What's Your Persuasion?

After reading the discussion on a recent thread, I told Ruby that I would find a political spectrum test and let everyone determine his or her correct "label". She said something along the lines of "that's just what we need (not)!"

I looked at several around the net and liked the OKcupid Politics Test. I liked it because it allowed a range of responses and had lots of questions.

I know that this will be distasteful to some and that others will take the test but prefer to keep the results to themselves.

I don't mind sharing my own score which I know will shock many:

You are a
Social Liberal
(86% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(1% permissive)

You are best described as a:


You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.

Who knew?

One value I found in taking this test was the recognition that I did not have aready answer to every question. Some I had to think about and some might have different responses if I took the test again.

What's your persuasion? Are you "progressive enough" for orangepolitics.org?


I'm challenging the validity of this test! Dan and I bear little resemblance to one another in reality. But I guess this does mean that I can now post here without worry of being called unprogressive. :)

You are a: Social Liberal (81% permissive)
and an...
Economic Liberal (5% permissive)
You are best described as a: Socialist
You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness. loc: (118, -169)
modscore: (3, 49)

I came out a socialist too. But I think, no, I am sure that they put the anachists on the wrong part of the final chart (click the "political Ideologies" button). Instead of after the libertarians it should be after the socialists. Those who know me call me an anarchist. Anarchists have nothing to do with capitalism. So I say phooey to the whole thing.

I already know I'm a socialist. "We don't need no steenking tests...."

This was a fun test of questionable validity. I loved the compound question about starvation being unfortunate but unavoidable. Which part was I responding to?

Social Liberal
(71% permissive)
Economic Moderate
(55% permissive)

You are best described as a:

You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.

I'm not a big fan of labels, but let me know if I won anything.

Ed, I wondered the same thing about several of the questions. Anyway, if it means anything, mine says:

Social Liberal
(68% permissive)
Economic Liberal
(30% permissive)

You are best described as a:


You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.

Seems we are all birds of a feather.

You are a

Social Moderate
(56% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(11% permissive)

You are best described as a:


You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.

Ed and Fred--would either of you describe yourself as Democrats? How about liberal?

Terri wrote: "Dan and I bear little resemblance to one another in reality." You should be glad about that, Terri.

Terri, I don't really feel aligned with any party. And I think I'm all over the liberal-conservative spectrum, depending on the issue. I probably average out to centrist, but thats a meaningless assessment, combining apples and oranges and calling them all the same.

Terri, I'm much like Ed; it depends on the issue. I vote Dem and am mod to liberal on most issues. But as I said in the other thread, the labels seem to have lost their meaning.

Oooo ... the dreaded "M" word ... ;-)

You are a

Social Moderate
(56% permissive)

and an...

Economic Moderate
(43% permissive)

You are best described as a:


You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.

75/11 Socialist. Who knew a socialist could shop at Walmart and not feel guilty about it?

Ok I am a 55/38 a centrist, and I like that. I try to judge each issue on its merits, and I don't like labels. It seems we all have a "well developed sense of right and wrong and believe in economic fairness."

For example, I support a one payer national health care system. It is both economically cost effective, and socially fair, and there is no evidence that our current system is either, and no evidence that our current system promotes better health outcomes for the average citizen. Yet I also support allowing people to keep as much of their earned income as possible (ie the lowest possible tax rates are the best for everyone) ---I think government has to justify its need for our dollars, they aren't entitled to our money.

I'm not sure either political party can represent me adequately, which is why I have split my voting ticket from the time I first cast a presidential primary vote for Jesse Jackson in 1984 after seeing him at UNC and thinking that the press did not do him justice ( I liked him a lot), my first presidential vote in 1980 for John Anderson, and my first local vote in 1980 for the Republican candidate for sheriff. I voted for Gore in 2000 and for Bush in 2004. I never voted for Reagan, but have to admit that he has grown on me. I voted for Dole--I have known her for years and like her. (I was living out of the country when Edwards ran and so did not vote in that election). I voted against Mike Easley---I can' t even remember the other candidate, but I thought Easley had too many negatives for me that I was wiling to support the other guy. I voted for most of our local seated representatives, but not all.

Ok I have really bared my soul, probably totally confused some people who dont' know me. I'll be happy to give more detail to anyone who is really interested in my reasoning. It makes good sense to me.

I have also changed my mind based on good dialogue with my friends and family. I think it's important to admit when you have decided your stance is wrong and I think I do that. I try to keep an open mind and take in good, logical discussion, I am also wiling to stand on my principles and there are some things that are fundamental to me and I don't compromise.

