twists like a pretzel. I suppose he isn't against all corporate welfare, only dumb corporate welfare, as defined by himself. He has proven -- to my surprise, I might add -- that he is as much of an irrational warmonger as Bush ever was. Bush's cost and death toll was a lot higher, but Obama's hot to catch up. The born-again president attended a gay-bashing church for twenty years and sat every Sunday in the front pew chanting, Amen, Amen. Do you claim he is lying about his Christianity? Accept reality tone, this is what we are stuck with.

  • Tony||

    Yes I think he's lying about his Christianity. That and his stance on gay marriage are pure politicking. That's my theory anyway.

    And wake me when Obama starts his own disastrous war based on lies instead of cleaning up Bush's.

  • You know what Judge Milian||

    says about lying.....

  • MNG||

    *We* would never go to a tractor pull, now would we?

  • Good zinger, MNG||

  • ||

    In the new Thor Movie Stan Lee tries to pull Thor's hammer with a pickup truck and destroys the pickup bed.

    Terrible movie do not watch it.

  • MWG||

    Well, you are smug like a liberal, I'l give you that.

  • Mensan||

    Solid Liberals: Best educated of the groups: 49% hold at least a bachelor's degree
    Libertarians: About seven-in-ten (71%) have attended college
  • ||

    LIbertarians: people more than smart enough to be accepted by post-secondary institutions, but also smart enough to quickly realize that a M.A. is a scam and won't feed the bulldog...

  • Invisible Finger||

    Why do you think they call it Pew?

  • Liberal||

    PEW PEW PEW

    IMMA CHARGIN' MAH SPHINCTER

  • CE||

    Looks like they pegged me:

    Highly critical of government. (check)

    Disapprove of social welfare programs. (check)

    Pro-business and strongly opposed to regulation. (check)

    Accepting of homosexuality. (check)

    Moderate views about immigrants compared with other Republican-oriented groups. (check)

    non-Hispanic white (I guess. My shirt is white, but my skin is more flesh colored.)

    male (check)

    Well educated (check)

    have incomes of $75,000 or more (check)

    Less likely than other GOP groups to attend church weekly (check)

    use social networking sites (sorry, never)

    have a gun in the household (check)

    currently have a U.S. passport (check)

    trade stocks (check)

    regularly watch Fox News (actually, I try to avoid it as much as possible)

    regularly listen to NPR (what's that?)

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Why am I not getting the passport question? FYI: I have one, but have used it only a few times since I got it.

  • ||

    I am labeled "Post-Modern" but I fittingly hate labels.

  • Spiny Norman||

    Ah, a Post-Modern Label-Hater.

  • Joe M||

    That questionnaire is almost impossible to answer. I think I answer less than half the questions, but it still pegged me as libertarian.

  • Robert||

    Isn't that amazing? I mean it.

  • LC||

    Who the fuck are you? And why do you keep posting about how awesome the survey is?

  • Robert||

    Because it vexes me how unimpressed all the other commenters here are about it. Can't any of you step back from your own preferences and be amazed at how answering just a few questions, many of which are "almost impossible to answer", finds groupings of people who answer in similar patterns? It shows that facts and opinions about and by people are not scattered at random, but occur in patterns where certain answers correlate with others. "Stereotypes" aren't just jokes, they're true.

    I think that sort of finding bothers readers here because you'd like to think you're all unpredictable individuals, in the caricature sense of "individual". It bothers you that a survey like this can do a "cold read" like a fortune teller, asking some questions and from them inferring the answers to others statistically, when there doesn't seem to be any causal or rational cx between them.

    Plus, I've been following this survey for decades (as an original respondent in the 1980s) and find it interesting what demographic & opinion clusters exist in the USA.

    Plus, did you ever think that to influence masses of people, you need to understand them, not just on an individual basis, but as masses?

  • Robert||

    Also, I've been an interviewer for market and opinion research companies and have a general interest in the field.

    Did any of you ever think it paid not just to give your own opinions, but to pay att'n to other people's?

  • Rock Action ||

    After being a slightly (very slightly) taken aback by your comment hopping/responding, I did listen to both what you were saying and checked out your blog. Your ideas about baseball are certainly interesting. It's probably not a compliment to admit that I was laughing at points, but no home runs? C'mon...

    I will admit your version of the game might just work on rooftops.

  • Robert||

    I must admit I was inspired by situations in which loss of a Spaldeen would end the game. And you haven't even read of my plan to introduce a 5th base and convert the diamond into a regular pentagon.

