I decided to take Pew Research’s Political Typology Quiz. I’m going to share my answers and, where I think they’re needed, the reasons behind them. Each question asks you to choose between two answers, picking the one which most closely matches your views. In cases where neither answer fits my thinking, I’ll explain why I chose the answer I did.
- “Government is almost always wasteful and inefficient”
2.”Government regulation of business usually does more harm than good”
- “This country has gone too far in its efforts to protect the environment”
The alternative answer in this case was “This country should do whatever it takes to protect the environment”, which I strongly disagree with. There needs to be a balanced approach to making sure that the environment is safe while making sure we have the energy and resources we need. I think the environmental movement has become far too radical, and they put the environment ahead of people.
- “Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy”
The alternative answer in this case was “Stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost”. I believe that government laws are almost never worth the cost. The EPA in the US and Environment and Climate Change Canada are big bloated centralized bureaucracies. Setting taxes on fuels that produce carbon dioxide may need to be done at the federal level due to international commitments, but I believe everything else should be devolved to the states, provinces, counties, and cities. State and provincial governments should pass laws allowing damages against violators to help pay for enforcement, along with fuel taxes, making environmental regulation tax neutral.
- “Business corporations make too much profit”
Big business has too much control over the government, allowing them to have laws enacted to their benefit. We need to get money out of politics.
- “Too much power is concentrated in the hands of a few large companies”
Foreign Policy & Privacy
- “We should pay less attention to problems overseas and concentrate on problems here at home”
The alternative answer in this case was “It is best for our country to be active in world affairs”. While I agree with this statement, I believe that we should not be intervening militarily in other countries when there is no direct threat to us. Look at how toppling Saddam Hussein has destabilized Iraq, allowing ISIS to emerge as a far worse threat. I also believe that we should make sure we don’t run a deficit and begin paying off our national debt, rather than funding international initiatives of dubious value.
- “Using overwhelming military force is the best way to defeat terrorism around the world”
I believe that only a direct threat (like the 9/11 attack) should be responded to with military force, but, when the line is crossed by terrorists, they should be ruthlessly destroyed. Countries harboring terrorists should be given the option of destroying them themselves, but if they refuse to do so, should be treated as enemies. Terrorism is evil, and is one of the few acts that truly deserves no quarter.
- “Good diplomacy is the best way to ensure peace”
Diplomacy should always be preferred to force. Force should only be used in retaliation for the use of force by another. “Walk lightly, but carry a big stick.”
- “U.S. efforts to solve problems around the world usually end up making things worse”
“Americans shouldn’t have to give up privacy and freedom in order to be safe from terrorism”
“Most people who want to get ahead can make it if they’re willing to work hard”
“Everyone has it in their own power to succeed”
Social Safety Net
- “Government aid to the poor does more harm than good, by making people too dependent on government assistance”
Welfare is a trap, both in US inner cities, and in the Canadian maritime provinces and on native reservations. There needs to be more emphasis on helping people to help themselves get out of institutional poverty. One small example: Welfare should decrease gradually as income increases. For every dollar a welfare recipient earns, their welfare payment should be reduced by fifty cents. In this way, there is incentive to work for extra money.
- “Poor people have hard lives because government benefits don’t go far enough to help them live decently”
I certainly don’t believe that the poor “have it easy”. Making it easy to be poor would make poverty worse. We need to get more people back to work. This means giving them the means and incentives to do so.
- “The government today can’t afford to do much more to help the needy”
Government debt is enormous. We should be doing everything we can to get people off welfare, so that the money we save can be used to pay off the debt. If the debt is allowed to keep growing, eventually, we won’t be able to take care of the poor.
Social Values & Race
- “Society is just as well off if people have priorities other than marriage and children”
There is nothing wrong with dedicating one’s life to a cause other than raising children. As Paul said, “Now to the unmarried … It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.” – 1 Corinthians 7:1-16
- “It IS NOT necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values”
While following some of the commandments is necessary in order to be moral (you shall not kill, for example), doing so does not require belief in God. Someone who is moral because doing so is right is actually a better person than someone who keeps the commandments only through fear of god.
- “Homosexuality should be accepted by society”
Homosexuality is natural, and should be tolerated. The behavior is not immoral. It is abnormal only in that it occurs in a minority of the population.
- “Blacks who can’t get ahead in this country are mostly responsible for their own condition”
While I acknowledge that racism exists, I believe we have put appropriate legal protections in place so that, when confronted with it, minorities can defend themselves against it. For example, equal pay for equal work is enshrined in the US Equal Pay Act of 1963 as well as the Canadian Human Rights Act. I believe that everyone has agency and is responsible for their own condition.
- “Our country has made the changes needed to give blacks equal rights with whites”
- “The growing number of newcomers from other countries threatens traditional American customs and values”
So many illegal immigrants have entered the United States that they have indeed fundamentally changed the makeup of her society. Canada has been able to be much more selective in allowing gradual immigration. Even still, integration of immigrants into our society could be better in some cases.
- “Immigrants today strengthen our country because of their hard work and talents”
When we select immigrants of high quality, who are skilled and educated, they strengthen the country. In addition, we can afford to admit a small number of deserving refugees. If we proceed carefully, and provide incentives for productive integration into our societies, both we and our immigrants will benefit.
Pew categorized me as a Young Outsider: “This relatively young, largely independent group holds a mix of conservative and liberal views. And while more lean toward the Republican Party than the Democratic Party, Young Outsiders generally express unfavorable opinions of both major parties. They are largely skeptical of activist government, as a substantial majority views government as wasteful and inefficient. Yet many diverge from the two conservative typology groups – Steadfast Conservatives and Business Conservatives – in their strong support for the environment and many liberal social policies.”