Bottom line----I don't know of a single political party that represents me and I will continue to make up my own mind and try to choose representation that comes closest ot my own peronal philosophy.

It seems that Mary has stumbled upon a fatal flaw in this test. No self-respecting socialist could shop at Walmart without at least a twinge of guilt.

"93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple"

"You are a

Social Moderate (50% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative (71% permissive)

You are best described as a: Capitalist

You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.

For what it is worth, I took the test twice trying to be honest both times. I scored 83/10 once and 86/16 the second time. I guess that is pretty consistent but I can't tell you what I did differently. Does this come from having grownup in a union family?

OK, Dan, another convenient Walmart for Orange County: http://www.heraldsun.com/orange/10-620694.html
Guilt it will be…

I accidentally took a different test and was diagnosed as a "crypto-ovo-lacto-icthyo-pepperoni-vegetarian"

You exhibit a very well-developed sense of right and wrong due mainly to this test's commitment to respect everyone's ideas equally no matter how misguided and dangerous they may be.

So how did my numbers break down?

Social Liberal/85% permissive (tell my KID that)
Economic Liberal/26% permissive

Strong Democrat
(Never voted a straight party ticket in my life.)

I liked the person from Perth's despotic law--"Freedom from Idiots." But who gets to decide WHO is an idiot?

I don't know that I'm "socially permissive" as much as I don't believe one can LEGISLATE morality.


Here is a link to a similar quiz that I remember seeing a few years ago. No labels--just a raw score. While it was created over 10 years ago, it still seems relevant although Jocelyn Elders--that was a blast from the past!


PS: 36

I don't remember my numbers (I took the test twice) but on the picture graph one time my data point was on the line between centrist and libertarian, and the other on the line between centrist and democrat.

I suspect that's why i appear to be a conservative on here.

To give an example that may help....in 2000 I voted for Gore, and actively tried to dissuade friends that were voting for Nader because they thought there were no difference between the two parties.

Of course, I assume Ralph wanted a Republican victory because his multi million dollar stock portfolio would benefit from the Bush tax cuts :)

You are a Social Liberal (91% permissive)

and an... Economic Liberal (6% permissive)

You are best described as a:


You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.

I am a social (65%) and economic (26%) liberal, and came out a Democrat...what a surprise, but I'd never shop at Walmart( tsk, tsk, tsk Mary).

I found it interesting some of the non-political questions they used to factor into the equation.

I would have never imagined that the unibomber, MLK and Ghandi would all be on the same end of any spectrum. I'm right between Adam Sandler and MLK. What's Adam Sandler doing on this?

Sandler's there so you know it's a joke. Same with Bill O'Reilly.

I feel the need to clarify. I don't shop at Wal-Mart often. I mostly go there for toys.

After reading Ray's story this morning, shopping at Wal-Mart has now become a moral lapse of more egregious proportion. The specter of a Super Wal-Mart in the Starpoint area sickens me.

For what it's worth, grief, despair, and fugue are the emotions I feel when shopping the big box stores. The quiz's ‘guilt' was the wrong noun for me.

Mary, obviously you need some spiritual cleansing. You better hurry down to Weaver Street Market. ;) But I vote we let her stay on the island.

Mark--I've grieved for Mary's soul since reading her post earlier this morning. But she really is a very nice person and I believe can be redeemed, especially if she will promise to change her evil ways. There are two good toy stores at Carr Mill, Mary. I vote for letting her stay. :)

I need to take this assessment. Will do in the coming days and report out.

You are a

Social Liberal
(71% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(10% permissive)

You are best described as a:


You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.

You are a

Social Liberal(85% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal(3% permissive)

You are best described as a: Socialist. You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.

Nothing like having my entire worldview summarized to the Internet equivalent of a soundbite to sufficiently distort what y'all think of me. =)

Hello, My name's Diana.
Thank you for having me here tonight.
I am a Social Liberal (80% permissive),
and an Economic Liberal(16% permissive),
and apparently a Socialist.
I exhibit a well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and a huge tolerance for the middleground and I believe in economic fairness which means that until Weaver Street Market starts carrying three-dollar bras I will continue to go to Wal-Mart every three or four years to stock up and, yes, I feel a twinge of revulsion as I walk in the door but not enough to go pay a lot more elsewhere.
I hope I don't regret this post.