    But it's not a blog. I just FTP up files occasionally. There are some unlinked ones at http://users.bestweb.net/~robgood/teach that mostly concerned Lost.

  • Post-Modern Am I....||

    ...in my highly educated, well-to-do manner. An under-taxed and over-fed savage, enjoying my obscenely-expensive home theater system in my cavernous man cave in my gated-community mini-mansion....Bring me another cold one...

  • Apologetic California||

    Huh. All I got from my responses was "Fag".

  • Otto||

    I think you took the shriek-Pew test by mistake.

  • ||

    It said I'm a werewolf, along with 7% of the population.

  • SIV||

    OK , I tried it with the "what would Sarah Palin answer" and it came up "libertarian". If you go for stereotype well-off conservative answers and like immigrants and leave the homo question blank AND are religious you're a "libertarian" middle-aged woman.

  • SIV||

    I think "government is bad" is very heavily weighted.

  • Robert||

    Not if it's good cluster analysis. Not if the questions are well chosen. Weighting may be used if the answers to a question skew strongly, but then it's probasbly best not to use that question at all.

  • x,y||

    You must be a blast at parties.

    Random Stranger: Hi!

    Robert: Clusters!

    Random Stranger: Huh?

    Robert: Clusters!

  • Robert||

    The study is about identifying clusters. So why shouldn't clusters be the focus of the comments?

  • Doctor Whom||

    I don't have a gun in the house, and I refuse to watch Faux News. Why, yes, I will have another helping of roast leg of poor person, please.

  • Paul||

    Much less religious than other GOP-oriented groups, Libertarians are relatively comfortable financially– nearly half (46%) say they are professional or business class, among the highest of the typology groups.

    *Looks at self, then around to all libertarians I personally know...*

    I should have been a teacher.

  • ||

    ^^^^ this guy is a 9%er

  • Paul||

    and affluent (39% have incomes of $75,000 or more).

    I must be deep in the other 61%

  • Sudden||

    Is that household income or individual?

  • Paul||

    Good question. For me, the individual income is the household income.

  • Confederal_Republic||

    I'm Soviet-born Korean, so I'm not white. Not even close. Pew is racist!11111111111111

    Identified me as a libertarian. What a piece of horseshit excuse for a questionnaire.

  • Paul||

    Lifestyle notes: Less likely than other GOP groups to attend church weekly (26%). More than half (56%) use social networking sites, and 46% have a gun in the household. 54% currently have a U.S. passport. 36% trade stocks. 38% regularly watch Fox News and 17% regularly listen to NPR.

    I never attend church. I have a gun in the house. I have a passport. I don't use social networking or post kissy-face photos of myself online (unless you consider h&r social networking), I haven't traded stocks in years and I may have actually never watched Fox News.

    I listen almost exclusively to NPR on the way to and from work in the morning.

  • ||

    According to Pew, you don't exist. How does it feel to not exist?

  • Paul||

    Great, actually.

  • ||

    Same here. Because they think the same thing about me.

  • Paul||

    Now if I could just "not exist" with a boatload of cash... I'd be in heaven.

  • ||

    You should try it sometime.

  • ||

    Did an aborted fetus just say something?

  • passive assi9||

    yeah, what on Earth is a 'post-modern'? this aborted fetus wasn't born yesterday!

  • Nash||

    For fun I answered the poll as if I was a fascist woman in her 60's. Highly religious, racist and convinced government is an answer to everything.

    Hard-Pressed Democrat. Of course I am.

  • ||

    I sure hope Welch makes at least $75k and watches Fox News (or should at least say he does, so they invite him on more often).

  • ||

    and watches Fox News

    I doubt it. The same goes for CNN, and MSNBC.

    If he watched those channels Reason Magazine would be inundated with articles by Matt about how stupid and inane they are.

    Hell he barely reads the LA times yet we can expect at least one article a month telling us how the Times is doing it wrong.

    I can't imagine what sort of conniption fit he would have if he watched Fox and friends on a daily basis.

  • Confederal_Republic||

    The sex between Hard-Pressed Democrats and Disaffecteds must be pure steamy awesomeness.

  • ||

    but even though I declined to answer a majority of them,

    Wait you can do that?!?!?

    FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.................

  • Neu Mejican||

    Wait you can do that?!?!?

    If you tow the lion on a survey like this...well...

