Recently, I came across one of those online surveys (I’m not sure what else to call it) that after answering a series of questions, places the respondent into a certain political category. We’ve all seen these before, where at the end the person, based on their answers, are rated as liberal or conservative, authoritarian or libertarian. the questions themselves are innocuous enough, very straightforward, as to what the person thinks/believes in several different areas. I was intrigued, as a conservative, where I would place on their scale.
I went through the several pages of questions, varying from my stance on abortion and the death penalty, to social and generic political questions. None were the stop and think kinds of questions, at least for me. Very straightforward. I went through the several screens in just a few minutes. Of course, at the end, there was this lengthy explanation of the methodology, but to be honest, I just skimmed it because I was really interested in getting to the result. Where I ended up on their box scale surprised me quite a bit because as I said, I identify as a conservative
The responses to each question ranged from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree with Disagree and Agree being two of the total of four possible answers to each. I probably gave 90% of my answers in the Disagree/Agree range as I really don’t hold many strong opinions. If that sounds strange, it’s because I try to keep an open mind on a lot of issues. I’m open to a good argument in favor of something I may disagree with and vice-versa. Some may say I’m wishy–washy. I disagree.
When I viewed my result, it showed that I leaned slightly to the libertarian left. I wanted to know more about it, but at that point to receive the full analysis of my responses, I would have to make a donation. Sorry, not that interested. But as I said, the result surprised me. I’ve never considered myself far-right. If anything, probably center-right. I’m anti death penalty, pro reproductive rights, and I believe that the government has no business interfering in what two consenting adults do in their own home.
For some, that would make me a liberal, but I know a lot of conservatives personally, that think the same way. We’re far from the majority, but we’re out here. Being conservative has nothing to do with a political party, by the way: I know some that are registered Democrats that identify conservative. I also know some registered Republicans that I would consider far more liberal than I am (probably center-left). Myself? I’m an Independent.
I think the difference may be in how each question was weighted based on what would be viewed as a standard liberal versus conservative response. As I said, I didn’t really read the methodology and so I have to make an assumption here as to how they scored each answer. If anything, I would have expected to be right-libertarian. I know I’m not authoritarian in any definition of the word, but left? Of course, none of this really means anything at all, but it was an interesting exercise. Maybe I should have taken the survey/test again and answered opposite of what I really think I wonder where I’d have ended up on the scale after that?