Diana, as an apparent sloppy 'socialist' myself, I completely understand.

Mark, Terri, thanks for the spiritual support...

Hi, I just took the test again, answering each question in the opposite fashion from my own true self's beliefs. THAT person (loc: -150, 168 and modscore 57, 6) gets diagnosed as:

Social Conservative (10% permissive) and
Economic Conservative (95% permissive) and
Best described as a Fascist

But still: "You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness." which must be partially based on distance from the mean(s).

That person is radically opposed to abortions and gun control but has no compunctions whatsoever about applying the death penalty and shopping at Wal-Mart.

Mary, check out Target. Better working environment for employees, and a good toy selection. Diana the bras aren't three dollars, but they're not much more! :}

I recently had too much time on my hands and a copy of the Forbes richest people list. I did some idle calculations and figured out that the Walton family could completely fund health care for every single "valued Wal-Mart associate" for the next 10 years for about 5% of their collective net worth. That ended my shopping forays to Wal Mart.

What's your persuasion? Are you "progressive enough" for orangepolitics.org?


I'm with Ruby on this one. "We don't need no stinking test!" The OrangePolitics website isn't a club. You don't need to pass any fucking tests to join or comment...just read and follow the 'Guidelines' just to the right of the text box.

BTW...I was there when Dan asked Ruby what she thought about this litmus test BS. She made it pretty clear she thought it was a bad idea and Dan just yes yes'd her. Hmmmm

My numbers are 61/60 or a centist. Always thought I was a little to the left of center on social issues and tight with the money.

Mary don't be ashamed for shopping at wal-mart, I do too. At least there is some comfort knowing one will not run into Dan Coleman their. (Ha, Ha)

Brian, I'm not sure what your problem is. I wasn't asking Ruby's permission, just her opinion. I decided that people might enjoy playing around with this and they appear to be so doing. It's a game, not a litmus test. I would never suggest the latter for OP and did not use that term with Ruby.

People are enjoying this and no one is taking it too seriously. Why do you?

Brian, I think the thing that you are ignoring is that it is Ruby who is quick to denounce someone who doesn't agree with her worldview as a "troll" and then invites them to leave and never return. So while she might say that we don't need a test, her posts speak otherwise.

I will offer this simple explanation. This is a website about “progressive perspectives.” All are welcome, but I wonder about the motivations of folks who participate so much in the conversation while not sharing the general political goals of this online community. The intent seems to be disrupt, or at least does not seem to share the site's stated values. If you don't like how we do OP, why are you still here? Why not start your own blog? Note: Unless I post as The Editor, I am speaking as and for myself only.

Comment at 5:21pm 6/24/2005 by Ruby Sinreich http://www.lotusmedia.org/

I'm not the only one who has noticed this:

Example 1:

You throw the term troll around quite often, it seems pretty much when anyone disagrees with you....Maybe I'm naive, but I'd say Bill and Chris (while dead wrong) sincerely believe they have a valid opinion. Wrong, yes. Troll, no.

Comment at 1:26pm 6/24/2005 by Ed Neely

Example 2:

So Ruby, is this meant to be a “preaching to the choir” blog ? Is there no room for diverse Liberal voices? I consider myself to be a liberal, but I know there are other liberals who don't share all of my views. That's okay with my. I'm a big tent liberal.

Comment at 6:12pm 6/24/2005 by Katrina Ryan

Example 3:

Ruby, I know I'm a bit confused. Are you looking for some very narrow slice of political thought here? What is the allowable spectrum? Maybe there is a list of issue acid tests that needs to be provided. I wonder if you consider me a troll. This is off topic, I know, but if you welcome people to post, then blast them when they do, it's a bit disconcerting. I know I don't want to be where I'm not welcome.

Comment at 6:40pm 6/24/2005 by Ed Neely http://bandycams.com

Example 4:

I don't know whether some folks have just been told they're now no longer allowed in the “Club House,” or perhaps the kids with the ball on the playground are saying it's “their ball” and some are not welcome to play.

Wasn't this the OrangePolitics.org blog, described as “progressive perspectives on Orange County, NC” in the banner heading? Just reviewed the posted guidelines; maybe these should be made more specific so that certain viewpoints can be self-censored or shut out.

I'm confused as I, like many, have enjoyed the banter and dialogue, not sanitized. The variety of viewpoints and discussion seem important to me. Remember, there are many people with VARYING VIEWPOINTS who simply read this blog out of interest, who for their own reasons are not comfortable posting.