  • ||

    Some of the questions they asked made me feel physically ill

    No pun will heal that wound.

    Plus you said you got through it so i am going to give part of the blame to you.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Some of the questions they asked made me feel physically ill

    Yeah, particularly the blame game ones.

  • juris imprudent||

    Bad idea to let other peoples stupidity cause you distress. Considering how full the world is of stupidity, you could be an invalid.

  • ||

    Post Modern Independent here. The two pro-environment regulation questions pretty much insured that status.

    Yeah, regs on the BP's of the world are good - if that makes me a dreaded "statist" so be it.

  • Nash||

    I don't mind some regs but I'd prefer the ability to sue them into oblivion when they screw up instead of letting the government let them weasel out of it with tort payment caps or limited liability status.

    But that's just me.

  • ||

    You're just a dreaded moron, shriek. Tell us about gold!

  • ||

    And your group was Slope-Headed Misanthrope, I presume? Too small a group to depict statistically.

  • ||

    I'm not Asian, shriek, but it's nice to see your racism on full display. Is there any disgusting hate you don't engage in?

  • passive assi9||

    who said anything about the Truth, you anti-slope bigot?

  • Pusillanonymous ||

    Is this a spoof?

  • Paul||

    Yeah, regs on the BP's of the world are good - if that makes me a dreaded "statist" so be it.

    Thank god for the regs we had on them before the deepwater horizon accident.

  • ||

    I hate smug Libertarians, and the poll told me that I am one. I'm gonna go fuck myself. I'll let you know if I'm any good.

  • Rock Action ||

    For some answer sheets, merely changing your party affiliation leads them to change your final category if you've self-identified at the ends of the political spectrum.

  • jacob||

    I'm libertarian, "Along with 9% of the public"

    I wonder if the kicker is that you think the gov't has made things equal for blacks and whites, yet you don't think belief in God is necessary to be moral.

    As an aside, I must say that for the past 3 years I've been coming to this site very regularly. To hear that only 9% of the public is libertarian sounds astonishingly low to me, but my views are probablya bit skewed.

  • Max||

    You've been coming to this site regularly and is surprises you that only 9% of the population swallows this shit? Now that's astonishing.

  • ||

    Hell, 9% of the poster here are not libertarian - the majority are just too embarrassed by the likes of Bush to call themselves GOPers any longer.

  • ||

    You don't even know what a libertarian is, you fucking imbecile. You're denser than a fucking neutron star. It's amazing.

  • ||

    Are you paid to juice traffic here by insulting everyone?

    You sure as hell don't add any intelligence here. So fuck you again, you cocksucking idiot.

  • ||

    Oh shriek, the fucking irony of you, the house moron, saying that someone else doesn't add any intelligence...it's just too rich. You're really this stupid. Amazing.

  • alan||

    Yesterday, shreek was in full strut mode gloating about how his guy got Osama. Of course, he just had to add that his Blue Team partisan whoring is so much more classier than Red Team partisan whoring. The level of unawareness is just unfathomable.

  • Tony||

    You really never say anything at all, just act like a giant douchebag. You were no doubt the victim of something similar in college.

  • passive assi9||

    i understand it now...

  • Pusillanonymous||

    rather, fuck off.

  • Spoof ||

    It's a spoof!

  • Check it out shrreekie||

    Obama, is classified as a New Coalition Dem, the Pro-War, Religious, Homophobic wing of the Democratic Party that you love so well, representing a full 10% of the population. BushyPigObamyPig. oh, so close, yet somehow far away.

  • ||

    So libertarians are GOPers who don't like Bush....

    I hate to say it but at least that is an evolution from your dipshit claim that we are all Bush loving christfags.

    I guess we can say you have moved up in your slow ascendancy out of the toilet bowl from wallowing in shit to swimming in piss.

  • Tony||

    I don't think anyone accused you guys of being too pious. Well, not about Jesus anyway.

  • ||

    Shrike did.

    He is sort of a lunatic....he was even more of one a year ago.

  • Tony||

    Sharing economic policy with the Jesus people isn't something to be proud of.

  • Coeus||

    Sharing economic policy with the Jesus people isn't something to be proud of.

    Neither is being unable to undertake the incredibly simple feat of separating the message from the messenger.

  • Tony||

    There are irrational people and rational people in this world. Why do you follow the irrational ones on economic policy? The problem is their lack of interest in data. It's unlikely they accidentally stumbled onto the correct economic policy. More likely you're both wrong and the date people are right.

