I was a little shocked the other day to notice that Nora Sumi Park listed this blog as moderate conservative. I’d always considered myself considerably more to the left on the left/right axis and I’m wondering exactly what it was we’ve said here that gave a ‘moderate conservative’ vibe. Not that I’m angry about it-after all the qualifying ‘moderate’ says an awful lot, but still just to be sure I went and took the fairly detailed quiz over at PoliticalCompass.org to reassure myself that I had not been living a lie, only just now unmasked by Ms. Park’s insight.
My score: (values can range from -10 to +10 on either axis)
Economic Left/Right: -4.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.05
Economic Left/Right: -5.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.03
That puts me somewhat left on the economic axis and pretty far on the libertarian social axis-roughly in the same territory as Nelson Mandela and Ghandi, and almost exactly in the same spot as the Dalai Lama. So why the moderative conservative label? I think there’s actually a reasonable explanation. One, I almost never write about any US domestic issues, or even US related international issues such as the occupation of Iraq, war on terror, etc. Domestic issues, the sort of thing that’s actually decided by the politicians that I have the [theoretical] right to elect, are the places where I think political orientation is really most significant.
When I write about politics at all, it’s usually a foreign issue that has nothing to do with the US, such as the Yasukuni or textbook issues, and I also don’t make a big point of giving my own opinion. These are issues I find interesting, but have nothing to do with me personally or emotionally, so I try to just explain what’s going on in a neutral way, without. Perhaps because I’ve spent some time trying to explain the Japanese right in a fairly impartial way it seems like I don’t actually despise them? Just because I wrote an article trying to explain how Koizumi’s Yasukuni pilgrimage is really about placating people far more conservative than he is himself doesn’t mean that I don’t think it’s offensive and provocative-but I’m not the person that it’s offending and I’m not doing this because I think my own opinions are all that fascinating.
I’m curious what some of our regular readers and commenters score on this test, and if it varies at all from your usual political self identification. Care to leave your results