Get a good sense of your ideology from a quiz from the Pew Research Center.
We’ve all taken one at some point. After taking a horrible quiz shared by a friend on Facebook (which gave me a really inaccurate answer), I decided to look for a better quiz. Who better to ask than the Pew Research Center?
I took their Political Typology Quiz, which compares you to a national survey of 10,000 adults in the U.S. After all, it probably is the best way to arrive at your ideology: whether you are considered on the left or right is relative to other people. Even across countries, as the U.S. is generally culturally and economically conservative relative to Europe, culturally liberal relative to Asia and the Middle East, etc. Even conservatism and liberalism don’t apply well across different countries because they have different historical traditions; more economic freedom might be conservative in the U.S. while it is a newer, controversial concept in a developing nation.
Moreover, the quiz is better because it classifies things differently. The first quiz I took (I would link it if I could find it, but alas, it is lost to the Facebook void) tried to align me according to the abstract values here:
Of course, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this diagram. It’s just that it’s incredible that I was placed so inaccurately by the quiz. The Pew quiz assigns you based on what is actually observed in the United States, breaking down the population into the groups of Steadfast Conservatives, Business Conservatives, Young Outsiders, Hard-Pressed Skeptics, Next Generation Left, Faith and Family Left, and my favorite (sarcasm here), Bystanders, who pay more attention to Kim Kardashian than Barack Obama (I blame Obama). Each group is about 10-15% of the population.
What I like most about this breakdown is that it goes beyond “conservative vs. liberal”, breaking down the diversity of views within each, and even the idea of hard division between two groups. Here ideology is defined by the combination of issues including foreign policy, economic issues, social issues, the efficacy of government in general, ideas on business, and so on. It’s a quiz that allows you to think clearly, Here’s what I believe, or at least, Here’s something I’m less certain about. It’s a good step towards a more productive national conversation.
So if there’s a message to this post, get off the quizzes on Facebook and Buzzfeed and actually learn something about yourself.