  • Coeus||

    Their faith in the Sky Daddy is no more misguided than your faith in Big Daddy Government. They are both religions. Lately, your's has been vastly more destructive.

  • Tony||

    I don't worship anything. You may prefer to believe otherwise so as to more easily dismiss my policy preferences, but it's still a lie.

  • Coeus||

    I didn't say worship, I said misguided faith. You prefer to believe otherwise, so as to more easily dismiss my spot-on criticism, but it's still a lie.

  • Barack Obama||

    You on your knees with my cock in your mouth says otherwise.

  • ||

    Sharing economic policy with the Jesus people isn't something to be proud of.

    The Jesus people invented, developed and maintained liberal democracy for over 200 years...

    Also last I checked you voted for one in 2008 and he is currently our president.

    In fact unless you wrote in Nader (is he even an atheist?) every presidential candidate you have voted for has been of the Jesus people...and probably 99& of all candidates you have ever voted for.

    Sometimes I wonder if you ever read what you actually write.

  • passive assi9||

    it (shrike) was actually semi-lucid & almost funny on the (semi)live thread...was it another guy being on different meds? your God, even rather made me laugh this week...well, walpurgisnacht, doy...

  • Pusillanonymous ||

    rather/spussy/randroid/whatever

    Fuck off. Go home.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Let's see, under 80 years of liberal ascension, the dollar has lost 98% of it's value, 75% of black children are born out of wedlock, 65% of black fourth graders can't read at their grade level, 49% of black teenage girls have a STD, not to mention the incarceration rate and homocide rate of young black men, one can only ask - why do blacks vote for liberals?

  • Tony||

    Blacks saw their highest social mobility under liberal governments. We haven't had one of those arguably since Nixon.

  • Robert||

    That means 9% fall within a certain distance of the mathematic center of that cluster. Check out the other clusters. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cluster_analysis

  • ||

    Robert, we get it...you're in love with cluster-fuck analysis. Get a room already.

  • Robert||

    The question is not whether I am, it's why you're not. Aren't any of you curious about the science by which you can ask people questions about some things, and from their answers, infer their answers to other, seemingly unrelated things, much better than chance?

    Of course they're just seemingly unrelated, and that's science's jumping off point for searching for causal relationships between them. I guess I groove to this because I'm a scientist who's used to looking at correlations (such as in epidemiology) to see where it pays to look for mechanisms. It's just fascinating that this sort of technique works not only for figuring out why people develop certain diseases, but even for why they hold certain opinions!

    Wouldn't it be exciting to learn that you could sway people's opinions not just by persuasion, but by changing conditions in ways that affect their opinions non-rationally? It certainly is interesting to people marketing consumer goods and services that may be undistinguished in other ways but that people choose from based on non-rational criteria, like the color of the box.

  • *||

    The shit that is considered science these days is astounding.

    A truly scientific poll would allow people to fill in the blank to the questions asked and then correlate the answers.

  • Robert||

    You'd never get correlations that way, because practically never would 2 answers be the same. That is, unless you introduced judgment as to the substance of the answers, and then it really would be unscientific!

  • *||

    Not quite, following the facts wherever they lead you is the definition of science. The poll linked here is about as scientific as climate science based on computer modeling that doesn't correlate in the real world.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    New comers threaten trad values

    Companies have too much power

    Relying on military anti-terrorism bad

    Hard work isn't a guarantee

    Corps make fair and reasonable profits

    Military good for peace

    Racial discrimination is keeping blacks poor

    Religion = morality

    Gov't regulation good

    Not happy financially

    Gov't needs to help the poor

    EPA bad

    Gov't is wasteful and inefficient

    Religion not important

    Environmental laws good

    Can't afford to help needy

    Necessary changes for racial equality made

    Immigrants good

    Can make ends meet

    Homosexuality bad

    My completely contradictory profile is without age, party, or gender.

    Disaffected

  • jacob||

    What's with the Fox News comments? I took the article's meaning that 38% regularly watch Fox News as a sign that the majority of liberterians don't watch Fox.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    104% of Americans don't understand statistics. 38* do.

    *Degree sign.

  • ||

    Funny cuz it's true!

    Is it just me or is the anarchist in the cartoon looking dreamily at the libertarian?

    Note: Epi needs to answer this question.

  • ||

    I think he may be a gay anarchist. NTTAWWT.

