My Ideal Candidate Doesn’t Exist

Comments   0   Date Arrow  October 13, 2004 at 3:12pm   User  by joel

…At least, that’s what SelectSmart.com says. I came across a link today (already forgotten where) to their Presidential Candidate Selector (epileptic ad alert), and figured I’d give it a go. The idea is similar to any of the myriad online quizzes that purport to help you figure out which Star Wars character/Sopranos character/operating system/celebrity/philosopher/rock/tree/fruit you happen to “be”. It was only 17 questions, so I figured I’d give it a go. These were my results:

  1. Your ideal theoretical candidate. (100%)
  2. Bush, President George W. – Republican (67%)
  3. Badnarik, Michael – Libertarian (46%)
  4. Kerry, Senator John, MA – Democrat (45%)
  5. Cobb, David – Green Party (36%)
  6. Nader, Ralph – Independent (36%)
  7. Peroutka, Michael – Constitution Party (31%)
  8. Brown, Walt – Socialist Party (23%)

This was surprisingly accurate, believe it or not. Of course I didn’t expect to find anyone agree with me 100% except perhaps myself, and last I checked I’m not on the ballot (for which we can all be thankful). And while my thoughts on many issues match or are mostly compatible with those of Bush, there are some issues on which he and I see differently. For example, I’m fairly opposed to some of the provisions of the Patriot Act, particularly those which seem to run counter to well-established constitutionally-protected civil liberties. To paraphrase Ben Franklin, if you give up liberty to gain security you’ll lose both. And I’m somewhat concerned about the current approach to the problems in Iraq, although I’d probably agree more with the John McCain more-boots-on-the-ground position than the John Kerry pull-out-and-leave-em-hanging approach. I confess that when I hear of Michael Moore’s Minutemen setting off car bombs on kids waiting in line for candy, I get the urge to sign up myself. But I digress…

That Libertarian Michael Badnarik came in above Kerry, if only slightly, sounds about right as well. There are elements of the Libertarian approach to things that I agree with very much. The Advocates for Self-Government, a Libertarian website, has a fairly well-regarded, brief political quiz that breaks down the differences between political persuasions in a fairly concise way. The basic idea is that there are really just two areas of government activity that influence your political leanings: your personal life and the economy. Think the government should stay out of your personal life but take responsibility for your economic well-being? You’ll probably agree with the liberal side of things. Want the government to maintain a certain moral standard but keep out of your finances? You’ll feel more at home with conservative viewpoints. Centrists want to sit back and talk it over, authoritarians (both socialists and fascists) want more government control in both areas, to varying degrees of course, and libertarians will happily tell Uncle Sam to take a hike, thank you very much.

I tend to agree with the libertarian positions when it comes to economic issues. For example, I have a pretty serious problem with “corporate welfare”-type situations, where the government dumps loads of money into an industry just to keep it going. Take the railroads, for instance. Or the airlines. There is no constitutional guarantee that every citizen will have affordable access to an airplane (hey Delta, if you can’t figure out a way to keep flying and stay in business, maybe it’s time to move over and make room for someone who can). And on a more personal economic level, if I’m too lazy to get off my rear and earn an honest buck, why does the government owe me anything? However, I tend not to agree with Libertarians (or Democrats, for that matter) on personal/social issues, like gay marriage and abortion. Which probably explains why Badnarik is only slightly ahead of Kerry.

Tagged   Politics

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