Comment at 10:51am 6/25/2005 by Bobby Clapp

Patrick, no one expects you to feel shame over buying cheap products made by workers under near-slavery conditions and sold by a retailer notorious as an employer and for its predatory practices against other businesses.

You will forgive others of us for feeling some sense of responsibility for how our shopping habits affect "the least of these."

What about "the least of these" who rely on Wal-Mart to buy their cheap products? Should low income workers who rely on Walmart to buy cheap goods feel shame?


It's part of the overall financial system. Without Wal-Mart & others taking advantage of cheap overseas labor, low paid workers in this country couldn't afford anything and there would be much greater pressure to pay higher wages here.

And so the solution is to only use American labor? If you use that logic, then manufacturers in the US would never have moved operations down South when there was a wage disparity between workers in the North and workers in the South. How backwards would the South still be if that were the case? Is that what 3rd world workers should be condemed to?

Brian, I'm trying to decide if this thread contains more or less BS than other threads.

Try ‘On Bullshit', by Frankfurt---for a better philosophical understanding of the contemporary proliferation of bullshit...


The solution is to implement a financial system that includes the goal of providing enough income so that folks can lead healthy, happy lives.

Really Mark? And how would we go about that and what is the name of this magical solution?

And at what point is the responsibility for providing enough income fall to the individual? If you drop out of high school because you though school was a drag and now your 35 years old and pushing a mop and you don't have as much money as you'd like, is that the financial system's fault?

Although this test correctly identified me as a socialist, I found it dubious in several respects. A number of economic questions seemed design to identify small business populists, rather than socialists (although I haven't yet seen anyone claim the test told them they were a populist). For example, I've never heard of a form of socialism that would advocate replacing all large corporations with small business (especially given the anti-union, often racist bent of much of the latter). Yet I suppose strongly agreeing with this was the 'socialist' answer. Then again, lots of people on the left advocate a fairly simple minded 'anti-corporate' politics. I sometimes wonder if they understand that the sweatshops they denounce are virtually all small family owned businesses. I also wondered if a 'socialist' is supposed to support subsidizing small US farmers. Count me out on that on. I don't care if you're big or small, so long as you are shifting away from industrial farming towards sustainable practices, and moving towards some way of sharing the wealth produced with the people doing the work. And lets not forget that most of the poor nations in the world have consistently appealed to the US to stop subsidizing its agriculture.

I'll also note that the question that has generated the most debate here asked if you feel guilty about shopping at national chains, not Walmart per se. Why feel tremendous guilt about chains? I know of exactly two stores in the northern part of the triangle that aren't chains that sell men's clothing. Their selection is limited, and is made at the same factories in China that produce the clothes available at the mall or Marshall's. Costco is a chain, but it has a very different atttitude towards its employees than Walmart. Again, the test seemed to be addressed to the sort of leftist who replaces serious thinking about how to organize the economy with 'small is better' slogans.

But it's not really as simple as that is it Steve? Small is often better and taking an anti-small business attitude would be as simple-minded as the anti-corporate attitude. Small businesses often mirror the attitudes and values of the local community more closely than do large corporations. Which type of company is more likely to give a parent time off in the middle of a shift to go in for a teacher conference or to watch a school play? Which type of company is more likely to hold open a job for a valued employee who becomes ill for an extended time (or hold fundraisers to help pay for her medical care)?

Can you imagine anyone missing Walmart to the extent that so many in this community miss the Intimate? Are those frivolous examples? Maybe to some but they reflect personal relationships that I found lacking when I worked for a large international corporation. I don't think Walmart is inherently bad because it is a large corporation--but I would rather shop at Roses or one of the toy stores in Carrboro or any other local business. (Plus are you saying none of the products sold by Walmart came from sweat shops?) Do I occasionally go to Target or eat at Steak 'n Shake? Yep, sure do. But I more frequently shop at Roses or the Painted Bird or the Regulator or any number of local businesses.

We need people to be more involved in our communities. You raised that as an issue at a Democratic Party meeting we were at together. Do you really think that encouraging large corporate entities to come in and replace small locally owned businesses is a community-building activity? Call me simple minded. In this instance, I take it as a compliment.


The convenience store at the corner of Hwy 54 West and Morrow Mill Road (about 6 miles west of Carrboro) sells Pointer Brand clothing (all made in the USA; www.pointerbrand.com ). Pants and shorts are about $20-$25. The gasoline at the station is an unpopular brand, but the store is locally owned.



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