  • Thursday||

    I said religion is a very important part of my life and then the pole informed me that, being libertarian, religion isn't a very important part of my life.

  • MNG||

    I had several like that too. Some strange weighting going on.

  • Robert||

    It's not weighting. The things it said about "what you are" are like a fortune teller's predictions -- not necessarily true for you, but much better than chance if they're good fortune tellers, based on the other things you've told them.

    Many fortune tellers intuitively practice a form of cluster analysis. We also call it stereotyping. It works pretty well. Not everyone who answers the questions that way will be someone for whom it's true that religion isn't very important, but many more than chance would have it.

  • --||

    The pole in your mouth?

  • MNG||

    ARRG, ME HATE LIBERAL POSTER!

    Your white-hot yet impotent rage is delicious!

  • cynical||

    They should have a sort of Wiki test where if you don't like the answer, you can type a new one. Then when other people take the test, they will see the n most popular responses in addition to the ones the poll writers put in.

  • juris imprudent||

    Pollsters would not be able to measure public opinion because it wouldn't fit their preconceived results. Good god man, think of how that would confuse the pundits and politicians? Have you no sense of empathy?

  • cynical||

    No, that's why I'm here.

  • Danny (A)||

    I came back as a libertarian. Which isn't surprising. I walk under the moniker of anarchist so yeah that would make sense. Good fit for me.

  • ||

    So am I the only poor Libertarian?

  • ||

    Probably not.

    Look at Warty's comments above. I think libertarians have a hard time thinking of themselves as poor even when they technically are poor.

    I make below median income but there is no way I think of myself as poor.

  • jacob||

    Bingo!

    I thought the same thing when I answered the question. I tend to believe that liberterians/conservatives are more "OK" with their financial statuses, whereas libs are more likely to feel the opposite.

  • PACW||

    Dead on! I read one of the government reports on food stamp/free lunch usage and the folks doing the analysis noted that families who qualified for food stamps but didn't apply for food stamps were less worried about being hungry (and had more actual food in the pantry) than food stamp recipients.

    So naturally their conclusion was we need to find ways to make sure more people are aware that they are eligible and to encourage them to apply.

  • Nipplemancer||

    nope

  • single dad||

    I know that the gov't doesn't teach history in school that does no promote MORE gov't, but it's time to grow up child and learn to be an independant person and not a "progressive" statist leech who needs a "big brother" from woom to grave.

  • Joe M||

  • jacob||

    There is a God

  • jacob||

    There is a God

  • MNG||

    Say it again brother!

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Not really intouch with the Republican Establishment Thingy, but that doesn't seem *too* suprising.

    I think Ron Paul has an infinitely higher chance of winning than Newt.

  • cynical||

    I'd also like to see better categories, like "Mall-hopping corporate concubine", "debt-hounded wage slave", "Activist tube feeder", "stone-faced urban homeboy", or "400-pound Tab-drinking economic roadkill".

  • Paul Krugman||

    Hey! Where do I fit into all this?

  • Activist tube feeder||

    Hey now!

  • silent v||

    Jesus (or at least my understanding of his teachings) is a New Coalition Democrat.

  • silent v||

    Hitler is Post Modern!?

  • cynical||

    You say that like it's a surprise.

  • MNG||

    Said I was a post-Modern whatever that is.

    I said the govt can't afford to help the needy but that it often does a better job than people give it credit for, that poor people have it hard and that hard work is no guarantee of success, that homosexuality should be accepted but that immigrants are a burden and that they threaten American values, that religion is unimportant and you can be moral without it, that while too much power is concentrated in large companies that most companies make a reasonable profit, that our country needs to make changes re: black white equality but that blacks that don't get ahead are mostly responsible for that, that diplomacy is good and relying on military force too much is bad, and support enviroment laws despite the cost.

  • MNG||

    The forced answer questions and the typologies force one into some pretty simplistic mindsets. Of course I don't think the poor have it 'easy' (that's kind of what it means to be poor) but I don't think we can afford to do much about it. Given that blacks are still 3 times more likely than whites to be poor there should probably be "some" changes made to correct that, but one can believe that and still think that many blacks that don't get ahead are "mostly" responsible for it. Large companies have a lot of power (of course libertarians have to say no to this because there is no power absent force, etc., yada, yada) but there profits strike me as reasonable (as long as there is some competition there is pressure for the profits to be reasonable).

    I really think they have no idea what to make of someone who supports environmental laws but not immigration.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    "Given that blacks are still 3 times more likely than whites to be poor there should probably be "some" changes made to correct that"

    End affirmative action and welfare.

    Caribbean immigrants have to wait two years to get welfare. They're about 15% less likely to be unemployed than blacks, because the waiting period means they get a move on it and get a job.

    Fancy that! Capitalism works, and socialism doesn't.

  • Tony||

    Maybe we should filter American blacks through the immigration system, then only count the ones who make it through.

  • ||

    End affirmative action and welfare.

    Ending the drug war and school vouchers would work better and faster.

  • 0x90||

    Granting DC statehood and then ejecting it from the union would work better and faster.

  • 0x90||

    Although in that case, I might have to rethink my position on immigration.

  • Robert||

    The forced answer questions and the typologies force one into some pretty simplistic mindsets.


    Yep, and it works.

    I really think they have no idea what to make of someone who supports environmental laws but not immigration.

    What you mean is that that pattern of answers doesn't seem to cluster mathematically. Remember, they're not trying to use judgement, just math.
  • Neu Mejican||

    MNG,

    that immigrants are a burden and that they threaten American values

    I wondered whether your xenophobia would knock you from Post-Modern to Disaffected. Now I know.

  • jacob||

    I really think they have no idea what to make of someone who supports environmental laws but not immigration.

    This is Michael Savage to a tee

  • MNG||

    And WTF is up with the questions about whether one if economically satisfied? WTF does that have to do with your political ideology?

  • Robert||

    It's predictive of it, and vice versa.

  • MNG||

    I went through and answered the questions as candidate Obama and got solid liberal, I imagine if I went through as President Obama I might get something different. I had to laugh at the questions about being able to make ends meet...

  • ||

    Primary Candidate Obama or November Election Candidate Obama?

  • ||

    I took the quiz, I am Pewbitarian. Not sure I am happy with that.

  • Tony||

    It's just a poll people. Chill.

  • Robert||

    The article is a bit misleading in that they've had more surveys than that. I was on their mailing list when, about a year after getting out one categoriz'n, they looked again and found a new cluster, God And Country Democrats, most of whom they'd previously identified as among New Deal Democrats.

    This is the Times Mirror People, Press, and the American Way survey, right? I guess somewhere along the way Pew got into it. And someone (CBS? NBC?) got out of it.

    The interesting thing about cluster analysis is it has great potential for objectivity; however, it is still bound by the questions that are chosen, so in that way it's very subjective.

  • ||

    So, Are You Pew's Idea of a Libertarian?

    No idea. I'm my idea of a libertarian, though, and that's all that matters to me.

  • Ralph ||

    The Pew study does not concord with Libertarian studies by a long shot.

    For information on people leading using non-partisan Libertarian tools worldwide, please check out Libertarian International Organization at http://www.Libertarian-International.org

  • Robert||

    By "does not concord with", do you mean it disagrees on its predictions of who will be a libertarian?

  • sasob||

    I didn't answer all the questions, but I still grade as a libertarian. I'm not surprised.

  • Almanian||

    TLDR comments. Poll was a waste, as most such polls are.

    Happy Saturday morning (in an Eastern-Time-Zone-Centric way), Reasonoids!

  • Tim||

    According to Pew, I'm disaffected.

    One of my supposed believes is:
    "Sympathetic to the poor and supportive of social welfare programs"

    I am sympathetic to the poor, and did answer that I think poor people have hard lives, but that doesn't mean I support social welfare programs.

  • ||

    I hang out in a bar frequented by punks, bikers and metalheads who are not only working-class but want nothing to do with the government.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    Your bar is a Hank Williams III concert?

  • ||

    Those gys jsut are not making any sense at all dude.

    www.anon-toolz.at.tc

  • ||

    I'm maladjusted.

  • Virgil||

    I am solidly a Libertarian, and have been for years. I also have written about how we can fix this society, with the focus on the human race evolving in a free society.

    Virgil
    http://evolvenow-alp.blogspot.com/

  • President Barack Obama||

    I got 'Asswipe'. Does this mean my presidency's been a failure?

  • George W. Bush||

    No, it means my WoT policies have been vindicated.

  • President Barack Obama||

    Shut the fuck up, George. The War on Terror only became effective once I took over. AND YOU CAN'T PROVE OTHERWISE.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Wanna score libertarian without taking one side or another in a false dichotomy?

    Here's how:

    1) Say that you think government is inherently wasteful.
    2) Answer the two questions about your financial condition with positive responses.
    3) Say that most people can do well if they work hard and are persistent.
    4) Answer the belief in God question any way you please.

    Five questions is the minimum.

    If you say that you have difficulty making ends meet or that you are not financially satisfied and that belief in God is important, then you'll be in the Disaffected camp. However, Pew says that you're still a libertarian if you say belief in God is irrelevant to morality and values.

  • CJ||

    There's a lot to laugh at in this poll, but the most hilarious thing is the idea that someone somewhere is answering that government isn't wasteful. Even the most hardline liberals hate one of the two major parties, so the best they can hope for is a government that works about half the time. What a marvel of efficiency that is.

    (But hey, according to the Support For Compromise section here, only 25% of solid liberals prefer for elected officials to stick to their principles, so I guess when their standards are that low, a government that works half the time is better than they expect or want.)

  • SIV||

    It IS NOT necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values It IS necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values

    I don't know about God but I don't trust you closet authoritarian statists who don't believe in natural rights.

  • ||

    Dude makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

    www.totally-anon.at.tc

  • Publius||

    "You'd never get correlations that way, because practically never would 2 answers be the same. "

    That is a shattering critique, not just of this survey, but of all sociological surveys.

    Some things simply are not amenable to statistical analysis. Opinions concerning politics and public policy are among those things.

    I have nothing against people making up such surveys. But I have trouble when they try to assert that these surveys tell us something significant about the world we live in. They don't. They can't.

  • Robert||

    Of course not everything is amenable to statistical analysis. But...it's not significant that certain answers people give correlate with certain other, superficially unrelated, answers those same people give to different questions?

  • Manchester ||

    yeah ive never taken a test that didn't say i was libertarian. I follow the constitution, end of. Im thinking religion might be a large factor in this sort of poll. and some of the moral questions which I dont believe in.

  • ||

    17% listen to NPR? OK, I don't believe that and if it's true then WTF? A libertarian listening to NPR is like a Republican watching MSNBC, it makes no sense!

    libertarians4freedom.blogspot.com/

  • JB||

    So are Pew employees retarded pieces of shit or shit-eating pukes?

    They should answer that question.

    Polling firms are notorious for awful questions (do they hire the most incompetent people they can find?), but this is bad even for their typical crap.

    Pew is no longer credible for anything. Reason should be very careful about citing them on anything in the future.

    I've seen insane homeless people with more credibility.

  • Robert||

    Pew didn't start this survey, the Times Mirror did. Pew took it over some years ago.

    The comments here have been very parochial, like you're all instant experts on a science most of you have no experience with, and you're looking at it only from the point of view of ideologues -- and even there, in only a particular ideology.

  • Neu Mejican||

    The comments here have been very parochial, like you're all instant experts on a science most of you have no experience with, and you're looking at it only from the point of view of ideologues -- and even there, in only a particular ideology.

    Many of those most critical of the research have lots of experience with this kind of science. I look at it from the point of view of research design. The methods used are unlikely to reveal interesting results about what people believe. The design suffers from the "junk in junk out" syndrome too common in social science research. These kinds of topics are very difficult to study with rigor. Many have made careers out of this type junk, but it does not make it any more enlightening.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Now, I do think you could use this design and these questions to answer a question along the lines of "Cluster analysis of choice behavior when presented with false political dilemmas" and you primarily examined how willing people were to make a choice versus skipping the questions. Might be able to find something interesting there.

  • ||

    I believe this quiz thinks a response of "Too much power is concentrated in the hands of a few large companies" is a "liberal" or "post modern" response. However, I selected this response because in my view most big corporations and professional organizaitions today seek to maintain their position by getting the government to impose regulations that make it difficult for new competitors to enter the market, or they seek tax breaks, subsidies, contracts with the government, etc., that make it difficult for new competitors to emerge. Apparently that viewpoint makes me a left-winger and not a libertarian.

  • Robert||

    You're misinterpreting the results if you think certain responses "make you [as]" something or other. This is not like WSPQ or some such, to help you "find yourself".

    What it says is that people who give the answers you gave have a much greater than chance probability of giving certain other answers as well, and following this run of the survey its analysts gave one of those clusters of answers the label "libertarian" because it seemed like a common word they could use that came closesr than anything else to describe them. Obviously only you could know what you think about everything, but this is not an attempt to label you as an individual, just to see which cluster you come closest to the center of.

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